When LogiXML asked more than 750 IT professionals this very question, most said “Pacman – traditional, but entertaining,” or “Call of Duty – cool and sophisticated, but hard to use and somewhat violent.” Others said “Pong – traditional, but useless,” “Solitaire – one man operation,” “Minecraft – new and agile,” or “Frogger – move or die.”
This was one of several questions from a recent survey LogiXML conducted of IT professionals across multiple industries about business intelligence (BI) and its users. When it comes to how IT views users of BI, most think users have little knowledge of BI projects, often don’t know what they want from BI, are unschooled on BI technology and practices, yet tend to be very adamant about their BI needs.
Forty-five percent of IT respondents said that users don’t understand how much goes into a BI project; a combined 50 percent said users never know exactly what they want, or what they want until after the project is completed; a combined 90 percent said that users’ understanding of BI was either informed, but ill-equipped; curious, but uninformed; or helpless and hopeless. And a total of 76 percent said users made their BI needs known by loudly insisting, “screaming like banshees,” or assuming IT had “telepathy.”
LogiXML’s survey data suggests that most IT professionals believe that users of BI are or would be dead in the water without IT’s help on BI projects. This notion may be indicative of companies still employing traditional, old-school BI approaches and systems, or that certain desktop BI technologies and vendors simply aren’t delivering on their promise of easy-to-use, self-service BI. Whatever the reason, it appears that we aren’t yet at a time when BI users are not dependent on IT for their BI needs.
According to the data, user behavior can also be linked to why many BI projects fail. The top three reasons: [user] requirements are unrealistic to begin with, lack of budget and resources, and requirements change too quickly to adapt. Similarly, the top things IT lacks that keep them from meeting user demands: personnel, money, and “smarter end users.” When asked how they thought users spend most of their time, 38 percent combined said “checking FaceBook comments on photos from recent Bahamas trip” or “I wish I knew.”
In terms of BI trends, 46 percent of respondents said that their organizations were not using mobile BI. Of those that were, 26 percent said mobile BI is somewhat popular, 17 percent said it’s very popular, and 5 percent said it’s “more popular than Angry Birds.” Six percent said it’s not very popular. When asked to describe their company on big data, only 17 percent said they were currently using it. Conversely, 27 percent said they are looking at big data analytics for the future, 26 percent said they are actively pursuing big data analytics, a combined 30 percent said “they have a couple big combined spreadsheets, but that’s about it” or “big what?”
LogiXML conducted this survey in July of 2012. Check out the entire survey here. For a copy of the data set, contact Matthew Pugh at firstname.lastname@example.org.