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BI-as-a-Service: The New Cool IT Project

Chuck Hollis believes that business users will eventually get what they want with our without the help of IT. That’s a fundamental shift in the understood relationship between IT (often viewed as stand-offish and cryptic by business) and business (often viewed as naive and unrealistic by IT). But Hollis explains how IT needs to think about the “new” business user, people who want to consume analytical data and digest it on their own. IT can either hamstring that desire or make it much easier: If you look at it from a business user’s perspective, your first challenge is you don’t know what’s available for potential consumption.  There’s usually no place you can easily browse for potential feeds: sanitized and cleansed, raw and unfiltered, etc. etc. Indeed, talk to any community of power users, and you’ll quickly realize that there’s usually a grey market in data sets: people freely trade and share what they’ve got, along with their insights and experiences. So how can IT help? By thinking of business intelligence as a service: give your business users and power user access to a sandbox to explore and learn; value the insight they can provide and the questions they raise. By allowing business intelligence to be another service you provide through IT, the relationship and alignment between business and the IT organization come naturally.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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