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Impact - A Blog by INM

The Enterprise Shift and the Role of BI

July 10, 2008 by Andrea Simmons

In the first article of this series, we defined Business Intelligence (BI) and looked a bit at its history and current day role. In this instalment, we are going to look at the changes in the enterprise and how BI’s role within the organization has changed.

Let’s start with a look at how management used to function, years ago, management was primarily based on the pyramid style, with a few white collar workers leading a greater number of subordinates. The power within an organization sat with the few at the top of the pyramid, where managers made decisions and told employers what to do as a result of privileged data that they had access to.

Today, many organizations have shifted and have become much flatter and now operate with a management style that more closely resembles a series of interconnected circles. With this shift comes a change in power. The power is now more evenly distributed with managers and employees both having access to the information, technology and knowledge to make decisions. Suddenly BI has moved from the boardroom, to the mailroom, to the field and has become a critical tool for running a business.

BI is used to provide immediate feedback and critical data for employees to make decisions at all levels, from the boardroom to the factory floor.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this article, where we will address “The Changing Face of BI”, including a look at the technologies that are enabling BI to adapt to its new role.