Friday, June 7, 2013

Why Business Intelligence Matters, and Why Librarians Should Do the Research

Business Intelligence, often referred to as BI, is a worthy endeavor when done right.  BI incorporates systems, technology and processes that allow a company to gather, store, retrieve and analyze corporate data from all operational areas:
  • For CEOs, Business Intelligence plays a key role in strategic planning.
  • For CFOs, Business Intelligence supports financial processes like budgeting and forecasting.
  • For CMOs, Business Intelligence can reveal insights on markets and products.
I could continue through every business function, but you get the point. For all managers within an organization, Business Intelligence can help them make better decisions.

Business Intelligence Obstacles

The increasing volume and velocity of data being generated within even small companies has become overwhelming. According to IBM, we humans create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day!

Business Intelligence ResearchFor Business Intelligence, multiple software systems make it difficult to retrieve information for timely and meaningful analysis. Silos of information and corporate hierarchies make it difficult to get a complete picture. As a result, you have lots of information being generated and often not so much intelligence that really helps the business.

Even with Business Intelligence systems in place, technology can only do so much – the final link, and most critical one, depends on people. 
  • The right researchers who can process and retrieve data in a way that’s useful to decision makers.
  • The right managers who can use the information in a way that’s meaningful to the business.
LAC Group’s Business Intelligence services focus on the first bullet, a piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked and under-appreciated.

Why the Best Business Intelligence Researchers are Librarians

Why would you put a librarian on a Business Intelligence project? Because success depends on research access and discoverability of information, which is the primary role of librarians. LAC Group was founded as Library Associates Companies; we know the value that trained librarians can bring to corporations for Business Intelligence and other research requirements. We have developed a unique, multifaceted competency around that value.

Our core strength has always been information handling: acquisition, organization, delivery, dissemination and research. Our reference desk and research specialists are available for work in various arenas, including Business Intelligence. Our flexible staffing solutions and 24/7 virtual research support allow us to be responsive to any business need, anywhere around the world.

Business Intelligence: Real or Hype?

Business Intelligence has become a hot topic that has some companies implementing systems, people and processes to make sure they have it covered. Meanwhile, other companies wonder if it’s another business buzzword delivering more costly hype than real value.

I believe the difference between Business Intelligence hype and value lies in the people. Without managers who can glean insights and act upon them, there is no value. And without skilled researchers who can retrieve and deliver data in a useful way, the nuggets of information those decision makers need will remain hidden. 

That's why for your Business Intelligence project, consider adding a librarian to the project team.

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