• Strategy
  • CFO Magazine

Designs of Intelligence

As companies extend business-intelligence software to the masses, they should think before they deploy.

Vendors are rushing to develop (or buy)
visualization technologies to make that
possible. But Crispin Read, chief marketing
officer for Cartesis, cautions that the
software must jibe with a company’s culture.
“Things like key performance indicators
are a management issue, not a technology
issue,” he says. “If KPIs determine
how people are measured, people will use
the software that helps track KPIs. If there
is no particular push, then users may exercise
their discretion to ignore it.”

“People don’t beat down the door for
new software,” agrees McGowan of
Southeast Corporate. “They have to be
nudged and pushed. But today there is so
much good software out there, with good
price tags, that the efficiencies you gain
are worth what it takes to provide it to as
many people as you can.”

Scott Leibs is a senior editor at CFO.

Top Players, for Now
Company Rank by market share Rank by growth*
Business Objects 1 7
SAS Institute 2 6
Cognos 3 10
Microsoft 4 1
Hyperion 5 9
Oracle 6 4
MicroStrategy 7 5
SAP 8 3
SPSS 9 8
Information Builders 10 2
* Based on gains in revenue, 2004–05
Source: IDC

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