Business intelligence (BI) has evolved a lot over the past few years. Now, rather than being a tool that only those in the IT department use, applications are going further to reach all employees in an organisation. This is the view of ICBC Head of Information Management Pablo Licheri.
BI has been available for IT personnel and senior executives for a long time, with both able to analyse data for the good of the firm. However, BI is now moving beyond these boundaries to reach all users, allowing various departments to access relevant information and draw their own conclusions.
One place where data has been opened up to an entire organisation is at Argentinian bank ICBC. Seven years ago, the bank decided to incorporate Teradata as the foundation for a multitude of analytical projects. Now, both external and internal data is analysed by 18 departments spread across the financial institution. “We have helped departments achieve a higher level of insight and intelligence,” Licheri said, adding: “They have been able to think about more complex things and implement them in production.”
It seems that businesses are turning over their IT assets to other users with increasing speed. It marks a significant shift away from centralised IT, and requires employees to go through IT channels if any form of analysis is required. Teradata EVP and Chief Product Officer Oliver Ratzesberger explained that many next generation companies now suggest that BI should no longer be conducted by a central technology group but democratised across an organisation. Of course, companies still need to protect information, but as increasingly large quantities of data are stored, there looks to be a belief that crowd-sourced insights are important.
With ICBC, Licheri explained that opening access to the data warehouse has even been a catalyst for creating new departments. For example, though a commercial intelligence division had already been established, data analytics allowed a new marketing team to be set up. “Corporate banking people used to say they had just a few big customers and knew them personally, so they didn’t need a data warehouse, but in the last two years they have been working with it more closely,” Licheri said.
As BI continues to evolve and becomes more available to users across an organisation, the insights gained from data are likely to swell. With IT divisions no longer a central place for BI, employees will discover that they have more access to company data than ever before.
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