The vast amount of data held by modern companies is one of their biggest
assets. But an alarming number of businesses fail to make best use of that data
and turn it into meaningful information.
Some of the most useful and least accessible data held within an enterprise
resides on legacy financial systems. The information held there is a goldmine of
insight into trends, performance, potential growth areas and danger spots –
greater knowledge of which can help grow a company’s bottom line. By delving
into this vast swathe of data, business intelligence software can unearth hidden
gems of information.
To introduce this supplement Dr Mark Whitehorn gets to the bottom of what BI
actually is and the ‘alphabet soup’ of acronyms that marketers throw at us every
day, on page 2. And, if you prefer a graphical view, take a look at his
enterprise software map on page 16.
On page 4 Peter Bartram investigates the mess that M&A activity can cause
and looks into how companies can best avoid it. Our trusted friend the
spreadsheet is actually not very trustworthy at all, as if you hadn’t noticed.
Gary Flood looks into the problem and how business intelligence can help, on
page 8; while Robert Jaques takes a detailed look at the technology in an
enterprise situation on page 10. Anthony Harrington, meanwhile, reports on how
standardisation in the technology world is even more of a pipedream than it is
in the accounting world, page 14. We are making headway, however.
If natural selection is more your bag, however, read how business
intelligence has helped spread the credit for Darwin’s theory of evolution to
his previously unsung tutor Professor John Henslow, on page 13.
To read the full briefing in pdf format, click
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