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Microsoft survey: BI tools key for businesses in Singapore

T.C. Seow | Feb. 23, 2012
IT decision makers in Singapore consider the use of Business Intelligence (BI) tools as one of their top IT priorities in 2012, according to a survey conducted by Microsoft.


IT decision makers in Singapore consider the use of Business Intelligence (BI) tools as one of their top IT priorities in 2012, according to a survey conducted by Microsoft. The survey also reveals that IT managers are actively pushing for pervasive BI usage across their organisations.

Called the Microsoft Singapore BI Survey 2011, it polled some 100 IT executives in Singapore during Microsoft's BI Roadshow held in October last year. Fifty-five percent of the respondents were either IT managers or CIOs, while the remainder were IT executives. Out of the total, 69 percent of respondents were from organisations with staff strengths of 500 or more.

The findings revealed that most respondents (75 percent) agree that BI is one of their top IT priorities in 2012, and 97 percent of respondents felt that BI tools should be used pervasively across their organisations.

Business agility and the requirement for real time business insights have become critical aspects of the organisation, as businesses face sharper economic cycles going forward. The need for BI also stems from the ongoing explosion of data across corporate functions.

IT managers polled in the survey said that investments towards BI tools should help with financial performance insights. This was followed closely by resource management insights. Ranked third in IT managers' desired ROI for BI tools is the ability for BI tools to drive business agility.

"Enterprises today have a pressing need to enable workers with the tools to gain insights from the increasing volume of data generated by today's businesses," said John Fernandes, director of marketing and operations at Microsoft Singapore.

About 54 percent of respondents polled said that they are already taking steps to implement managed self-service BI to enable users to gain instant access to business insights at strategic, tactical or even operational levels.

However, the survey showed that BI is typically under-utilised in Singapore, with only 3 percent of respondents saying that it is adopted across their entire organisations. Some 85% of respondents said that BI tools are used in less than half of the workforce.

Where BI tools are being used, they are largely for operational reporting purposes (35 percent), followed by ad-hoc reporting purposes (20 percent), and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and event-driven BI (20 percent).

The survey found that factors that hinder pervasive BI usage are largely related to people and processes rather than technological challenges. The most common hindrance pointed out by respondents is the inability of end-users in communicating their BI requirements to IT department. Another is the lack of BI-trained business users.

Added Fernandes: "The findings from this survey highlight that there are still steps to take on the journey towards a self-service BI model, and there is a strong desire from IT professionals and decision makers to accelerate that change. BI is without a doubt, a top priority for businesses in 2012, and how enterprises react to this trend will impact the way knowledge workers perform their jobs with efficiency in the future."



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