The #1 BI Investment in 2009 will be… Production Reporting?!

When you spend a lot of time around BI experts, it’s very easy to forget that we’re way ahead of the curve compared to the typical BI-using company — especially now that BI is easing its way determinedly into the mainstream.

While we’re all busy making predictions about new waves of technology in 2009, many companies are only just now starting to consider implementing business intelligence on a wider scale.

In case you doubt me, take a look at the eye-opening chart below from a recent survey done by Computerworld (and sponsored by Oracle) called "BI: Proven Tools for Competitive Advantage in Uncertain Times"


That’s right: the top three BI investments are all things that have been around for over 20 years — production reporting, spreadsheets, and ad-hoc queries — and which get very little attention in business intelligence coverage.. 

These days, any mention of reporting in BI marketing brochures is typically in the condescending form "our solution provides much more than mere reporting". But production reporting remains vitally important. It is the original "BI for the masses", and we often forget just how much value organizations can get from putting even basic information into the hands of their employees, partners, and customers.

Other interesting results in the report include:

  • Only 26% of respondents expect to spend less on BI in 2009
  • People are struggling to afford to save money — "realizing cost efficiencies" is the #1 reason to implement new BI initiatives, but "budget constraints" is the top business challenge to doing so!
  • 72% rate BI as high or critical priority over the long term

Overall, it looks like it should be a good year for Crystal Reports, the clear market leader in reporting solutions — and I’m sure Microsoft will be happy with the results, too…