BI in Brussels (Against Economic Turmoil)


I’m just returning from Brussels (actually, the new SAP Lounge venue at Vilvoorde), where I was invited to give the keynote presentation at a “Reporting and Business Intelligence Session” for SAP customers, on the theme of “How to use Business Intelligence to Counter Economic Turmoil.”

(Side note: This post was composed and uploaded over the free wifi while traveling at around 190 miles an hour – I’m proud to be European!)

Apart from my presentation, Kenneth Stevens did the introduction, Jean-Francois Dierckx gave a great demonstration of Polestar, WebIntelligence, and Mobile BI, and Frank Croket and Vinh Vu Hong of Accenture gave a presentation of their work using SAP BusinessObjects on SAP Business Warehouse at Eurovia, a French €7.7bn transport infrastructure construction company. Later in the afternoon, there were breakout sessions on the SAP BusinessObjects Products, for customers with or without existing SAP Netweaver BI installations.

Here’s the presentation:



I also had two great conversations with Alain de Fooz, Chief Editor at Solutions IT Magazine ( and and Jan-Frans Lemmens of and Some of the topics we covered included:

BI 2.0

Trends in BI

  • More companies taking a strategic, global approach to BI, now that it is provided by their “strategic vendors”
  • BI embedded into processes, using context and other available information to automatically suggest suitable analysis
  • Back to DSS (decision-support systems): providing more support for the decision-making process, not “just” gathering and displaying information

BI and Marketing

  • Embedded BI in SAP’s CRM application
  • Using BI to help credibility and relationship with sales and other organizations
  • Using information to provide add-on services to existing products (extranets)
  • Using profitability and cost management to segment customers
  • BI to analyze and improve social media marketing efforts


Image by Foad: