Chief Information Officer

Thought Leadership Spotlight Presented by Birst: Southard Jones, Vice President, Product Strategy, Birst

Southard Jones, Vice President of Product Strategy at Birst, discussed business intelligence (BI) and its impact on the decision-making process during a Thought Leadership Spotlight Presented by Birst at the 2015 Chief Information Officer Leadership Forum in San Francisco on Oct. 15. In his presentation, Jones said BI can help bridge the gap between siloed departments.

According to Jones, BI presents both opportunities and challenges for today’s organizations. While BI provides a vast amount of data, Jones said, this information should be shared among various departments. In addition, he said BI can help an organization create key metrics it can use to improve its performance: “The way that some enterprises are using this today is they create a trusted set of key metrics—revenue, orders, assets, the key measures that the company has centrally. Some key dimensions—customer, product, region, things of that nature. Not everything. Not every analysis has to go through the central team. Those get networked out at the individuals.”

Jones also noted that analytics requirements are essential because they enable organizations to collect and use data to their advantage consistently. He pointed out that understanding the impact of BI and its benefits can help an organization make the most of its data: “BI is hard, but what we usually do is we start one of these and then we explain it out to the enterprise. That is often what I would say is a good recommendation for a smart way to attack an ex-BI problem. Pick a use case, deliver business value, go on to the next. Do it quickly. Do it in four to eight weeks. Get it done.”

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