I was reading a recent post on Information Management by Andreas Bitterer entitled "Consumerization and the Future of Business Intelligence" and he brought up the question: "why the use of business intelligence in organizations isn’t more pervasive"?  Andreas then goes on to explain: "Three key factors can discourage the sustained adoption of BI by its intended users:

  • Performance: If users are frustrated by delays in query responses or report production, then they'll likely stop using the BI tool (or they'll use it once each time they need to do some analysis and simply load its output into Excel).
  • Relevance: If the BI platform omits information that users need or does not express content in line with their frame of reference, then they'll stop using it — or, once again, move (and probably add) data into a spreadsheet for "correction."
  • Ease of use: If it's difficult to work with (or sometimes even if it just looks bad), they'll stop using it."

When reading what Andreas says, it is interesting to note that users will quickly fall back to their trusted Excel when they encounter issues with the BI tools.  What I wonder about is, if the users want Excel, why are we forcing complex BI tools onto them?  Why not give the users Excel as their BI tool and then build from there?  This is exactly what companies like Kognitio (Pablo), Oracle (Oracle database OLAP Option), and Teradata (Teradata Business Intelligence Optimizer) are doing.  They make it easy for users to connect from Excel directly to their data.  No need for a fancy BI tool.  Just Excel.  No need for extra training.  Just Excel.  No need to pull the data out of the data warehouse.  Just Excel.

Sounds too easy, doesn't it?  Fortunately, it is easy.  If you are using Kognitio, check out http://www.kognitio.com/pablo.  If you are using Oracle, check out http://www.simba.com/oracle.  If you are using Teradata, check out http://www.teradata.com/t/brochures/Teradata-OLAP-Connector-eb6212/.  If you are using another data source, send me an email and I will point you in the right direction.