SAS study reveals BI competency centers are key to effective information management

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Many organizations are still struggling with the management of their information assets and how to use them to drive business performance, according to a recent study conducted by business intelligence software and solutions provider SAS.

Cary, NC-based SAS' research indicates that implementation of practices to improve information management benefits organizations by yielding better performance and financial results.

In March, SAS surveyed 175 business professionals across organizations of various sizes and industries across the globe. The research shows that many companies are in the infancy stages of effectively managing their business information.

For example, less than 25 percent reported that their senior management relies on business intelligence to make decisions. In addition, nearly eight in 10 had not yet fully implemented practices to ensure data quality, integrate needed data across the business or create standard data definitions. Conversely, those companies more sophisticated in their approaches to business information have seen the results on their bottom lines.

The survey found that organizations that have made commitments to effectively manage their information tend to be larger, more global and publicly traded. In addition, the study revealed that the performance of these organizations is stronger than that of their counterparts.

SAS said that of particular note is that organizations with Business Intelligence Competency Centers exhibit significantly higher commitment to information management best practices, which in turn leads to improved financial results.

BICCs comprise cross-functional teams from IT and business and their primary goal is to promote the optimal use of BI and performance management across the organization. SAS partners with customers to manage information and to promote excellence through its SAS Enterprise Intelligence Platform and the sharing of best practices, methodologies and services like BICCs.

Across organizations, more and more data is being collected and generated on an ongoing basis, SAS said. This data is flowing in and through the organization -- ultimately to be translated into information. Business performance remains critically dependent upon timely, accurate information and analytical capabilities for good decision-making. Effective information management can help organizations be more efficient, differentiate themselves from the competition, mitigate risk and comply with governmental regulations.

The survey results were revealed at the SAS Global Forum, an annual conference attended by more than 3,500 SAS users from around the world. It is being held in Orlando, FL.

Also at the forum, SAS announced that it is now shipping, SAS Visual Bi software, which allows markets to create interactive "data movies" by manipulating an easy-to-use, motion-enabled, graphical environment.

Moving from the static to the interactive helps companies explore ideas, investigate patterns and discover previously hidden facts through visual queries, SAS said.

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