In the information age, the most valuable piece of business intelligence is data. Companies process, collect and report on large volumes of data every day. In the 2007 book, Successful Business Intelligence, Second Edition: Unlock the Value of BI & Big Data, author Cindi Howson reveals that the average business manager is spending two-hours per day hunting for data – half of which turns out later to be useless.
The ability to analyze and act on data is increasingly important to businesses. The pace of change requires companies to be able to react quickly to changing demands from customers and environmental conditions. Although prompt action may be required, decisions are increasingly complex as companies compete in a global marketplace. Managers may need to understand high volumes of data before they can make the necessary decisions. Effective business intelligence (BI) tools assist managers with decision making.