A great question and something that every organization needs to ask! And where and how does the data gets delivered.
John Timmerman of Teradata provides a wonderful analogy of the role of the Business Intelligence here.He writes:
During the course of his talk he presented a photograph from a recent white water rafting expedition over dangerous rapids – a class 5 rapid no less, which, if you know your rafting, is basically one class beneath Niagra Falls.
Timmerman proceeded to outline a skew on data based around this theme, highlighting how the team member at the back of the raft, who was the resident expert, wasn’t paddling whilst all the other members – at the front – were doing all the work. These guys, Timmerman suggested, were in effect the call centre, the e-mail, the direct mail and the physical point of sale of an organisation. They were doing the work and were focusing on a target.
But at the same time, no matter how much work they did, if they hit the wrong spot in the river they would get chewed up and spat out. Therefore, the guide at the back had to make sure the raft was on the right path by delivering information about where they needed to go as and when they needed it.
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