December 10, 2009

An IBM survey of IT and business leaders at 400 companies released today found that those that consider themselves top performers use business intelligence tools far more than those that consider themselves below average performance-wise. (Respondents were asked to rank their companies' performance versus their peer group; most said their companies were high performers. This is a bit reminiscent of Lake Wobegon, where all of the children are above average.) One could argue that this whole survey simply reflects these executives' current levels of positive thinking rather than concrete facts, but one could also take it as evidence that business intelligence technology is becoming more important to businesses.

Dashboards and visualization are the most popular BI tools among the surveyed group. Most — 73.7% — of the self-described high performers say they are very far along in their use of these (only 16.7% of the poor performers said they use them heavily). Business rules management software is used to a high degree by 55.6% of the high performers; analytical and predictive tools are in advanced usage at 45%.

IBM has put together what it calls a "diavlog" (or video blog dialog) about the survey that you can watch here.