For SMBs Using BI: Reporting Still Vital, Inability to Access Multiple Data Sources Handcuffing Performance, LogiXML Survey Suggests

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Mobile BI Access Limited, Smaller Companies Think Social and Collaborative Capabilities in BI Important to Data Analysis

“These challenges are indicative of many companies still adhering to traditional BI approaches...which are counterintuitive to a market segment where agile BI and self-service capabilities are

While dashboards and reporting continue to be critical elements driving adoption of BI among small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), most SMBs are unable to access all of the data they need, or have an easy way to understand it in order to make better business decisions, according to a recent survey by LogiXML, the pioneer of web-based BI software.

When LogiXML asked 605 professionals at SMBs across multiple industries about their BI experiences, it found dashboards and reporting (43 percent), basic operational metrics and KPIs (26 percent), and predictive analytics (30 percent) to be the top business intelligence and analytics needs. For areas where companies would like to have better data visualization support, all respondents mentioned sales performance as among their top two priorities. The second most important business area varied by company size: companies with 1-50 employees indicated sales lead generation; companies 51 – 500+ chose financials.

The three biggest obstacles preventing SMBs from gaining better insight and better decision-making from their data were accessing multiple, disparate data sources (70 percent), setting up data models and formulas to analyze data (59 percent), and presenting (visualizing) the results in an understandable way (57 percent).

“Our survey data seems consistent with several existing BI and analytics trends in the SMB space; most companies still need dashboards and reporting primarily. The survey also shows that companies are still struggling to access all of the data they need, and that most BI business users are bound by what data IT provides to them,” said Ken Chow, CMO, LogiXML. “These challenges are indicative of many companies still adhering to traditional BI approaches with complex platforms that require significant IT involvement – which are counterintuitive to a market segment where agile BI and self-service capabilities are essential.”

For preparing BI data to be viewed and analyzed, a combined 51 percent of respondents cited that IT aggregates the data and is responsible for all or a portion of the reporting and analysis requirements of business units. Alternately, 34 percent stated that the business unit aggregates the data and creates all of the reporting and analysis. The availability of IT resources varied by size of company; 57 percent of companies with 1 -50 employees cited that they did not have enough IT staff – either with or without the right skills – to support their BI needs. Thirty-one percent of companies with 51 – 500 employees indicated that they had enough IT resources with the right skills to support their BI needs. Those with 500+ employees were split between having and not having the right resources and skills - 27 percent versus 26 percent, respectively.

Mobile BI remained top-of-mind, though implementation rates seemed to be lagging behind awareness. When asked what percentage of their company’s BI users will need mobile BI access over the next 12 – 18 months, less than 25 percent was the predominant answer, while 25-50 percent was the second most cited answer. Proportionately, a cross section of the data showed that smaller companies (less than 50 employees) cited that more than 50 percent of their company’s BI users will need access to it on their mobile.

In terms of social and collaborative capabilities in BI similar to those in Facebook or Linkedin, 32 percent of all survey respondents think they are “somewhat important” to data analysis. However, these same capabilities were considered “important” or “very important” to data analysis by companies with 1 – 50 employees.

LogiXML conducted this survey from August 1 to August 22, 2011.

LogiXML recently completed its tenth sequential quarter of growth. Through the first half of 2011, the company’s sales grew 122 percent versus the same period in 2010. Earlier this year, LogiXML was positioned for the first time in the 2011 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms, where its products ranked among the highest for ease of use, overall product functionality, support, product quality, performance, and customer experience.

For more information about LogiXML, please visit http://www.logixml.com.

About LogiXML
Founded in 2000, LogiXML was the first to market with next generation, web-based business intelligence software. LogiXML allows organization to maximize their effectiveness by quickly delivering interactive data visualizations, dashboards, and reports to employees, customers, and partners – when they need it, the way they want it, and at a fraction of the cost of other methods.

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Matthew Pugh
LogiXML
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