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OliviaGroup Business Intelligence Innovation Survey

This research project is inspired by this Gartner statistic: 70-80% of corporate BI projects fail due to poor communication. The goal of the survey is to understand and measure the alignment between BI and human intelligence and to what degree this alignment is correlated with the success of the organization.

Olivia GroupOliviaGroup Survey on Leading-Edge Innovation Research.

Olivia Parr Rud, March 2013.


Have you ever felt like you had to hide part of yourself to survive in the corporate world? For the last 20 years, I've built my career on the study and practice of data mining and business intelligence. I shared many practical solutions in my first book, Data Mining Cookbook (Wiley 2001). But my real passion has always been the study and practice of human intelligence. And for a long time, I felt that I had to keep that passion separate from my 'real' work. But a few years ago, I began to see a relationship between the level of human development within an organization and the successful use business intelligence. I shared this research in my second book, Business Intelligence Success Factors (Wiley/SAS 2009). Now I'm discovering that for these concepts to be really useful, they need some structure. So I'm developing a model that tracks the evolution of business intelligence along with human intelligence on an organizational level.

So here's the deal... I'd like you to participate in a research project that is inspired by the following statistic:

According to Gartner, 70% to 80% of corporate business intelligence projects fail due to poor communication

Given the high dollar value of these projects, even a partial failure can be catastrophic to the bottom line. And the failure isn't due to faulty business intelligence. It's due to faulty human intelligence!

To understand the connection, let's consider why Business Intelligence is so critical and what is required for success. Hint: It's all about Innovation!

In today's high-tech, global economy, most linear processes can be automated or outsourced. This truly levels the playing field across many large organizations. To remain competitive, companies must continually reinvent themselves. Therefore, innovation is becoming the main differentiator and key driver of success. For a large company to be truly successful, innovation must be embedded in the systems, processes, and organizational culture. This requires a high level of agility and adaptability which is built upon competence in two main areas: business intelligence and human intelligence.

Business Intelligence is generally understood to be a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information (Wikipedia).

Human Intelligence is more subjective and open to interpretation. For this research, I am defining it as the levels of emotional and social competency of the employees of an organization with a special emphasis on the leadership team. It is the human intelligence that translates the data into actionable business knowledge which leads to better decisions and smarter actions. To really be successful, business intelligence and human intelligence must evolve simultaneously.

The goal of the survey is to understand and measure the alignment between the level of business intelligence and the level of human intelligence and to determine to what degree this alignment is correlated with the success of the organization. To test my thesis, I've created a survey that explores multiple aspects of the processes, culture, and performance of a typical mid-size to large organization.

If you are an employee of a mid-size to large organization or if you are an independent consultant that works with large organizations, your participation is invaluable and sincerely appreciated. If you are a consultant, please feel free to answer the questions as if you were holding a position with one of your client organizations.

The survey takes 5-10 minutes. All responses remain anonymous. Each participant will receive a summary of the results. Please feel free to forward this to others as you deem appropriate.

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