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As a student, my biggest fear was that the teacher would call on me and I wouldn’t know the answer to her question. So, when I wasn’t 100% sure of an answer or didn’t have any facts to back up my opinion, I would sit as quietly as I could wishing to, somehow, make myself invisible. After all, nothing would be worse than fumbling around for information or being wrong in front of the entire class!

I soon learned that, if I wanted to succeed, I needed to be the first one to raise my hand with confidence – and the right facts.

“Fumblers” versus “fact finders”

When it comes to business intelligence, IDC identifies organizations as “fumblers” and “fact finders.” The fumblers base decisions on incomplete, unorganized data and opinions – and hope they never get called on to explain themselves. Whereas, the fact finders base decisions on accurate, structured, and up-to-the-minute information, supported by a well-defined BI and analytics strategy.

Which one are you?

According to Dan Vesset, program vice president of IDC's Business Analytics research, fact finders are focused on providing a clear and visible BI and analytics strategy. As part of their strategy, they:

  • Train employees on the meaning of data, the use of BI and analytics tools, and the use of analytics to improve decision making
  • Invest in BI and analytics system design quality to rapidly respond to changing business conditions and user requirements
  • Place a high level of importance (including funding) on a data governance group and associated policies
  • Involve nonexecutive management in promoting and encouraging the design and use of the BI and analytics solution
  • Align the organization to performance management methodology with a set of defined metrics and KPIs that influence user behavior

Why does it matter?

According to IDC, “as a group, fact finders are more competitive than fumblers.” “Eighty percent of the most competitive organizations are fact finders,” reported IDC, “almost thirty percent more than among the least competitive organizations.”

With a BI and analytics strategy, organizations can empower business users to make evidence-based decisions using the best possible intelligence about customers, finances, operations, suppliers, and market trends. And this can lead to improved business processes, increased productivity, and reduced costs – for a competitive edge.

Turn your organization into fact finders with the right BI and analytics strategy

To learn about the factors you should consider when creating a BI and analytics strategy and best practices for pervasive and highly impactful BI and analytics use, read the IDC Analyst Connection article “Best Practices for a BI and Analytics Strategy.”