An Intelligence Failure

Companies report data warehouse project failures, hire third parties to bail them out

Arlington, MA  January 7, 2003  According to IT consulting group Cutter Consortium, data warehousing and business intelligence (BI) have reached a pivotal stage; no longer are they just seen as simply enabling technologies.

In effect, data warehousing and BI applications have reached strategic importance, and companies worldwide are implementing the technology throughout their organizations in an attempt to distribute enterprise analytics to new business domains and new classes of end users.

Cutter Consortium recently conducted a study, "Corporate Use of Data Warehousing and Enterprise Analytic Technologies," that explored the role of data warehousing and business intelligence practices in organizations worldwide. The resulting analysis is supported by responses from more than 142 companies.

Curt Hall, a Cutter Consortium senior consultant, provided analysis of the data. He remarked, "In our survey, we found that 41 percent of respondents say their organization has experienced at least one project failure, and only 15 percent claim that their data warehousing efforts to date have been a major success. Additionally, only 27 percent of overall companies indicated they feel 'confident' with data warehouse technology."

When Cutter Consortium asked organizations if they have ever had to bring in outside consultants or services firms to help revive a stalled data warehouse project, 38 percent responded yes to this question, indicating that such services are still very much in need.

Said Hall: "In fact, several suppliers I've met with have told me that their most important source of revenue now comes from helping companies get stalled projects going again. These findings, taken together, tend to dispute the talk of the day that companies have now achieved maturity in their levels of expertise with data warehousing technology."