Labour to take pain out of BI tools range

Rationalisation of applications is on the cards at the Labour Department

The Department of Labour is planning to consolidate its business intelligence toolset.

In an ROI (registration of interest) for new BI tools released late last year, the department notes that it “needs improved business intelligence tools for the analysis and delivery of high quality business information to all business groups”.

It uses a variety of BI tools including SAS, Cognos, Crystal Reports, Hyperion and Microsoft reporting products.

The ROI says “the department has decided to consolidate and standardise where practical a uniform BI toolset to ensure intra-departmental and inter-agency interoperability”.

The ROI says the department anticipates benefits including faster BI collection, analysis and dissemination and reduced costs by obtaining higher discounts from a single provider and having fewer support and skills transfer requirements.

Consolidation and rationalisation of business intelligence tools is tipped to be a major trend in the near future. Forrester Research analyst Keith Gile told Computerworld US last year that many organisations are seeking to move access to business intelligence-generated data beyond a small circle of high level users.

Today, many companies with BI tools only give 5-7% of users access to them, Gile says, but that figure could increase to 50% over the next few years, he adds.

The expansion of BI access across organisations means consolidation of tools is a must, he says.

“If you have 15 BI solutions and you try to manage them, pay for them and make sure they’re synchronised — you can’t.”

The Labour Department ROI says there are 1500 potential users of the tools, of which approximately 100 will be “power users” and 40 “expert users”.

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