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SMEs Poised to Exploit BI

While larger organizations may enjoy an advantage when it comes to access to business intelligence resources and the human capital to develop them, the littler guys might actually be in the better position when it comes to putting BI into effective use.

So says new research that points out that the intimate relationship SME executives tend to have with technology, their business and their customers gives them an important edge in applying BI to their ultimate profitable advancement. 

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The report, conducted by Dresner Advisory Services, a BI and performance management services consultancy based in New Hampshire, is a breakout from the firm’s annual “Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study.” It polled business leaders for a year to discover how they leverage their BI.

Because SMEs are smaller operations with fewer layers separating their upper echelons from the customers they serve, the research discovered, they enjoy a distinct agility that facilitates a more constructive employment of BI than can be undertaken by their big-business counterparts. As opposed to those carried out by large enterprises, BI initiatives assumed by SMEs tend to be driven by executive management and the members of the sales department.

More than that, says the study, SME execs have higher, more ambitious hopes for their BI efforts, perhaps born of the closer attention they pay to the subject and their more comprehensive awareness of the rewards to be enjoyed from same.

Taken together, SMEs’ agile proximity to the work at hand, smaller pool of operational challenges and detailed understanding of what BI can do for them, says Howard Dresner, chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services, means “they’re able to execute quickly to achieve meaningful results.”