Simon Sabin shared a great post with the SQL Server Community recently where he asked Where is the intelligence in Business Intelligence? This really got me thinking and I wanted to share some further thoughts with you on the subject.
To me it seems as if the Business Intelligence solution stack is only three quarters finished.
We have all these powerful tools that allow us to extrapolate data from various systems and processes throughout the organisation (for example SSIS). We also have a means to centralise the data in a standardised and optimised structure to fuel analysis (for example Analysis Services), but we are missing the simple/easy to use interface in order to expose the data to end users that require it. Reporting Services is certainly not up to job in my opinion. It is just not flexible enough in terms of features and more importantly it is not accessible to a typical business user.
At present a skilled analyst is necessary in order to provide a business user with access to the specific metrics/analysis that they require.
If this knowledge gap can indeed be bridged in the future, then the power to extrapolate business insight will finally be placed in the hands of the users that actually need it.