The Profit Impact of Business Intelligence

1st Edition

Authors: Steve Williams Nancy Williams
Print ISBN: 9780123724991
eBook ISBN: 9780080467764
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 5th December 2006
Page Count: 240
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Business Intelligence (BI): It’s not just a technology. It’s not just a methodology. It’s a powerful new management approach that – when done right – can deliver knowledge, efficiency, better decisions, and profit to almost any organization that uses it.

When BI first came on the scene, it promised a lot but often failed to deliver. The missing element was the business-centric focus explained in The Profit Impact of Business Intelligence. Written by BI gurus Steve Williams and Nancy Williams, The Profit Impact of Business Intelligence shows step by step how you can achieve the promise of BI by connecting it to your organization’s strategic goals, culture, and strengths while correcting your BI weaknesses.


  • Provides a practical, process-oriented guide to achieve the full promise of BI.

  • Shows how world-class companies used BI to become leaders in their industries.

  • Helps senior business and IT executives understand the strategic impact of BI and how they can ensure a strong payoff from their BI investments.

  • Identifies the most common mistakes organizations make in implementing BI.

  • Includes a helpful glossary of BI terms.

  • Includes a BI readiness assessment for your organization.

  • Includes Web links and extensive references for more information.

Steve Williams, President and founder of DecisionPath Consulting, is a leading advocate of business-driven BI design and development. His consulting firm is one of the largest in the specialized field of Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing. Steve has over 23 years experience in information systems and systems engineering and has co-authored a training course on the BI Pathway Method. Nancy Williams is Vice President of DecisionPath Cons

Key Features

  • A practical, process-oriented book that will help organizations realize the promise of BI
  • Written by Nancy and Steve Williams, veteran consultants and instructors with hands-on, "in the trenches" experience in government and corporate business intelligence applications
  • Will help senior business and IT executives understand the strategic impact of BI and how they can help ensure a strong payoff on BI investments


BI is the key benefit of strategic use of a company's data warehouse. As such, some of the same people that work in data warehouse and data mining are the audience for this book. So, the book's target audience includes both technical and non-technical professionals and decision makers in organizations that are considering business intelligence or who are intent on improving their existing business intelligence capability. This includes IT management, IT data architects, data warehouse professionals, database designers, business intelligence consultants, and technical professionals. We expect that there will be some handoff of book information to non-technical management as an argument for investing in BI.

Table of Contents

1.The Business Value of Business Intelligence 2.Identifying and Prioritizing BI-Driven Profit Opportunities for Your Company 3.BI Readiness: Prerequisites for Leveraging BI to Improve Profits 4.Business-Centric BI Development and the BI Pathway Method 5.Leading and Managing a BI-Driven Profit Improvement Program 6.BI in the Broader IT Context 7.Key Ways BI Can Deliver Improved Profits 8.Common Mistakes Companies Make on BI Initiatives 9.A View Over the Horizon Appendix A: Where to Get More Information Appendix B: Business Intelligence Checklists Appendix C: Business Intelligence Glossary Appendix D: A BI “Backgrounder” for Non-Technical Executives


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Morgan Kaufmann
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About the Author

Steve Williams

Steve Williams is the founder and CEO of DecisionPath Consulting. He specializes in helping clients formulate business-driven, technically-savvy strategies for leveraging business intelligence, analytics, and big data to improve profits. Steve blends general management experience and a general management MBA with nearly 30 years’ experience in the information systems field – the last fifteen of which have been spent in the business intelligence (BI) and analytics specialty. As a BI strategy consultant, Steve has had the privilege of working with successful companies in retail, distribution, manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, government, and electric power. His clients have included: • ArcBest • Heinens Fine Foods • Louisville Gas and Electric • Navy Federal Credit Union • Northwestern Mutual Life • Partners Federal Credit Union • Pinnacle Foods Group • Principal Financial Group • Toronto Hydro Electric System • United Natural Foods • U.S. Social Security Administration • Watsco While the industries and companies are different, there are many common challenges when it comes to leveraging BI, analytics, and big data to enhance profitability. Steve understands these challenges, and he provides proven methods for meeting them. In addition to his consulting work, Steve is also an active contributor to the field of business intelligence, analytics, and big data. He and Nancy Williams wrote The Profit Impact of Business Intelligence in 2006, and Steve has continued to write for magazines such as Strategic Finance, Business Intelligence Journal, and MWorld (The Journal of the American Management Association). In addition to widely-sharing his thinking about BI, analytics, and big data, Steve has also served as a judge since 2001 for the annual TDWI Best Practices in Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Competition. Prior to founding DecisionPath, Steve worked for twenty years in several specialized consulting compani

Affiliations and Expertise

Founder and CEO of DecisionPath Consulting, specializing formulating business-driven, technically-savvy strategies for leveraging business intelligence, analytics, and big data to improve profits. Maryland, USA

Nancy Williams

Nancy Williams is Vice President of DecisionPath Consulting. With over 21 years of business and technical experience, she provides technical and strategic leadership on business intelligence as well as hands-on guidance for client engagements.

Affiliations and Expertise

Vice President, DecisionPath Consulting, Gaithersburg, MD


'The ideas in The Profit Impact of Business Intelligence were central to our deployment of business intelligence applications that allowed us to manage revenue delivery and reduce costs. --Kevin McCaughey, Vice President – Strategic Planning, McCormick & Company Global Industrial Group One performance management approach we are taking is to leverage business intelligence to better serve our customers and to optimize our cost structure in relation to the services our customers value most. We have used the strategies described in The Profit Impact of Business Intelligence to align our BI program with our critical success factors and to drive our BI development efforts. --Terry Lillis, Chief Financial Officer – Retirement and Investor Services, The Principal Financial Group This is a "must read" book for anyone who wants to achieve real business intelligence. It advances the discipline of BI by focusing on business value built upon a strong foundation of technology best practices. --David L. Wells, Director of Education, TDWI: The Data Warehousing Institute Nancy and Steve Williams understand the “business” in business intelligence. This book is a must for business leaders who require that their BI programs drive real business value. --Barbara Wixom, PhD, Associate Professor, Director MS-MIT, University of Virginia - McIntire School of Commerce'