SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group

November 12, 2009 10:00 ET

Business Intelligence for the C-Suite: Top Level Visibility Drives Top Notch Cash Flow

Top Performing Senior Executives Are Utilizing Business Intelligence (BI) Tools to Achieve Considerable Improvement in Operating Cash Flow and Customer Growth

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - November 12, 2009) - In the newly released report, "BI for the C-Suite: Top Level Visibility Drives Top Notch Cash Flow," Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), found that top performing companies were able to achieve an average 25% year-over-year increase in operating cash flow and an average 15% growth in total customers by leveraging a pervasive strategy for Business Intelligence (BI). This study collected data from 230 senior executives across the globe and discovered that by optimizing their resource usage and expanding BI capability to more organizational functions, led to C-Level executives maintaining tighter control on cash flow and drove substantial business improvements.

The original generation of BI tools was largely geared towards an IT audience. Aside from a small fraction of visualization and reporting capability that was delivered to business users, BI was an information management tool designed for technologists. Today, the BI toolsets have expanded in both scope and functionality and are becoming more and more appropriate for the business leaders. The real-time visibility and strategic forecasting capabilities of BI has long been appropriate for senior executives, but many have been slow to adopt the solutions due to the common misconception that the tools require a great deal of technical expertise. Aberdeen's research demonstrates that leading C-level executives are not only utilizing BI and analytical functionality, but are doing so in a self-service capacity with little or no IT involvement. By allowing for BI to spread organically across the organization and into the hands of more top level decision makers, these top performing executives were able to leverage dashboards, scorecards, historical, real-time, and predictive analytical capability to generate substantial improvement across a wide variety of business metrics.

"In the wake of the financial crisis, executives are seeking new ways to better manage and improve upon a metric that crosses all corporate boundaries and typically functions as the lifeblood of every organization: operating cash flow," explains Michael Lock, Research Analyst for Business Intelligence at Aberdeen Group. "As a software category, many consider BI at its core to be a tool for better planning, budgeting, and forecasting of key organizational metrics, especially cash flow. The research shows that the top performing C-level executives are exploiting BI capabilities to help improve their ability to predict and forecast cash flow."

This report is designed to educate the executive community as to how leading companies are able to spread BI capabilities across the organization and drive business visibility into the hands of the decision makers that need it the most, ultimately leading to double digit improvements in operating cash flow and customer growth. The report recommends clear actions for Industry Average and Laggard companies to achieve these types of performance improvements.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Analytix On Demand, Birst, and Dimensional Insight. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit:

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About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen provides fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having queried more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 854-5200, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748.

© 2009 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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