SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

November 11, 2008 11:00 ET

Research Reveals Business Intelligence Solutions Enable Faster and More Informed Decisions

58% of Best-in-Class Small to Medium Size Businesses Surveyed Were Able to Reduce "Time-to-Information" to a Real-Time or Near Real-Time Basis

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - November 11, 2008) - In the newly released benchmark report, "Business Intelligence for the Small to Medium Sized Business (SMB): Analytics Moves Down Market," Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), found that 58% of Best-in-Class SMBs were able to reduce their "time-to-information" to a real-time or near real-time basis through deploying Business Intelligence (BI) solutions. This study collected data from nearly 650 end-user organizations in the SMB space (defined as any organization with annual revenues below US$500m) and found that these companies have an increasing focus on better managing their data, deploying a BI solution that best fits their organization, and managing the up-front and ongoing costs of BI, in order to improve the speed and quality of their decisions. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5463.

As the speed of business escalates, staying competitive is closely tied to an organization's ability to make timely decisions based on often imperfect information. BI solutions, while bolstering both the quality of information and speed of access to that information, were historically reserved for the more resource laden companies. Prior Aberdeen research bolsters this notion in revealing that SMBs were, perhaps not surprisingly, considerably slower to adopt BI as compared to their enterprise counterparts. As the options for deployment have widened, smaller organizations are now seeing the benefit that BI can provide and are taking measures to better understand their data so as to gain improved visibility into the operation metrics most important to them. By developing a holistic strategy for BI -- including measures to clean and manage their data, selecting the most appropriate BI deployment option, and managing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of BI solutions, Best-in-Class SMBs have achieved major operational enhancements in their organization.

"In the SMB space, the ability to drive value from a tool such as Business Intelligence is heavily dependent upon company culture. The organization needs to understand its data, how it can be transformed to support better decision making, and who within the organization can benefit the most its analysis," explains Michael Lock, Senior Research Associate for Business Intelligence at Aberdeen Group. "Time and time again, the data shows that Best-in-Class SMBs consistently understand their end-user requirements for BI and have established an 'information culture' that enables the permeation of BI capability throughout the organization."

The report is aimed at educating the end-user SMB community as to how Best-in-Class organizations are building a strong portfolio of organizational capability and leveraging a suite of technology enablers to bring about marked improvements in employee productivity and information availability. The report recommends clear actions for Industry Average and Laggard SMBs to achieve these types of performance improvements and draw closer to the Best-in-Class.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Birst, Business Objects, Cognos, Dimensional Insight, Emanio, and Talend. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5463.

For additional access to complimentary Information Technology Research, please visit http://research.aberdeen.com/index.php/Information-Technology/.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely 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 http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2008 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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