Assessing Benefits of Business Intelligence Systems – A Case Study

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Assessing Benefits of Business Intelligence Systems – A Case Study

University of Split, Faculty of Economics
  • Return On Investment
  • Financial Analysis
  • Business Intelligence Systems
  • Users' Satisfaction Analysis


Several arguments can be found in business intelligence literature that the use of business intelligence systems can bring multiple benefits, for example, via faster and easier access to information, savings in information technology (‘IT’) and greater customer satisfaction all the way through to the improved competitiveness of enterprises. Yet, most of these benefits are often very difficult to measure because of their indirect and delayed effects on business success. On top of the difficulties in justifying investments in information technology (‘IT’), particularly business intelligence (‘BI’), business executives generally want to know whether the investment is worth the money and if it can be economically justified. In looking for an answer to this question, various methods of evaluating investments can be employed. We can use the classic return on investment (‘ROI’) calculation, cost-benefit analysis, the net present value (‘NPV’) method, the internal rate of return (‘IRR’) and others. However, it often appears in business practice that the use of these methods alone is inappropriate, insufficient or unfeasible for evaluating an investment in business intelligence systems. Therefore, for this purpose, more appropriate methods are those based mainly on a qualitative approach, such as case studies, empirical analyses, user satisfaction analyses, and others that can be employed independently or can help us complete the whole picture in conjunction with the previously mentioned methods. Since there is no universal approach to the evaluation of an investment in information technology and business intelligence, it is necessary to approach each case in a different way based on the specific circumstances and purpose of the evaluation. This paper presents a case study in which the evaluation of an investment in on-line analytical processing (‘OLAP’) technology in the company Melamin was made through an analysis of users' opinions along with a strategic analysis based on identifying a cause-and-effect relationship between the benefits of OLAP technology and the company’s strategic goals.

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