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Editor's Note: BI Home Runs

By Ellen Fanning
September 18, 2006 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - When business intelligence software made its debut in the early 1990s, its promise was simple: Insightful data on sales, inventory and many other facets of the organization would help executives make better business decisions. And better business decisions in turn would yield cost savings, sales increases or productivity gains.

That's a big promise. So where are we now? For this special report, we set out to find stellar examples of better business decisions through BI. We're calling them "BI home runs." In the following pages, you'll read about 15 organizations that are relying on BI data to make essential decisions.

By looking closely at their company's BI data, executives at Eastern Mountain Sports, for example, saw that one store was selling boatloads of shoe inserts. They called the store manager to find out his winning sales technique and then rolled it out to stores nationwide. The result? A 73% sales uptick in footwear accessories. Emergency Medical Associates is using BI data in a very different -- and important -- way. Hospital administrators watch patient arrival rates and the types of cases being diagnosed. Armed with that data, emergency departments are able to adjust the number of nurses and available beds and line up specialized care units.

We know you're not ignoring this technology. Computerworld's recent research shows data management and business analytics as your No. 2 project priority in the next three months. So if you don't have a new BI project under way now, chances are you will soon.

And once you've been inspired by the examples from these 15 organizations, we hope you'll hit your own BI project out of the park.

Special Report

BI Home Runs
Stories in this report:
Ellen Fanning is special projects editor at Computerworld. Contact her at

Read more about Business Intelligence/Analytics in Computerworld's Business Intelligence/Analytics Topic Center.

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