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As we continue our story about how best to enable and utilize BI at the enterprise level, it is beneficial to keep our vision statement in mind. If you really don't have one, it may help to take a moment and see if you can write one down. BI at the enterprise level is drastically different than departmental, localized efforts. It requires a holistic view of the organization, as well as a more altruistic approach to creating a BI infrastructure that benefits all associates.

The primary goal of BI at the enterprise level is to deliver critical business information and analysis from all data sources in context and in a timely manner. It requires a rock-solid infrastructure, a set of common goals by all, and a crystal-clear vision statement in which everyone truly believes. Terms such as "best effort" and "attempt" have no place here. It is not a game of horseshoes, where coming close to the stake may earn you a point; it is about speed and accuracy. Coming in #2 in a race may bring you more money than the others, but you are still behind #1. Being #1 is what it's all about.

We now begin looking at business intelligence in today's world and define it in today's terms.

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