The availability and use of competitive and business intelligence in South African business organisations

  • P Venter
  • D Tustin


Business intelligence (BI) plays a critical role in providing actionable
intelligence to enable good business decision-making. International
research shows clear evidence of the benefi ts of implementing sound
BI practices. However, within a South African business context, an
understanding of the practice, impact and benefi ts of BI is only partly
addressed by existing research. Consequently, this article presents
the most salient fi ndings of a recent BI study, which was one of the
few such studies that have been conducted in South Africa in the
21st century. Although the discussion refl ects fairly high general
satisfaction levels with BI among South African businesses, some
problems related especially to external BI dimensions are highlighted.
An equally important and major concern raised by the article is the
apparent lack of companies capitalising on BI opportunities and
coordinating BI functions eff ectively. Of concern at the general
management level, in particular, are the low satisfaction levels with
BI quality, as well as various aspects of BI collection, analysis and
dissemination. Despite the fact that businesses use BI functions and
planning support software, the survey fi ndings reveal insuffi cient
investment in sophisticated BI analysis tools.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1998-8125
print ISSN: 1561-896X