Observatory on Business Intelligence

The experience acquired by Italian companies in the field of Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM) and Data Warehousing (DW), as well as the constant research (since 1994) and education activities (since 1990) carried out by SDA Bocconi on these issues have laid the ideal bases for initiating its in-depth, non-stop, far-reaching work of “observation” of these phenomena in Italy (and also, in future, at the international level) in order to assist companies as they go international.


The Observatory on Business Intelligence is set to become the key centre in Italy for all those – researchers, suppliers (vendors, distributors, implementers) or companies – who need to assess the mechanisms for propagating BI and the ways in which it can be used. Another important objective is to bring out and discuss best practices for strategies, planning, and use, in order to draft and offer the best models of BI governance and the most effective methods for assessing investments and the results achieved by BI/BPM systems in a company.

The structure of the Observatory

The Observatory consists of:
- a Steering Committee, as its governance body;
- a set of companies on the demand side of BI and BPM systems, representing all economic sectors and all size groups in Italy;
- a stable organization and dedicated resources to ensure the development of the Observatory and the quality of the results produced.

The Observatory has been developed with the collaboration of:
Elsag - Datamat;
IBM - Cognos;
SAP - Business Object;
Sopra Group.

2007-08 Research activities

The first series of investigations by the Observatory on Business Intelligence was of a quantitative nature and included a study of the level of maturity of BI in Italian companies with over 100 employees.

2008-09 Research activities

The second series of investigations by the Observatory on Business Intelligence was of a qualitative nature. It was designed to reveal the practices adopted in the two professional families identified as the greatest users of BI/BPM solutions in companies, which are Marketing & Sales and Administration, Finance & Control.

2009-10 Research activities

The third series of investigations by the Observatory on Business Intelligence will be arranged in Chapters, each of which will focus on a particular theme.

The “New Forms of Intelligence on the Web” Chapter analyses the business potential offered by Web intelligence systems and the critical aspects that need to be taken into consideration when implementing and managing them.
The “BI Governance” Chapter analyses the role and impact of the Maturity Model of SDA Bocconi’s Observatory on BI in the drafting of strategies for Business Intelligence systems and thus also their importance for building up a BI governance system within a company.
The “Associative Mental Processes in Company Decision-Makers and the Support Offered by New BIA Instruments” Chapter examines to what degree the latest generation of BI is capable of assisting decision-makers whatever their processes of analysis, study, and representation may be in the implicit/mental or logical stages, or if – on the contrary – the decision-maker needs in some way to modify or adapt their reasoning to the structure of the instrument being used.


To download the papers of the Observatory on BI’s conferences and workshops, please go to the italian observatory pages




Scientific Coordinator
Paolo Pasini

Research Team
Valentina Ajmone
Massimo Erba
Angela Perego