Towards an Understanding of the Role of Business Intelligence Systems in Organizational Knowing

Arisa Shollo, Robert D. Galliers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Advances in information technology (IT) have increased the ability of organizations to collect and analyze intelligence to support decisions. Over the last two decades the concept of business intelligence (BI) and actual BI technologies have gained prominence. Recent studies provide evidence
of increased organizational productivity as a result of BI systems use. There is little focus to date, however, on how BI systems might play a role in the process of organizational knowledge creation. We develop a conceptual framework of organizational knowing, and use this conceptualization to analyze data gathered from a case study. We investigate how BI systems facilitate the process of knowledge creation – knowing – in organizational settings. We find that the ability of BI systems to provide a solid foundation of facts, combined with their capability to enable users to “drill down” and “roll up”, are important for the active process of knowing in organizations. More specifically, we identify two cyclical processes triggered by BI systems that distinguish them from prior applications of IT, namely: the power 1) to initiate problem articulation and dialogue, and 2) of data selection, for example, to address information needs of organizational decision makers at different managerial levels. We show that, while BI data do not fully determine action, they play a central role in discussions, reflections and negotiations, thereby facilitating the process of organizational knowing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECIS 2013 Proceedings
Number of pages12
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2013
Article numberPaper 188
ISBN (Print)9783834924421
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventThe 21st European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2013 - Utrecht University, Utrecht Science Park 'de Uithof', Utrecht, Netherlands
Duration: 5 Jun 20138 Jun 2013
Conference number: 21


ConferenceThe 21st European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2013
LocationUtrecht University, Utrecht Science Park 'de Uithof'
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the European Conference on Information Systems

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