The purpose of this paper is to address the perceptions senior public leaders in local government have regarding the need for business intelligence and their perceptions of the extent to which their organizations are capable of effectively assimilating business intelligence.
The data are from a survey on local governments’ need for and capability
to use business intelligence, with a response rate of 50.5 percent, and semi-structured interviews. The survey method originates from private sector research but is adapted to local government conditions in Sweden.
The leaders’ perceptions about the need for business intelligence were fragmented. Their perceptions regarding its use were even more fragmented, both between different municipalities and within municipalities. The survey is adapted to local government conditions in Sweden
and may need further changes to fit other settings. The adaptation and renewal of questions can lead to summation errors in relation to the original survey.
The paper highlights some of the strategic areas where senior public leaders need
to advance their business intelligence and prioritize specific organizational capabilities. The dominant logic, enhancing an inward-looking approach, seems to prevent a more thoroughgoing business analysis.
The adaptation of a method that is mainly used in the private sector can give new
perspectives to senior public leaders regarding the need for and use of business intelligence and can help them identify the factors that can affect the complexity and volatility in local government settings.