A huge 87 percent of business intelligence projects are failing to meet their original objectives, and nearly a quarter are going over budget, according to new research.

The survey of 68 senior IT decision makers in the UK, conducted by the National Computing Centre for data management vendor Sybase, revealed serious disappointment in business intelligence projects, after 85 percent of those interviewed had implemented the technology in order to improve management decision making.

Nearly a third of the IT managers were disappointed that the business intelligence operations themselves were slow and laborious, and over a fifth found the data failed to reveal important information. Only just over half, 54 percent, said end user satisfaction levels were as expected or better.

Nevertheless, two thirds of interviewees reported that business performance was improved by the technology and 56 percent saw more accurate data. And 54 percent of respondents were confident enough in the technology to extend it to other parts of the business.

Stefan Foster, managing director at the National Computing Centre, said that while the deployment of business intelligence might seen as an aid to management decision making, "like most process changes, cultural issues around deployment can be a significant barrier". He said guiding staff properly on what to get out of the system and how to use it best would help overcome this.

Sybase technical sales manager Dave Lawrence was keen to point out that business intelligence could not be expected to provide immediate results. "It's a careful balancing act to provide sufficient capability, at a controllable total cost of ownership, without losing agility, insight or competitive edge," he said.