BI or Business Intelligence: how important is it to your company? Business Intelligence (BI) offers crucial insights into your company’s performance across your enterprise. BI can help you to manage your organization more smoothly. It can offer insights that traditional data and reporting systems can’t.
You may think that BI is too complicated and costly to work for your business, but small and medium businesses had the highest rate of BI adoption in 2018. The businesses that were most successful after adopting BI used the programs to analyze their business performance and make changes, according to a Dresner Advisory Service study that covered all industries involved in BI projects.
In 1989, Howard Dresner, founder of Dresner Advisory Service, defined BI as “concepts and methods to improve business decision-making by using fact-based support systems.”
The most important thing in a successful BI project isn’t tech knowledge, it’s your knowledge of your business and the people. Only 15% of the companies surveyed by Dresner Advisory Service had a Chief Data Officer. Many BI programs have user-friendly dashboards. You shouldn’t consider a BI vendor or program for your company that doesn’t offer training geared toward non-IT savvy employees and executives.
If you’re using Excel spreadsheets and Access databases and nothing else to manage your business, you have limited data. BI programs take these types of data and add other data — customer sales records, human resources data, vendor information, and external data on customers and help you visualize how they interact. BI can show you the information you need to make better business decisions. Self-service Business Intelligence (BI) lets you integrate programs like Excel, Access, and web browsers into a dashboard that provides analytics and data visualization for everyone.
The top benefits seen by executives that have implemented BI in their businesses include:
Executive teams most often lead BI adoption in their companies, but they’re closely followed by sales departments. Sales departments are used to using data and rewards to measure and improve their performance, making them a little more comfortable with how BI works.
You can take two approaches to a successful BI implementation at your business. First, support from the top is essential. If your leadership isn’t committed to using BI across the enterprise, your project isn’t likely to be successful.
Combine top-down leadership support with a peer-to-peer BI marketing program. Get all departments involved in the BI process and make sure each department knows how BI will benefit them. Offer rewards for different milestones of implementation. Organize demos and training so that everyone can see what the new system offers and how it will benefit them.
Does your business use KPIs? Great: include your key performance indicators in BI project implementation. Use the BI program itself to show progress across different teams and departments in BI implementation.
We’re overwhelmed by data these days — it’s the main reason there are BI programs and cloud-based services. You know your business culture best: are your people motivated more by competition or by collaboration and teamwork? Either way, tailor your BI implementation and marketing program to your team’s work style and motivational factors.
The main reason many people don’t want to look at data is that it shows them the information they’re not eager to see. Let BI’s advantages work for you — it can present visualizations that are informative and helpful, not depressing or downbeat. If your data does show negative or downward trends, use the power of BI to show what can happen if changes are made. Predictive modeling is one of the most frequently used features in BI programs.
BI’s advantages are too great to overlook. In addition to predictive analytics, BI can help you to make better-informed decisions and take actions to strengthen your business. It can also make sense of unorganized data, giving you insights into your business that you’d never see with spreadsheets or manual reports. Yes — it can even analyze hundreds and thousands of documents like contracts or social media posts.
Learn the advantages that BI can give your business. Use smart strategies to select the right BI program or platform. Get top-down and peer-to-peer support for your BI project going at your organization. Don’t let competitors move ahead of your business because they’re taking advantage of BI’s predictive analytics and using it to make better decisions. Use BI to transform your business and stay ahead of the competition.