The modern world poses a number of challenges for the ordinary citizen, but how would you react if you found out that the business world goes through its own set of hurdles with every change the IT sector throws at it? Indeed, the future is unpredictable, but what if you could prepare for the coming times with some degree of certainty? It would definitely give you leverage over others and would contribute to your success.
Competition in the business world is volatile, which is why preparing for the opportunities or threats before time would give you a considerable advantage over your competitors. As times have changed, business intelligence software has started to dominate the business world, therefore, working to implement the keys to a successful business intelligence strategy can put you on the path to success.
The World of Business Intelligence (BI) in a Nutshell
You must have read about this in several articles, but to refresh your memory, here is what business intelligence is all about.
Business intelligence, as the name suggests, provides businesses with the intelligence to conduct their day-to-day operations. However, this involves the use of highly professional software, programmed to convert data into actionable information. More specifically, BI refers to a tech-driven process for assessing and presenting data and converting it into insights that can be used by managers, business executives, and other end-users.
Although business intelligence has been used for several years in the corporate sector, continuous innovations have brought about the need for implementing a successful approach that provides a business with a long-term competitive edge.
With the newly discovered information, corporate users can benefit in the following ways:
- Take prompt decisions in day-to-day business operations
- Enjoy first-mover advantages
- Carry out successful marketing campaigns
- Enjoy a larger customer base
- Observe quicker growth
- Witness increased profits
Keys to a Successful Business Intelligence Strategy
- Place the power of BI in the hands of business users
Nothing is more rewarding than measuring real success, but can it really be measured if the users of BI are solely tech-oriented? How would you feel if you, as a senior manager of an organization, were completely dependent on your IT department for all your information? This definitely does not let you be in control and also results in a delayed decision-making process. The highly intuitive BI tools today help business users obtain actionable information in real time and, therefore, provides greater opportunity for growth.
- Have a proper plan in place for data storage
Having an isolated data mart may be the first choice for many since it is cheaper and quicker, but once you enter the growth phase, you will need extra storage space and this is the time when you will be struggling to find a solution. A more long-term solution would be to build a data warehouse or opt for virtual semantic layers that are used to link operational systems. No matter what solution you choose, you will need ample storage space for your business’ growing needs and you will need to come up with a solution fast before you can enjoy the true benefits of business intelligence.
Cloud technology has also eliminated the need for a physical data warehouse. However, it all depends on how big your business is, and whether your data needs and strategy make it suitable to move to the cloud.
- Assess the current situation before you take action
Now that you have opted for BI implementation, you need to be mindful before you completely halt your business processes and implement the new software. You may not need to change your current operations software, infrastructure or processes, since integration may be possible. You also need to be mindful of the fact that disruptive change often results in upset employees and loss of valuable assets.
- Establish common definitions for data
While there is nothing that is not defined in the online dictionary or encyclopedia, with business intelligence, you need to put in some extra effort. If you consider the term “turnover” in the context of the sales department and the human resource department, you will end up with different meanings. You need to establish the subject matter so that the data matches and duplication does not result in conflicting information. Here, you need to limit your IT department’s participation and involve key personnel from the front and back offices.
- Cleaning and Validation of Data
This step can come either before or after the 4th, but it is recommended to be carried out prior to establishing common data definitions. You need to clean data because it contributes to the success of BI. Moreover, data validation is important because it greatly aids in effective decision-making in the future.
- Identify the KPIs
The main purpose of a business is to meet its objectives, and without establishing KPIs (key performance indicators), you may not be able to track and manage the progress of your organization. Once you have the standards or a mental picture in place, you will know what you are working towards. This will then allow for the assessment, re-assessment, and improvement of the business procedures, as well as the flexibility of the BI software to cater to the changing business needs.
- Choose your BI tool/partner
Now that it is time to choose a BI software/solutions provider, you will need to decide on the basis of on-going support, value-added features, and aspects like integration and many others that are useful to your business. Deciding between cloud-based or physical BI solutions will also have an impact on your operations. Moreover, the scale of growth and growing needs of your business should be the factors driving your decision.
Nothing is possible unless you take the first step. You can always implement the keys to a successful business intelligence strategy and make sure that your organization is invested in the idea of a BI infrastructure to benefit from it fully.
For more information, feel free to contact us today.
Exist Management LLC (ExistBI)
1800 Century Park East, 6th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Phone: 1 866 965 6332
Exist Business Intelligence Limited (ExistBI)
London, WC1H 9BB
Phone: +44 (0) 207 554 8568