Business Intelligence and analytics are two fields that should not be taken lightly. However, today’s digital world has given us access to more data than most organizations could ever handle. That’s why many of them are reaching out to IT outsourcing companies, and investing good money in BI software applications and cloud analytics services.
If you are reading this article, you’re probably already familiar with BI tools and their benefits. Implementing new and flashy technologies is one thing, but using them up to their full potential is what most companies struggle with. So let’s face it: chances are that your business is going about BI the wrong way, and we are here to tell you why and how to fix it.
You are not planning for a specific purpose
This is one of the most common ways businesses fail to make their data work for them. Believe it or not, it is fairly tempting for company executives to rush into implementing all kinds of BI tools without clearly defining what they are trying to achieve. They tend to buy these services for the general capability of BI tools, and not for solving a well-defined problem.
If you want to generate any real ROI, it is essential to first outline your case and what is it that you want to accomplish. Magic phrases like “sky-high efficiency” and “better-informed decision-making” will not cut it anymore. Having data is important, but collecting data with a specific purpose is a priority.
If you are unsure of whether you are guilty of doing this, try asking yourself: Are your business goals coherent with the way you are collecting data? Is there any kind of structures, processes or guidelines that determine how data will be used to accomplish one of those goals? Have you been able to extract quality insights with the ability to drive action and improvement? How are you measuring the results you get from the data?
When it comes to business problem-solving, you are almost never working to resolve one single issue. Every BI effort should amount to a business outcome, even when the resources dedicated to analytics are limited. Whenever data is collected with a clear purpose, it inevitably becomes usable and consistent.
You are forgetting about integration
BI features can be rather dazzling. Many organizations wouldn’t be able to keep their heads above water without data visualization, KPI management, predictive analytics, dashboards, and everything else in between. But giving your employees new toys doesn’t mean they will throw away all of their old ones.
The fact is that changing the way people are used to work is almost impossible. That is why the best BI tools for your business are those that can integrate with whatever applications your organization is already using. What good is a dashboard that syncs with Outlook if all of your employees prefer Gmail?
The best way to guarantee integration is to partner up with a company dedicated to the outsourcing of IT, a company that is able to build a customized digital solution that perfectly matches your needs. Even if you are already hooked up on a BI digital suite, try to talk options with your current provider. It is in your best interest to use tools that integrate well with your other business systems.
You are rushing implementation and training
Today’s BI tools are far more powerful than most businesses expect—and that happens to be a double-edged sword. Sure, the possibilities are practically endless and you’ll probably never hear the end of how BI can improve almost any situation. But that also means that grasping the system’s full potential will require extensive training and thorough implementation.
It is highly unlikely that employees will take the time to read manuals and do some research of their own, especially when they have to keep their focus on daily tasks and ongoing projects. Most will choose to figure it out as they go, which means that your implementation plan should be scattered throughout time and include an ongoing training process.
On the flip side of this topic, you shouldn’t forget to consider what is actually necessary for your users. Paying top-dollar for insanely powerful capabilities is a straight-up waste if they are just not going to be used, providing little to no value for your business. Be sure to talk with your teams so they can help you paint a clear picture of what would be best for everyone involved.
Driving a successful business intelligence implementation is challenging, there is no denying it. Nonetheless, cutting corners and quality analytics don’t mix. These are just a few of the ways BI tools run the risk of being and underused, poor investment—but, with a bit of hard work, shortcomings in analytics can be completely avoidable.
All in all, a creative problem-solving approach to BI will give you an edge in the business world and let you stay on top of operational improvement. If you want to go a step further, do a bit of extra research on IT Outsourcing and custom BI solutions. Building a healthy business intelligence system will empower your organization’s decision-making potential, optimize data structures, and boost growth and productivity—especially if said system is fully customized per your business requirements.