There are many business intelligence challenges, from deployment to utilization. The rich data available through business intelligence appeals to many companies, but using such information is often the biggest challenge. Here’s how your company can overcome the “wealth of riches” that often overwhelms businesses when they implement business intelligence systems for the first time.
What Is Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence (BI) refers to the collection and use of data and analytics to improve decision making. BI systems take the raw data and transform it into useful, visual information.
For example, a company that manufactures widgets may collect a tremendous amount of data on all the widgets it sells. The raw data on widgets sold by size, color, territory and salesperson could use up several forests’ worth of trees if printed out. By using business intelligence, the information fed into a bar chart can help users see, at a glance, that green widgets in size O outsold pink widgets in size 1. The overwhelming raw data is shaped into the appropriate and most useful visual format so anyone can see at a glance the key takeaways.
What Are the Benefits of BI?
There are many benefits of business intelligence systems. Among them, improving operations efficiency is one of the most important. BI can be used to improve operational efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve productivity. Reduced costs and improved productivity both lead to higher net revenues.
BI can also be used to increase overall (gross) revenues. Smart use of data and BI can lead to creative insights into new business strategies.
Customers also benefit from companies that use BI. By automating how queries enter the company through multiple channels, they can be routed more quickly to the appropriate person. Short response times lead to higher customer satisfaction.
The Top 3 Business Intelligence Challenges for Small Businesses
There are many challenges to using business intelligence. The top three include:
- Data from multiple sources: Many companies find themselves eager to implement a business intelligence solution but find it difficult to reconcile the various data sources. If data is contained in several accounting systems, an ERP, and other types of systems, business intelligence challenges abound.
- Not measuring the right things: Sometimes, business that do implement a business intelligence solution find themselves frustrated because they are measuring too much—or not measuring the right things. It is essential to pinpoint the right metrics to measure. Ask yourself: how does my business intelligence plan contribute to the company’s overall progress and performance? A KPI solution addresses such business intelligence challenges and helps pinpoint the metrics most important to the company to measure.
- Lack of training: Companies often face business intelligence challenges when they neglect to deepen their training efforts. Initial training may be broad, i.e., reach all levels of the organization with a cursory tour of the BI solution. Training needs to include not just how to use the BI software itself but how to read, interpret, and evaluate the results. Without such training, employees may become frustrated with the BI system and unfairly blame the system for their lack of understanding.
Overcoming BI Challenges With the Right Software
Often, business intelligence challenges can be prevented by choosing both the best software and the right consultant to support your transition into the world of BI.
DataSelf offers a comprehensive BI solution that’s robust enough for a growing business while providing intuitive dashboards and reports that make it easier to find and interpret the results. With plenty of room for customization, as well as out-of-the-box solutions, DataSelf can reconcile many disparate sources of data into visualizations that support decision making, goal setting, and creative problem solving.
For more information, contact us or call 678-456-6919.