Business Intelligence (BI) tools provide an unprecedented ability for business leaders to garner mountains of data on every aspect of their business. The advent of BI has given rise to a new management style in which executive teams have access to data that was previously very difficult, if not impossible, to extract. However, it requires thoughtful planning and prescriptive direction to provide true business value and expedite company growth.
One of the most common challenges companies face with new BI projects is pulling too much data without a clear plan for how to use it. They may pull every piece of data available from every source without considering whether that data is useful. Unnecessary data results in a negative experience interpreting the data, inability to identify trends, lack of insight on which decisions to make, and overall frustration with the project.
Forrester Research estimates that as much as 60 to 73% of the data being collected is never successfully used for any strategic purpose. Another recently published survey that found 70% of firms surveyed said they were aiming to establish a data-driven culture. Unfortunately, fewer than 28% said they’ve been successful in doing so to date.
Determining the most effective way to use BI at your company puts you ahead of the curve. Companies that commit resources, time, and detailed planning toward achieving a data-driven company are the ones that crack the code. Numerous companies have developed well-crafted, repeatable methodologies and are experiencing incredible ROI.
Set Clear Objectives
The key in deriving true value from BI is to determine at the outset of the project what you are trying to accomplish. BI tools provide a plethora of possibilities in creating analytics, and as the quantity of available information grows, the need to become crystal clear on how to manage it grows as well. Consider all your options, and prioritize which issues to address first.
Set clear objectives and provide specific direction on what information is needed, who needs access, what action will be taken, and how that action correlates to improved business health.
Start by answering the following questions to begin to define your goals and anticipated outcomes:
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- What decisions do you want to make based on the analysis?
- Who needs access to this data?
- How will you use the data?
Businesses that leverage BI effectively gain a huge competitive advantage over those that don’t. Successfully implementing and acting on BI outputs enable business leaders to transform their companies.
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