In the world of business, smart concepts and effective solutions are very important in determining the success or failure of any business or organization. Knowing how the market moves, being updated with market trends and understanding the way your competition works can help you in developing the right business strategies, making informed choices and implementing policies that will work. Successful businesses remain on top because they do things differently: using business intelligence (BI). It doesn’t matter how big or small the business is, if the organization is maximizing their efforts with the help of BI, everything will fall into place. A business intelligence solution is an effective way of getting a good position within the market. It will also ensure the creation of effective data-based decisions.

Image credit:  www.visualistan.com

Image credit: www.visualistan.com

Business Intelligence Defined

Business intelligence is a concept made up of techniques, tools and information used in transforming raw data into meaningful, useful and effective information for the purpose of business analysis. Technologies used in business intelligence are capable of handling big amounts of unstructured data to help identify, create or develop brand new strategic business opportunities. It also allows any business or organization to develop a calculated forecast of what is going to happen in the future. By effectively using business intelligence, management can effectively formulate strategies on how the business can effectively compete in the market.

The Goal Of Business Intelligence

Business intelligence is not a stand alone software solution. It’s a method and process that uses technology to implement changes. Successful businesses know the advantages of BI thus most of them are doing things differently (but effectively) as compared to other organizations.

The main goal of business intelligence is to assist the organization in making the best business decisions based on data collection using the system. The computer-based system analyzes and identifies raw data such as customer experience, customer buying habits, sales, revenue, trends and competitor research to provide useful insights on day to day business operations, planning and decision making. Business intelligence is very important because taking any action without solid information is a recipe for disaster. It’s just like going to war without knowing where to engage the enemy. The company’s reputation, capital and other resources are at stake if the wrong decisions are made. Successful businesses have prevented such things from happening thanks to business intelligence. Although implementing a company-wide business intelligence strategy is very complex, costly and time consuming, if the system is implemented correctly, the benefits will be very significant.

10 Effective Tips On Implementing Business Intelligence           

With all the mergers and acquisitions happening every day in the business world and in the business intelligence space, it’s easy to forget that BI is much more than just the technology behind it. You also have to take note that the value of BI systems goes far beyond the cost. Mistakes are very expensive to fix, so spend some time researching, implementing and maintaining your investment in business intelligence. Here are 10 effective tips to effectively implement your business intelligence strategy.

1. Prioritize Your Goals

You have to know your options and match them to the goals of your business. Some business intelligence platforms are free but take time to set up, in most cases 4 weeks, while subscription based BI can be installed in just a week. You really have to weigh these things if you care about the cost or time spent setting up the system.

2. Develop Common Definitions

Without any common definitions, a business intelligence system cannot take off and succeed. To counter this issue, acquire subject matter expertise all throughout the lines of business from the back to the front office staff. The participation of IT should be limited to running and managing the project, taking care of compliance and business standards and the included policies.

3. Recognize Any Non-negotiable Criteria          

Before looking for solutions, you as a business should separate the “musts” and the “nice-to-haves”. The “musts” are the non-negotiable things and should be the first thing you talk about with the BI vendors. The “nice-to-haves” are a set of criteria that you use to judge any solutions that pass through the “musts” filter.

4. Analyze The Present Situation

For the implementation to be a success, you should analyze the present BI stack and processes. The organizational structure shouldn’t be overlooked either. The organization and IT should be involved in this.

5. Utilize And Maximize The Built-in Tools First

Instead of installing an application on top of another, maximize the built-in analytics tools because these provide the simplest peek at any actionable data with the fastest set-up times.

6. Develop A Plan For Storing Data

Most business organizations usually start with an isolated data facility since it’s cheap and quick to set up. But think of when you expand; additional physical space will be needed to create additional data storage. You also need to consider if you want to go for the physical storage or cloud or managed services in linking the operational systems. Consider these issues before choosing a BI vendor.

7. The Key Metrics Beforehand

Determine what data you need and the format you require before implementing the business intelligence system. Look for a technology solution that can provide clean data with actionable insight. Monitoring solutions and extractions go hand in hand with BI and informed decision-making. It is easy to get caught up in correlation if you don’t have a clear definition of your metrics, so know what you are trying to show before you start.

8. Start Small And Expand When Needed

Begin with small steps when implementing your BI strategy. Try to focus on one or two business objectives. This will let you know the ins and outs of the system and you can then speed up the integration. It will also allow the integration team to focus on their core tasks rather than being buried under too many jobs that require them to deliver results for a dozen business objectives.

Image credit: www.cartoonstock.com

Image credit: www.cartoonstock.com

9. Simplify The Toolset And The Infrastructure 

By simplifying the system, it will empower the end users, especially the non-technical ones. The business will not be able to gather all the requirements from the users of the system so they need to be empowered to change, create and filter the reports in order to meet the business intelligence needs. If the infrastructure is too complex then serious issues can occur and its complexity will take away the user’s ability to be self-sufficient. Understand who will use the business intelligence and for what purposes. From this, you can show what type of data is needed, its frequency and set guidelines in business intelligence decision making.

10. You Have To Make The System Work For You

You have to make sure that the business is aligned with the corporate strategy and extract any useful information whenever needed.

Image credit: dilbert.com

Image credit: dilbert.com

These are some of the things successful companies are doing when it comes to implementing business intelligence. Again, it doesn’t matter how big or small your company is, the important thing is to know how to use the tools that you have. Knowing is half the battle.

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.