Business Intelligence - Nice To Have or Must

Business intelligence is finally not a stranger for most of the competitive companies. Enterprise giants and SMBs are collecting and storing significant and sometimes huge amounts of data across information infrastructure and on cloud platforms. The challenge is to extract valuable information from the data and measure business processes performance. Business intelligence solutions aimed to provide decision makers with meaningful insights and enable data driven decision making.

Business Intelligence Answers

Following are several examples for business intelligence questions and answers:

  • Inventories - How does air shipment compares to sea shipment for part from family A during last month?
  • Marketing - How does content change impact clicks number?
  • Finance - What are major profitability factors during last three years?
  • Project management - How many resources were required to complete a project comparing to planned baseline?
  • Business management - Periodical trends of business performance

From Data To Insights

Competitive advantage requires constant decision making. BI platform enables managers to base their decisions on data driven insights that may reveal quite unexpected facts. Competition demands measuring performance, performance improvement demands deep understanding of entire business environment.

bi 

BI solutions allow to consolidate various data source into one platform and perform cross functional analysis for single business process as well as entire business assessment. Well designed solution allows process improvement, performance boost and better competitiveness.

BI Solutions Categories

Business intelligence solutions can be roughly divided into 3 categories:

  • Organizational in-house BI system
    • Complex characterization, demanding development
    • Consolidated warehouse preferred
    • Stored on internal servers
    • Managed by IT
  • Cloud BI
    • Data integration for selected measures
    • Accessibility payment per user
    • Available from anywhere
  • Self-Service BI
    • Customized per unique needs
    • Based on existing platforms with Power BI integration
    • Managed by analysts and business units

Many organizations, especially big ones, manage their business intelligence through several approaches at the same time having a mixed scenario.

bi

Self-Service BI - To Stay

 Self-service BI is a state where analysts or BI experts develop a tailor-made in-house BI solution. This scenario can happen for various reasons like budget constraints, sensitive to outsource data, unique logic design needs and more.

Self-BI Pro's:

  • Addresses unique needs
  • Allows direct approach to organizational data
  • Data driven decision making
  • Shorten change cycles in dynamic environment
  • Solutions for department/unit level
  • IT capacity release

 Con's:

  • Development and maintenance costs
  • Possible consistency in data logic interpretation
  • Working with not approved data sources

Making Better BI

One the recommended BI management approaches is understanding the possible scenarios and accepting the fact that IT cannot answer all organizational needs in no time. Adopting methodology to manage data environment by:

  • Manage process of Self-Service BI solutions approval subject to predefined regulations
  • Support and cooperate involved parties to manage success
  • Manage efficient consulting and escalation policy

By providing a healthy business oriented eco-system the organization can successfully manage BI solutions at all levels.