Google the term “Business intelligence (Bi) and you will find countless results. One solid definition we've found comes from Cio.com and reads, “Business intelligence (BI) leverages software and services to transform data into actionable intelligence that informs an organization’s strategic and tactical business decisions. BI tools access and analyze data sets and present analytical findings in reports, summaries, dashboards, graphs, charts and maps to provide users with detailed intelligence about the state of the business.”
In essence, BI acts as a necessary foundation to creating a connected business. Combining disparate data sources is the first step when you're on a digital transformation mission.
Business Intelligence platforms can help you improve data quality to improve business operations efficiency while ensuring faster, more accurate reporting and planning. You can also gain visibility into key performance indicators, such as average inventory, order fulfillment rates, and delivery efficiency.
While a BI platform can bring considerable value to your business, here's five best practices for choosing one.
Keep it Simple
Simple BI tools are more likely to be adopted, bringing IT and business departments closer. Typically, business users don’t need reports with hundreds of data points but a simple chart showing, for example, where their sales are and where their sales should be.
Ensure Everyone is Onboard
Ensure leaders within the company advocate for the implementation. Share with all management and the executive team the capabilities and value of BI in the context of your organization. Reinforce the positive.
Begin with Quick Wins
BI can be the first implemented in one department or function and then extended to other departments or the rest of the company. Early users can serve as evangelists and generate excitement for other intended users.
Training ensures users and have the skills and abilities to perform their tasks within the new system. Supporting users in using this new platform can not only ensure adoption but collaboration too.
Make the most of the BI systems
Leverage your BI solution to find answers about what is going on in a single, functional area and to understand what is happening in the entire enterprise and how the different areas relate to each other. Remember that BI solutions area intended for more than data visualization. They can help you find out how to increase your revenue.
NAED can provide members with more detailed recommendations to assess and carry out your digital transformation strategies, including a deeper dive into the market, potential revenue opportunities, and increasing efficiencies. Check out the Executive Summary of Building a Connected Business.