20 Nov 2019
Business Intelligence

Deploying Business Intelligence for Strategic Decision-Making

Before we dive into deploying business intelligence for strategic decision making, let’s take a look at what business intelligence means. Business Intelligence (BI) is more of a process. It refers to the use of applications, technology, and practices for the collection, analysis, integration, and presentation of business information. It is used to deliver actionable data to executives, managers, and other end-users to help them make informed business decisions.

Business Intelligence involves the use of a variety of tools, applications as well as methodologies to help an organization collect data from internal and external sources. The data is then prepared for analysis, developed, and ran through queries against the data to create dashboards, reports, and data visualization to make the analytical results readily available to the corporate decision-makers and operational workers.

Business intelligence incorporates the use of software and different services to transform data into actionable intelligence. The primary purpose of Business Intelligence is to help corporate executives make better and informed business decisions. It also helps cut costs, spot inefficient business processes, and identify new business opportunities.

Everyone involved in the process of BI has full access to the information to change the ways they work, and that is one reason why sharing is vital to the success of BI projects. The implementation of BI starts with top executives, and the next group should be the salespeople. These are the folks whose job is to increase sales, and they get compensated on their ability to achieve that. Therefore, they are most likely going to embrace any tool that will enable them to do that. So long as the tool is easy to use and they can trust the information provided, they will readily embrace it.

When companies are charting the right course for implementing BI, the first step is to analyze how they make decisions. They should also consider the information needed by executives to facilitate a more rapid and more confident decision making and how they would like the information to be presented to them, for example, as a chart, report, hard copy, online, etc.

BI is a technology project, and just like other technology projects, it can’t yield results if the users are skeptical or they feel threatened by the technology, and they refuse to use it. When implemented, BI fundamentally changes how the company operates and how decisions are made. Therefore, CIOs have to be attentive to the users’ feelings. How does technology affect users and does it increase or reduce productivity?

To Deploy BI Efficiently:

  • The data has to be clean and the users trained effectively
  • Deploy it quickly and adjust as you proceed. Don’t spend a lot of time developing the perfect reports because the needs evolve as the business grows. Compile reports that provide the most value at the time.
  • When building your data warehouse, make sure you aren’t locking yourself into an unworkable data strategy as you go further. It’s best you take an integrated approach to build the data warehouse.
  • Before you start, clearly define ROI. Outline the particular benefits expected and do a reality check every six months.
  • Focus on the main business objectives.

When deploying business intelligence in business, don’t acquire BI software because you think you need it. Deploy it with the idea in mind that there are numbers you ought to find out there and roughly know where they might be. Make sure the operational workers, especially salespeople, are okay with the technology before you deploy or it might backfire.

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