Tuesday 25 March 2014

Five reasons you don’t need Business Intelligence

Answer ‘yes’ to most of the following, and you make decisions with confidence based firmly on good data analysis. Answer ‘no’ to three or more, and your decision making agility could probably benefit from a little BI attention.

1. I trust my data and can make decisions with confidence

If you and your team know your internal data is clean and consistent, it is unlikely you need business intelligence. Everyone knows how difficult it is to work with data that throws up more questions than answers. When data isn’t consistent, and varies between departments even though it’s supposed to be the same, time gets wasted. Business intelligence makes sure the data that people use can be trusted, because it is only useful if everyone agrees it has value. So getting data in shape is part of any business intelligence project - as teams who have gone through the process will tell you.

2. My information is always up to date

If your team can rely on up-to-date information, then you probably don’t need business intelligence. Your data is current, available, and enables people to make good and timely decisions. But up-to-date and reliable information doesn’t happen by accident. Nor does it happen without a focused project to improve the quality and availability of data. So if you enjoy good quality and timely information, there’s probably been a business intelligence initiative somewhere in your company.

3. I don’t have to ask IT when I need a new report

If you and your teams can create the reports you need, without having to involve your IT department, you probably don’t need business intelligence. You already enjoy accessible information in a format that is easy to use. So you can focus on solving business problems, instead of spending time getting hold of data.

If you don’t have Business Intelligence in your business, you will know the frustration of asking for new reports when you need answers to important questions. Or perhaps you’d like to have relevant data to check out a hunch you have about a business problem. If you have to go through a lengthy procedure to get the data, you probably won’t bother. If you have the information available, you will likely check it out and see if it’s worth following up.

4. I work easily with data from different systems

If your team can access the information regardless of which system it came from, then you probably don’t need business intelligence. You already know the benefits of “joined-up” data analysis, and the competitive edge it gives you. You can already see a complete picture of your interaction with customers, or your products, or other aspects of your business that are important.

If you have to look at your data system by system, you will be vaguely aware that there is a better way. You might wonder how much more competitive you would be if the join between your various systems was seamless. And you might wonder if business intelligence could help. It probably could.

5. I have a lot of flexibility in how I analyse my data

If you find it quick and easy to manipulate your data, then you probably don’t need business intelligence. If you find it easy to sort, filter and change the variables in your reports, you probably know why people are so keen to get business intelligence into their businesses. You know that the flexibility to drill down and get more information, when and how you need it, makes all the difference to the way you work.

Business intelligence is a great way to sharpen up decision making, and improve the visibility of important data. But it’s not for everyone; some lucky people already benefit from Business Intelligence. If you are not one of them, and would like to find out more, then get in touch. We might be able to help.

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