Business Intelligence: What you don’t know CAN hurt you!
The decision to invest in business intelligence (BI) tools can and should be an easy one. To put it quite simply, good information and intelligence is required by every organization. In an era where competition is fierce, having ‘accurate’ information in hand can act as a catalyst for building competitive advantages. It can also help an organization to make quicker and more logical decisions, which in the long run leads to a more profitable bottom line.
The decision as to exactly how to invest in BI, however, can be quite involved. With so many established BI software providers – including SAP, SAS, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle – how can you determine which tool will give you the most bang for your buck? How can you maximize the return on your Business Intelligence Investment?
Maximizing return on your BI investment
1. Select the proper BI tool
Every organization has different needs for business intelligence tools. For large organizations with tens of thousands of employees among several business channels, the absolute necessity of a collaborative business intelligence tool will likely justify the investment. For others, sophisticated business intelligence tools that offer many capabilities may not be necessary. Depending on your organization’s needs, it would be a good decision to explore the offerings of both the large BI players and the smaller ones.
It is useless to drive a Ferrari when the allowable speed limit in your area is only 50km/hour.
Bear in mind that even the most sophisticated of BI tools are unable to address all of today’s complex business requirements. Many still rely on customized desktop applications, such as MS Excel and MS Access, to do some analysis for their own areas or departments. The appropriate BI tool for your company will be well aligned with your company’s strategy and organizational capabilities.
2. Choose the right people for the job
Having a BI tool suitable to the organization solves many issues associated with the data itself. Gone are the days of inaccurate data, incomplete information, data error, inconsistent data formatting, and the like. But just how useful is this data anyway? The ability for an organization to draw accurate conclusions from the available information depends on who is actually retrieving the data and performing the analysis. Experienced and knowledgeable staff can make all the difference. To obtain accurate analyses and meaningful insights, your staff must have a strong knowledge of the business as well as sufficient technical experience in using the software tool and its advanced analytics. If someone lacks knowledge of the business, or if they are unfamiliar with the software or best data analysis practices, the conclusions may be inaccurate.
Finding the right talent is the key so that real value can be brought out from having the BI tool.
3. Manage the Change – Even After Implementation
To ensure that a BI tool is continuously being used to its full potential, it is imperative that staff get necessary training during implementation supported by effective change management practices. Post implementation, it is important that users have a robust source for ongoing support for questions and issues.
Finally, working with obsolete software or inefficient processes will not help your business sustain the competitive advantages that it has previously worked so hard to build. As businesses evolve, BI tools are often required to develop too, through software modifications and enhancements. And since many organizations still rely on customized desktop applications, these changes can create some problems down the road when the application needs to be updated or new features need to be added. It is important then that the new implementation and subsequent upgrades follow well documented processes to avoid inefficiencies or worse – analysis that results from corrupt data.
Business Intelligence = Software Tools + Knowledge Management Processes
BI software tools are needed by every organization to make better and wiser decisions. And there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all BI tool. Each organization needs to weigh the benefits against the costs of deploying a particular BI tool and opt for the most favourable alternative. Chances are the optimal BI tool for one organization won’t be the same as the optimal one for another. Furthermore, organizations need appropriate knowledge management processes and they need to ensure the right people are analyzing the right data in the right ways. Keeping in mind the 3 key factors listed here will bring you that much closer to success in your Business Intelligence System implementation.
Optimus SBR ranks on The Globe and Mail’s Brand-New Ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies
Report on Business and The Globe and Mail released the inaugural list of Canada’s Top Growing Companies and ranked Optimus SBR No. 168.
Optimus SBR Ranks on the Growth 500 for the Seventh Consecutive Year
Canadian Business and Maclean’s magazine released the list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies and ranked Optimus SBR No. 273 on the Growth 500. This is the seventh year that Optimus SBR has ranked on the Growth 500.
Decision Time on Ontario Health Teams: The Changing Ontario Health Care Landscape – Part 2
The Ontario Ministry of Health has made some significant decisions on Ontario Health Teams. For many organizations now, it’s decision time.
Optimus SBR Named on 2019 Lists of Best Workplaces™ for Professional Services and Mental Wellness
At Optimus SBR, our success is directly correlated to the happiness and engagement of our people and we are proud to announce that our organization has been named on two additional 2019 lists of Best Workplaces™ – Professional Services and Mental Wellness.
Large Regulatory Change Implementations in Financial Institutions
Must-do projects like regulatory changes can seem overwhelming and daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. With some careful forethought and the right expertise, regulatory programs can extend beyond just staying onside with the regulator, and set your organization up for long-term success.
myPractice and the “A-ha” Moment
We’ve all had an ‘a-ha’ moment. And when we do, we relish the feeling. It’s like a spark that ignites and compels you to remain in that moment of clarity. myPractice helps achieve that moment.
Optimus SBR Named as 2019 Great Place to Work
We ranked 27 out of 50 in Canada for businesses between 100-999 employees.
The Changing Ontario Health Care Landscape – Part 1
In Ontario, the health care landscape is changing. We look at integrated care delivery systems, and suggest what areas for health care system planners, health service providers, and hospitals in particular, to start their transition to these new models of care.
Play It Forward 2018
The 1980’s were back in full force at Optimus SBR on Thursday, November 15th as our team came together for the sixth annual Play it Forward event in support of two local charities.
The 6 Surprising Reasons Your Project is at Risk
Minimize risk and promote the advancement of your organization by making change management in your project environment a priority.