Five steps to implementing a Business Intelligence strategy
Business Intelligence (BI) is becoming increasingly important for organizations of all sizes: it provides real-time insight into a company’s data, ensuring that growth and savings opportunities are not missed. Large quantities of information provide valuable information that companies can use to make better decisions, improve productivity and boost revenues.
In short, it simply costs too much not to have good BI.
But adoption can be a challenge for any organization. While many companies see it as crucial to their future success, they also struggle to implement it. Indeed, recent research by sales-i revealed that 9 out of 10 B2B companies were in this exact position.
Choosing the right tool, investing in the right training, ensuring the right deployment and increasing user adoption are all common challenges that are easily overcome with the right strategy.
So how can your organization take full advantage of the benefits as soon as possible? Here are five essential steps to follow when implementing a BI tool.
1. Keep it clean
The very first thing to do if you want to implement BI successfully is to make sure your databases are clean and accurate.
Start by removing old and irrelevant records on a regular basis. Get into this habit before you implement BI, and you’ll benefit from it sooner.
You should also know exactly where you get your data from. Focus on prioritizing information produced within your business. Data from other sources can be unreliable, so the more you generate in-house, the better.
Finally, establish specific data entry processes across your organization. By having these processes in place, you will reduce the risk of inconsistencies and missing information, ensuring your data is cleaner.
2. Build a long-term BI roadmap
When implementing BI, you will need to develop a clear roadmap that is comprehensive and on that your entire business can follow.
So, what does a roadmap need to include? First of all, you need to carefully assess your current situation. By analyzing your current setup and the processes around it, you can figure out what is working, what to keep and what you want to get rid of. You can then work out how you can integrate essential processes into your new strategy.
You must also have a clear idea of the technology and IT infrastructure you will need to put in place to facilitate the correct use of BI.
Besides this, understand who will have a stake in BI in your organization. You need to know what their objectives are and how they will achieve these to ensure effective implementation.
3. Empower your team to be data-driven
You should encourage your team members to make decisions based on real insights rather than instinct. This will involve providing them with the training they need to make the most of BI.
Additionally, your team will inevitably have concerns about adopting BI, and you will need to understand what these are. Listen to their concerns, then explain to them how it will benefit them in their specific roles. You need to have them on board, and they are more likely to be enthusiastic if they can understand the benefits.
4. Consider your integration options
You will want to maximize efficiency, and to do this you should have a clear idea about how BI will integrate with your existing IT infrastructure.
For example, an integration with your ERP system could unlock many data opportunities. The right software could pull data from different ERP modules like financial models or HR modules and then analyze them to provide useful insights. When processes are more connected, efficiency improves.
5. Monitor and evaluate
Finally, constantly monitor and evaluate your BI software to ensure that you are using it to its full capacity. Identify KPIs early on and use these measurable values to work out how effectively you are achieving your objectives and where you need to make improvements.
Keep reports to demonstrate the positive impact BI is having on your organization, and this will also help to encourage greater adoption.
Plan carefully to adopt BI effectively
These are the steps you need to follow to implement BI effectively in your organization. They are crucial for companies of all sizes, so the sooner you start creating a plan for implementation, the sooner you’ll be able to take full advantage of the benefits of BI.