Making an Intelligent Investment
Most medium to large sized businesses have or will make investments into developing business intelligence applications. Prior to integrating technology into your business intelligence strategy, spend time developing a vision for the implementation. Technology
is merely a tool that helps organizations achieve their BI objectives.
Business Intelligence Success Factors
There are a number of success factors to consider when defining your BI strategy, including:
Consultation with Stakeholder - When defining a BI strategy, a critical component often missed by organizations in a hurry to implement a strategy is spending time with their key stakeholders- the end users. There is no better way to understand not only the current environment, but what is needed to enhance it, than spending time listening to those immersed within it. Surveys, focus groups and strategy workshops are among strategies top organizations utilize to gather feedback.
Leveraging Industry Best Practices - As BI is a maturing discipline and industry, best practices among current practitioners are readily emerging.
Alignment Between Business Goals and Overall Strategy - Define metrics required to measure progress, establish baseline metrics and measure progress toward achieving these metrics over time.
Integration of BI Applications into Current Processes and/or Workflows -
For optimal functionality, BI systems should seamlessly integrate into the current activities end-users are engaged in. Ultimately, end-users should have access to the information needed, in a useful format, so that they can complete job functions as needed.
Armed with information gathered from stakeholders along with industry best practices, you
can develop a BI strategy that will align with business goals and offer seamless integration into your current workflow processes.
Choosing Technology for your BI Strategy
With a BI strategy developed, it is time to integrate technology into the equation. Consider these factors as you narrow down your BI platform choices:
Choosing the Right Server - Compare and contrast server options according to the following features: dashboard reporting capabilities, ad hoc analysis options, scheduling and delivering functionality and auditing features.
The Breakdown Between Server and a Data Repository
Real Time Data vs. Delayed Data - While real time data is often in demand; the value provided often doesn’t justify an investment to deliver data more frequently than daily, or every few hours.
Source Data to End-Customer Experience - Reporting capabilities are not enough! Mentioned previously; end users need access to timely, accurate information, in a useful format for effective interpretation.
Top organizations leverage their most strategic assets, information, more effectively than their
competition. Properly leveraging BI can enable organizations to unlock their information assets, propelling them ever closer to achieving and surpassing their established goals and objectives.
Welcome to the 5x Technology BLOG…
I’m Jeffrey Yefsky, 5x Technology CEO. I have to say this is something I never thought I would ever do, write about something I have knowledge about.
I have been in the Business Intelligence business for over 15 years. I have been a Business Analyst, Implementer, Sales Person and now CEO. I have seen every product configuration to come down the pike and yet, I still love to help people with how they process information they use to run their organizations.
People (old and new) to the concept of business intelligence… and it is a concept to understand – Business Intelligence is NOT a tangible item, it is a process and sometimes a tool to help people decide what is the next step in decision-making for their business: To make the next purchase, create the next product or start the next division of an organization … or NOT. These are all based on information from the gut, a spreadsheet, or a database or a recommendation. ALL decisions are made based on information…which is a piece of Business Intelligence.
I am all about defining things. My perception of a Widget is different than someone else’s. But, by using Business Intelligence, all parties gain a more synchronized and focused understanding of the information to make concise and intelligent decisions.
So, let’s start with a couple of different definitions from some very well know sources…
Defined by Wikipedia: Business intelligence (BI) refers to computer-based techniques used in identifying, extracting, and analyzing business data, such as sales revenue by products and/or departments, or by associated costs and incomes
Defined by Forrester Research: Business Intelligence is a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information used to enable more effective strategic, tactical, and operational insights and decision-making.
Defined by 5x Technology: Business Intelligence process includes communicating findings and effecting change for small parts or group within an organization or an entire enterprise. Business Intelligence provides organizations with information to help in 3 main areas: Improve business processes, Improve customer's response, and Adapt to changing market conditions.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be devoting time to helping you understand the basics of BI. The goal is to educate people on how they can do more with the information they have available - with less energy and the ability to make better decisions.
Thanks for reading and I hope this becomes one of your regular BLOGs!