Last updated on March 4th, 2023 at 02:10 am
Business intelligence practices are rapidly becoming a staple in organizations of all sizes. Companies have embraced BI to improve their cost efficiency, reduce waste and improve business processes. They also have interactive dashboards that provide the data needed for success across the organization.
These success stories have inspired many organizations to jump on board the BI train. Recognizing the importance of data analytics and business decision-makers is one thing, but meeting their needs in the most effective and efficient manner is another.
This is possible only if you have the right tools and processes in place. Here we are going to dig in and give you 6 of the best business intelligence practices to ensure success for you and your business.
Top 6 Best Business Intelligence Practices
1. Ensure That There is a Buy-in For Your Entire Organization
Failure to adopt BI best practices and disjointed BI practices are quick ways to fail. It is crucial to gain the support of all departments in order to maximize BI’s success; it’s in everyone’s best interests.
In the end, every department, including Finance, Marketing, and Management, will reap the benefits of BI. It is essential that all parties involved in BI projects are included from the beginning. CMOs and CIOs should collaborate right from the start!
IT is another stakeholder that you need to involve right from the start. The right SaaS-based BI tool will not require IT heavy lifting.
However, this doesn’t mean IT should be excluded from analytics procurement, implementation, management, and maintenance. IT and Dev teams have valuable knowledge that should be used.
They can help ensure appropriate security and governance are followed. IT can be a valuable resource for knowledge retention as well as knowledge transfer. IT does not have to manage BI, but they should be informed.
2. From the beginning, have a plan
Without a strategy, analysis can be costly in time, money and stress. Before you choose a BI tool, you must identify your top business needs. Then you should develop a list of goals and business requirements.
These should not be developed in isolation or at the executive level. You already have buy-in from the entire organization. Consult with all stakeholders including finance, marketing and operations. Achieving BI adoption success will be guided by clear objectives and pre-determined key performances indicators (KPIs).
3. Start small
There are likely to be many business questions that you are looking for answers and valuable insights. It is easy to become overwhelmed when you begin to collect these requirements and start to consider the size of your data.
This problem is made worse when employees start requesting data right away. This brings us to the next best business intelligence practice: Start small.
Begin with a few key questions. Answer them using readily available data. If you come up with some answers, that’s great. This process is likely to lead to additional questions that can be added to your roadmap.
This will help you identify the data sources that you need or what data you haven’t. We are big fans of Agile methodology best practice, which encourages an iterative approach and constant involvement with stakeholders when it comes to BI deployments. Gathering requirements and input, building, testing, and repeat!
4. Identify the data sources you need
Chances are that your business, regardless of its size, has data about most aspects of your business operations. This is because data can be spread across many different software and systems. Data can be stored in many ERP systems, CRMs and databases.
It can be difficult to find the information you need when data is scattered across many systems. You need to begin small and find the right data sources to get you started. Your data should not be viewed as an overwhelming mass, but rather as a collection that answers specific questions.
You can approach it with a question or hypothesis in your mind, and then check to see if the data supports your hypothesis. To improve performance, you might use a data warehouse. You can quickly combine different data sources with the right tool.
In addition, training your employees in the systems they’ll be using is crucial to maintaining company data. They should know what data is, where it comes from, why it’s important, and how they can help improve it.
5. Foster a data culture
You must promote the importance of data to get your company on board with a new plan for BI. To make BI work, your company must foster a data culture. The resulting data insights and subsequent actions are more valuable when all departments work together toward a common goal.
You might get rebuffed. Sometimes departments may feel discouraged because they lack the data acumen, time or resources to encourage enterprise adoption of BI. They might not realize that the adoption costs are more important than the benefits. They must see that all teams will benefit from the right tool.
Some users might be overwhelmed by the new technology and data. This could lead to resistance to change. It is important to demonstrate that, while some training may be required, the right tool will allow everyone to become their own analyst.
You should look for a tool that makes it easy for everyone to connect to, explore, visualize, and communicate their data. Adoption will be made easier by the use of drag-and-drop interfaces, which require no training or prior knowledge in data analysis or SQL.
The company benefits from giving employees business dashboards that they can use immediately. This encourages staff to make quick and confident decisions and also benefits the whole company.
6. Stay Flexible
Data is always growing and changing, so business intelligence must stay flexible to be relevant. We talked about how taking an iterative approach to development is key because it allows us to make regular improvements as we learn more information.
By keeping the channels of communication open with your stakeholders, you can more easily take advantage of user feedback to make continual improvements in your data and business processes. This flexibility also allows you to respond quickly to changes in customer needs and keep your analysis relevant.
By implementing best practices for business intelligence, you will be able to stay on top of the game in your business. According to Microstrategy, through Financesonline.com, 64% of users replied that business intelligence helped improve their efficiency and productivity.
And It’s only going to grow from here.
What do you think about business intelligence practices? Are you using them now or plan to use them in the near future? Tell us about it!
She is a Quality Assurance Analyst and blogger whose natural curiosity allows her
to dig in (pun intended) to help people build their businesses and satiate curiosity
in regard to data science, analysis, and crypto.
Connect with Dani on LinkedIn.