7 Ways to Ensure that your Business Intelligence Strategy is Successful

The goal of putting a business intelligence (BI) strategy in place is to provide you with the actionable information required to run a successful business.  For your company to be data-driven, all levels, from top management to employees, need to be able to access, view and collaborate with your data from anywhere.

Here are 7 keys to a successful business intelligence strategy:

1.      Create a Data-Driven Culture

Because BI will benefit every layer of the organization in terms of providing better, data-driven decision-making, the development of a sound business intelligence strategy needs to start off with anticipating and scoping out the needs of all relevant business areas. Departments that should be involved include management, finance, sales, purchasing and logistics, IT, marketing and perhaps others, depending on the business.

2.      Start Small (but Think Big)

Ensure that you align each segment of the project with a specific business need.  Building your team’s BI knowledge and determining the data they want to analyse coming in from each designated source (ERP, CRM, AR/AP), as well as which KPIs will be useful, should be an iterative process.

3.      Get the whole picture

Most businesses must track huge amounts of data.  Often, simple inventory and supply chain management can become overwhelming tasks due to sheer numbers.  The right BI strategy can turn that information into data that drives decisions.  The right BI solution brings together data sets from disparate data sources—sales, supply chain, and product lines—and allows drill-down into information that will assist in increasing revenue or lowering costs.  A single source (one version of the truth) turns information overload into new business opportunities.

4.      Access to your data when you need it

Having to deconstruct complicated spreadsheets when you need information to back up an idea quickly always ends up slowing you down.  The right dashboard in a business intelligence strategy can take the information and turn it into the actionable data you need at a glance.  The effort required in having to dig into Excel is replaced by a few clicks of the mouse, and the time from inquiry to insight reduces significantly. You then get to focus your energy and attention on the analysis, rather than wasting time manipulating the data in spreadsheets.

5.      Maximize your real-time data

The right BI strategy allows frontline team members, supervisors, and middle managers to take ownership of their performance.  Understanding their individual and team results helps empower frontline employees (and can sometimes even create healthy competition among sales reps or teams).

6.      Collaboration

The right BI solution allows you to get your entire team’s input on your work and gets you on the same page as your colleagues – you can even post comments and questions on work they have done as well.  There is no longer the need to track down information from disparate sources like emails, spreadsheets, and reports.  With all of your data in the same place, you will have the information you need in front of you where you can build on the knowledge of other people you work with.

7.      Gain competitive advantage

Having a clear overview of your company’s operational and financial picture allows for making strategic decisions on cutting wasteful spending and increasing operational efficiency.

After implementing a BI strategy, most customers report discovering new trends that they did not know existed.  This in turn allows executives to not only take advantage of unidentified opportunities but to address unrecognized problems before they have a serious impact.

For more information on how to create the right business intelligence strategy for your company, contact NewIntelligence today.

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