Business Intelligence Tips
Understand Your Organization first
Truly understanding your company and how it works is perhaps one of the most important Business Intelligence tips anyone can offer. This includes understanding the business itself, the processes involved, the data, and how that data is used by the people with in the organization. You will need to understand what your organization specializes in or with.
If business deals with sales, what does the organization sale?
How can you make that product better?
You need to familiarize yourself with the products and how they are made. Understanding your business’s product is the first step toward being able to sell that product. When you are informed about what your organization does, and what it takes to do the job right, you will be able to make better decisions regarding your company.
The other area that a manager or an executive should be sure to pay close attention to is the information about their target consumers. Who are you trying to sell your product or service to? You need to know who is most likely to be interested in your organization, what kinds of products and services interest that group, and the order of importance in which that group views quality, cost, and design.
Still a company cannot over look the importance of understanding its organization internally as well. Take note of what generates the most desirable results whether they are financial, productive, or return customers. Who are key players in the company? What is the organization’s ultimate goal? All of these aspects are important and crucial to the survival and livelihood of any and all organizations.
Involve Key Users
The key users are users that are key or vital to the data analysis and reporting processes, as well as the decisions that will be made in light of the information provided by the Business Intelligence software. Key users can be executives in the line of business, or even analysis specialists who work closely with the applications. Involve these users early on in the venture, provide them with the information they need to form their own opinions about the situation. Get sponsorship from the organization’s senior executives and find out how they feel about Business Intelligence and what expectations they have. Starting off with a clear idea of how they executives expect a new Business Intelligence system to benefit your organization give you a good idea of what tools and developments you need to focus on most.
Understanding how everyone involved feels about the Business Intelligence system and its tools is imperative to its success. Everyone will need to come together to make asset decisions involving what tools will be needed and what areas of the organization will benefit most from the applications available. Each idea and thought should be considered important, and every decision properly documented. It is during this process that the heads of an organization will set aside Key Performance Indicators and discuss Business Performance Management strategies.
Make Components Work Together
You need to be sure that the components of your business intelligence system work well together. Some components may have been thrown together as a result of procurement. Also ensure that the new Business Intelligence system assimilates with the existing back-end systems. It is very important that no applications are conflicting or operating at a less then standard level.
Be mindful that different employee grounds will want differing interfaces or dashboards and spreadsheets. Each type of employee may need the information presented in a way that is easiest for them to follow, this may not always be the same, so be sure to learn early on what each associate prefers. Also take that into account when evaluating products.
Make BI Applications Widely Available
What this means is to consider making the Business Intelligence applications available from a common source such as an enterprise wide intranet. This would be a system that is strictly internal and can only be accessed from within the organization.
Designating areas through out your facility where employees can access the information provided by the system. This will also enable each employee to keep a close watch on productivity and financial issues related to their specific line of work, giving them the information they need to make decisions that relate to their line of work. It will also allow for quick access for executives and managers if they are away from their station and need to look over the data concerning a problem area in order to make on the spot changes and decisions.
Teach all employees who will need to have access to the Business Intelligence system how it works and what each thing means. Always make sure that every person who will be working with any of the Business Intelligence software is comfortable with it and understands how it operates. They will need to be able to read the data or information from charts, graphs, or even tables, it is sometimes helpful to bring in a professional to coach employees and offer training sessions until you are comfortable that they can operate the systems without any major issues.
Create a Common Place
Create an area where professionals can come together and communicate thoughts and ideas. This area could be no more then a room with comfortable seating and a few computers. It would be a place where the organization’s employees can meet on a common ground.
This would be an area where IT and users can share best practices, align business objectives and departmental priorities with Business Intelligence technology and drive for more strategic use of the Business Intelligence system’s software your organization puts to use.
Allowing each participant enough time to make suggestions about the tools and applications being used or the way in which each is used until they come to a decision that will best benefit everyone involved. Also this will enable them to ask questions and receive more hands on training with tools or software they are not completely comfortable with or even new software being introduced to the system.
A final Business Intelligence Tip
Business Intelligence systems offer tools that can take your organization to the next level of data analysis and processing as long as the operators are fully aware of how the system works. Investing in a new Business Intelligence system can be the start of a more successful era for your company, bringing it into competition with other organizations of the like and possibly even pushing your business into being one of the leading organizations of its kind.
Even so this is only possible if the Business Intelligence system’s software and applications are used correctly to maximize the benefit your organization can receive from them. Be sure to investigate all of possible pros and cons of investing in a Business Intelligence system. As all business decisions pertaining to Business Intelligence should be thoroughly considered. Keep cost and benefit in mind to ensure your organization is financially stable enough to invest into any type of Business Intelligence software and remember to look over your organization’s current information to assess your company’s needs.