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In business, making decisions is simply a part of operations. Many make day-to-day ones that likely won’t affect the organization in a big way, but when a big decision needs to be made, it’s important to have data and information that will help with the decision. That’s why Business Intelligence (BI) has become so popular. The problem is, many businesses try and fail with these initiatives – and these failures can be costly.
Here are four of the most common mistakes businesses make with their Business Intelligence efforts.
1. Not involving all stakeholders
When developing BI initiatives, companies will often forget to talk to all of the stakeholders who are involved in, or affected by, the initiative. You should take steps to consult with the parties and end users involved. Get to know their problems, desires, and what they plan to do with the data and information gained.
Once you know what the users need, you can look into developing and implementing the tools that will get the desired result. It is especially important to involve the people who will be implementing BI tools as they may have insight into what is needed, or how existing systems will fit/work with the intended systems.
2. Unclear goals
As with almost everything else in business, you need to have a set goal as to what you want to achieve with the project, tool, initiative you are implementing. If you don’t know what you want your BI to do, how it is to be presented or even why, you will likely run into problems that could lead to the wrong decisions being made, or even lost profits.
It would therefore be a good idea to sit down with the teams and stakeholders to see what they want, and set goals as a group. Then look for a solution that will meet these needs and goals.
3. Using the wrong tools
Just because other companies have implemented BI, or a specific tool, and have had success, doesn’t mean you will. Some companies have done excellent work getting buy-in from all teams and user needs and goals are clearly defined, but when they start looking for tools, settle for something that is merely good enough.
This will hurt them because the tool may be missing key features that parties want. Also, like everything else in business, BI will change over time and if your company’s goals change and the tools can’t keep up with it or support it, you could be looking at costly changes, or inefficient decision making support.
4. Team members lack skills
Technology is always changing and companies are always implementing new systems. Because BI is tool based, you will have to add new technology, and guaranteed the users won’t know all of the ins and outs. Therefore, they will need to be trained on how to use them.
If the users don’t know how to use the tools, data could be collected inefficiently, the wrong data may be collected and analyzed or the wrong outputs could be produced. What this means is ultimately lost profits for you.
These are the common mistakes made by business in regards to their BI. If you are looking for a solution that will help ensure that you avoid these mistakes and get the data and answers you need, contact us today to see if we have the right one for you.
Published on 15th August 2013 by Jeanne DeWitt.