Business Intelligence

How to Get the Most From Your Business Intelligent Tools

The purpose of effective Business Intelligence is to make more responsive decisions and tactical changes that scale strategic achievements.

At some point in our lives, we’ve all fallen into the mental trap of believing “the system is the solution”. 

It’s not hard to understand why - one tool being the catch-all remedy that we need to solve all our problems simultaneously and without having to lift a finger sounds fantastic! If only that were true.

No matter how software vendors might pitch it, the unfortunate truth is that the system is only one (admittedly important) part of the solution. 

Think about it like this: your car couldn’t run without its engine, but without the exhaust system, the chassis, the radiator and fuel the engine will stutter and eventually break down. 

Just like your car engine needs petrol to run, your business needs intelligent data, as well as a business intelligence platform, to thrive. 


“Why Do I Need Business Intelligence?” (BI)

Let’s bust a persistent myth right here - BI is not just for big enterprises. Many SMEs make the mistake of thinking that BI is solely reserved for massive corporate entities with mammoth budgets to boot. 

That’s not true at all! Business intelligence is relevant to and can help any business improve their processes no matter their size or scale. 

However, while it’s true that every business can benefit from BI-derived insight, not every business will. 

Instead of taking a slow considered walk through BI, many businesses race to the finish line to get the results they want to see - only to be disappointed. 


Intelligently Defining Your Business Intelligence Intent

To get the most out of your BI tools, you first need to understand the goals, intention and purpose of implementing BI. 

At its core, business intelligence does exactly what its name suggests; in short, it helps businesses source accurate, applicable insight from a collection of data assets.   

Here’s another way of putting it; the purpose of effective BI is to make more responsive decisions and tactical changes that scale strategic achievements.

You might call it ‘data-to-decision’ capacity. The more data you’re able to organise and retrieve on-demand, the better your strategic decisions, the lower your cost of doing business, the fewer your inefficiencies and the better you’re able to identify and capitalise on opportunity—all with the central goal of improving top-down operations. 

Before diving into the specifics of business intelligence, it’s a good idea to discern what your intentions are with BI first - what do you actually want to achieve for your business and how can BI help you do it?


The Benefits of Business Intelligence

Once you understand the inherent value that BI brings to the table, it’s much easier to see the benefits it offers. With the help of BI, businesses can:

  • Make speedy, real-time strategic decisions
  • Create more decisive agility and have better adaptability
  • Be more financially efficient
  • Improve their compliance efforts

The Golden Traits of Data Quality for Effective Business Intelligence 

Ok, so we understand the relevance and benefits that intelligent data offers but the fact remains - these insights simply won’t fall into your lap. 


The question then becomes how is it possible to empower your data so that it tells you what you want to know at the right time—so that your BI capacity actually fulfils the purposes you’ve defined.

Achieving and maintaining these six principles of data quality is a non-negotiable first step to effective business intelligence..

There are 6 effective data quality traits that are universally recognised:

  • Accuracy - does what your data tells you really match reality?
  • Completeness - are any important details missing from the data?
  • Reliability - do other sources back the story your data is telling?
  • Relevance - do the answers your data provides match your needs?
  • Timeliness - hid the data show up on time when you needed it?
  • Integrity - has the data performed consistently over time?

Getting enterprise performance data to work for you is a little like getting people to work for you. The standards you use for data quality should be as rigorous and unforgiving as your HR standards for c-suite positions when developing data for business utility. 


Threats to Getting Day-One Value From Your BI Projects

There are, of course, data-independent threats that could diminish the value you get from your BI. It’s never a good idea to assume the wheels are ok just because the axle is spinning, after all.

To minimise the risk of your BI being compromised or hindered in any way, you can assess the state of your business data by asking these key questions:


How ready is your data architecture to actually deliver BI?

What data-management housekeeping needs to be done first?

Is your data correctly synchronised?

Does it satisfy the 6 core data quality traits?


Getting the most from your BI tools requires your data to have the right foundation and context 

At the end of the day, your BI will only be as good as the data architecture it’s built on - something we specialise in. 

Enterpriseworx partners with clients to ensure that their data architecture is ready and positioned to provide valuable insight into the undercurrents of their businesses. 

We’ll help you identify opportunities through your data as well as establish mid and long-term business priorities to continually optimise the potential of your business intelligence.

That’s how you’ll establish a set course for your ‘data-to-decisions’ journey, fueled by effective BI.

Ultimately, effective BI should give strategic stakeholders independence to source and share the right data in a way that informs the efficiency of their decision-making.

Speak to us about assessing your readiness to implement and gradually optimise your business-intelligence capacity.

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