Are You Getting the Most from Your Business Intelligence Tools?
by Christian Ofori-Boateng on Oct 8, 2017 7:50:00 AM
When your business intelligence tools aren’t delivering as expected, it’s a sign you need to step back and analyze your strategy. It’s important to look at what features you could most benefit from within the system itself. It’s just as important, however, to examine past performance and habits. A few fairly small changes can dramatically increase your profit.
If you have to perform the same task over and over in your business intelligence system, you may not be using it to its best advantage. These redundant habits consume time and money, which BI systems ought to preserve. Fortunately, the best systems come with features that help minimize these extra jobs. There is plenty of add-on software available to augment business intelligence systems that lack them as well.
Make sure you use these features, especially scheduling and automation tools. There are many benefits to scheduling regular reports. Some systems even allow you to automate report generation via event triggers, so you’re always informed with the newest updates. If you haven’t taken advantage of these built-in schedulers, then you are throwing away time and money.
Business intelligence systems require thought and practice to master. Your reports can only answer the questions you ask using the specific data sets you assign. If you’re seeing a lot of surprises that seem to conflict with what your business intelligence tools are telling you, then you may need to look at different data or consider alternative questions. Even concerns with a narrow focus are heavily impacted by secondary factors. The rate at which a particular item sells isn’t tied solely to its popularity with customers or your latest marketing campaign. You have to examine seasonal considerations, changes in the competition, local traffic factors, etc. General profit, loss, and overhead questions face an even greater range of secondary considerations. It’s a good idea to introduce new talent to your BI team if these issues persist. Bringing in someone from another department, location, or even authority level could drastically transform the perspective of your results.
Possessing business intelligence software isn’t the same as wielding business intelligence software. The best results come from aggressive use, that utilizes multiple points of view from within your business to seek opportunities and eliminate waste. Additionally, the best way to use BI software is to look for trends or developing patterns. This requires familiarity with your business’s daily numbers and constant vigilance. It’s impossible for a single user to consider every influence on a particular data set, which is why it’s so important to not only employ various users, but also consider results as a team. As powerful as BI tools may be, your best assets will always be the talent you employ.
Business intelligence tools help you to maximize your business’s potential. Like any other tool, however, you must know how to use your software effectively to succeed. Consider features you don’t use and determine if they would help you use your software more efficiently. Also, attempt to learn from past mistakes and surprises before bringing in fresh points of view.