IT departments can handle business analytics and reports, or they can serve their intended purpose. Not only do these tasks inhibit your IT department from meeting its full potential, but there are better, more efficient ways to transform data into information.
Reports and the Borderless Enterprise
Composing a basic report is more difficult and time-consuming than ever before. Previously, when a business kept all relevant data sets in a handful of programs stored in on-site servers, accessing the relevant data was as easy as going into Excel and typing up a spreadsheet. The borderless enterprise fragmented and multiplied that data, however. What would once have taken a few minutes may now take hours, especially if data sets have some data in common. Data may be stored in different formats across different platforms, requiring excessive manual data entry. This, invariably, generates at least a few errors.
Reports are vital to any business and become even more important as the amount of raw data that businesses must manage, grows. They are not, however, a simple task. Any IT department that must bear the brunt of a business’s report workload will rarely do anything else. Your IT department is one of your most valuable assets. Relegating your IT employees to a report farm is a waste of critical talent. IT employees spend every day peering into your company’s inner workings, and their insight can provide a competitive edge you would otherwise miss. With the freedom to develop new projects, your IT department can streamline production, save your business money, and help your business grow. Limiting the IT department to analytics and reports wastes that potential.
Advantages of BI Solutions
Business Intelligence software is faster than any human brain. These software solutions can handle the enormous burden of data generated by businesses and their customers along with historical data to generate real-time information. It’s simple for users to generate reports, dashboards, visual data, and other actionable information from raw data with little to no training. This is why relegating your highly trained IT employees to the reported farm is such a waste. Decision makers can use self-service BI solutions to predict trends. They can just as easily examine business performance records to find the best opportunities for growth and development within the company.
Unlike human IT employees, BI rarely makes mistakes. Essentially all BI software checks report as they are generated, proofing them before they are even complete. Since human employees would have to manually transfer data from various formats, errors are bound to happen. The best BI solutions circumvent these problems by including software compatible with a variety of file types and platforms. A single BI report can pull information from a .PDF file, a .DOC file, and online records along with traditional Excel spreadsheets. What’s more, it can do this in a fraction of the time it would take a human employee.
Business Intelligence won’t replace your IT department. It can remove the growing burden of reports and analytics, though. With BI, IT employees and decision makers would have access to better, faster information than a human team could generate. With such an advantage, your opportunities grow exponentially.