The right business intelligence strategy can help you pick the right software. The principles are relatively basic, but they give buyers powerful insights. Make sure to treat each purchase as you would any other business issue. Ask questions, gather information, and keep in mind evolving compliance standards and future expectations.
Security and Compliance
Business intelligence software reaches virtually every piece of your visible data. It includes everything from client feedback forms to performance reports and sales numbers. Countries around the world recently increased data breach penalties, and more come into effect next year. As data threats rise, businesses should expect to see even higher, more rigorously enforced legislation in the coming years. Your business intelligence strategy must acknowledge and incorporate security solutions along with compliance standards.
This task is trickier than it sounds, and it pays to review BI software options with your data security professionals. After all, business intelligence tools may access whatever data sets their users permit. Inevitably, this involves sensitive data. Determining how and when your BI solutions handle data is essential. Many industries make access even more complicated. HIPPA regulations, for example, restrict how healthcare facilities can view and utilize patient information. Although these critical laws protect patient privacy, they make it harder for hospitals and clinics to improve care. Direct consultation with industry experts helps the best BI developers create useful programs that walk the narrow line between efficiency and compliance. Ask lots of questions before introducing any new product into your business intelligence strategy.
Scalability and Configuration
If your business intelligence strategy works, you will have to address scalability in the near future. Choosing limited BI options may save money in the short term, but their payoff is limited, especially for successful businesses that enjoy rapid expansion. Limited BI software simply cannot handle the rapid changes growing businesses experience. They cannot manage the increased demand and need of larger businesses, either. Make sure your business intelligence strategy includes long-term considerations. If things go well, will this same product serve your needs? Can it keep pace with your goals?
Make sure new software features a range of configuration options as well. Businesses change as they grow, and that may mean new software solutions. If your business intelligence solutions cannot interact with these programs or cause errors in these systems, you will face a costly problem. You will also need to configure your system to suit your new policies and procedures. Change is the only constant, and businesses that effectively wield BI will see a lot of it. Accounting for these potential variables will help you use a BI solution longer, adding to its overall value.
Buying software requires strategy, just like any other BI process. Follow the same principles you would before making any other investment, but remember that BI will change your business faster than essentially any other product. Planning for the best-case scenario ensures your new program doesn’t hinder your progress in the coming months and years.