Published June 15th, 2016 by

9 Common Business Intelligence Mistakes You Should Avoid

9 Common Business Intelligence Mistakes You Should Avoid

According to studies, analytics and business intelligence will continue to become the focus of many CIOs up to 2017, with organizations spending millions of dollars on traditional business intelligence software, social tools, and mobile apps. However, as the years pass and the number and type of BI tools have exponentially grown, the possibility of failure which comes with selecting the wrong weapons for business or ending up with users who do not understand the solutions have also emerged.

In order to help business owners avoid making these expensive mistakes, it is crucial that you know how to make the most out of the best business intelligence software. Here is a list of the top nine mistakes which firms make when it comes to implementing and choosing a business intelligence solution. Additionally, tips on how you can avoid them are also included.

1. Failure to Define the Business Problem/s You Need to Solve

According to Scott Schlesinger, head of Business Information Management and senior vice president for Capgemini, a consulting, outsourcing and technology, company in North America, organizations should stop rushing into taking advantage of different business intelligence software without having a particular business case in mind.

He adds that one of the largest mistakes that come with going for an analytics drive is diving into a situation too soon without initially defining the goals which the company really wants to achieve. If this is the case, companies will not be able to profit from this investment and generate some ROI if they fail to outline the business case that they want to address and determine where and why they want to leverage on big data to help in their everyday operations.

The trouble, almost always, is not being able to solve a defined problem because firms end up buying for just general capability, says Logi Analytics principal solutions architect and Solutions Engineering director, Charles Caldwell.

He notes that so many individuals search for a silver bullet that will serve as the one-time analytics problem solver without defining the immediate dilemma that needs to be solved in the first place. This is why so many projects involving business intelligence fail.

Caldwell suggests that businesses should always start with the end in mind by identifying the things that need to be taken cared of while at the same time understating certain capabilities which are required in order to address the issues. If these things have already been completed, it is time to buy the BI tools that have the power to meet them.

2. Failure to Get Buy-In from Users

Dell Software’s Joanna Schloss recognizes that many IT departments have the tendency to buy Bi tools hurriedly and in a vacuum, without getting buy-in from end users first. Most of them make the mistake of assuming that their employees will just use their purchased business intelligence software because it is given to them by the organization.

She explains that even the top ranking BI software will be rendered ineffective if they are not properly utilized, and no process of standardizing or training will persuade people to make use of technology that they do not feel like they can benefit from personally. The only solution, therefore, is to help employees understand why they need to avail of the service, rather than imposing it on them. This will clearly articulate the value of the whole proposition and eventually, adoption will just follow.

Ray Major, Halo Business Intelligence’s chief strategist adds that many firms end up underestimating the difficulty which comes with changing organizational cultures to use and accept BI tools. To have a successful implementation, no matter what the new technology is, a company should endeavor to have end-user buy in and executive buy-in. the former requires a focused and concerted internal marketing, as well as educational effort in order to highlight all the advantages of a particular BI system. In order to make sure that transition and adoption is achieved, companies should be able to tie employee goals with results driven by analytics and metrics.

3. Failing to Factor In Legal and Security Requirements

According to Steve Farr, senior manager for product marketing at TIBCO Software, companies should keep in mind that data governance is important when it comes to selecting business intelligence software. If executives give out all the data to the employees so that they could explore everything by themselves, this can prove to be detrimental. In order to protect customers and the organization itself, make sure that the BI system works according to the legal obligation and security policies of the firm.

4. Becoming Overwhelmed by the Features

Kiriti Mukherjee from Collaborative Consulting notes that many companies rate and evaluate business intelligence software in terms on features which are being offered by the tool, like querying and reporting, explorations and discovery, dashboards, data visualization, OLAP and analyses, performance management and predictive analytics.

Out of all these, one key feature seems to be missing – integration. Unification with other office applications involve learning about Excel, embedding business intelligence objects with other enterprise portals and applications, including working with mobile devices, Mukherjee notes.

Many business owners also overlook the fact that while focusing on the features is necessary, making sure that the best business intelligence software they choose integrates with the business as whole is also crucial.

5. Not Choosing an Adaptable and Measurable Solution

According to the Product Management director of Tableau Software, Francois Ajenstat, many organizations are guilty of selecting a Bi solution that is not agile. He explains that at cutting-edge and fast-moving companies, self-service BI analytics are now the norm. The traditional monolithic infrastructure is presently crumbling to give way for tools which can effectively work with newer sources of data, and dashboard usability and flexibility are crucial.

In going through reviews of business intelligence software, make sure to choose one that can adapt and grow together with your business needs.

6. Not Considering the Mobile Workforce

Farr adds that several organizations fail to take mobility into consideration when they are in the process of selecting business intelligence software. However, in as much as what is being consumed is relevant, how it is being consumed is equally as important. In a few cases, basic KPI that is being displayed on a mobile device has the same weight as paper-based logistics and reports.

7. Rushing with Implementation

Daniel Ronsei from Aderant Software says that for the deployment to be successful, it does not necessarily mean that it has to be done rapidly. When deciding to set up a business intelligence solution, patience is always a virtue. Implementation should not be overly rushed as enough time must be set aside for training, in order to make sure that users are provided with the opportunity to acquire or develop the ample skill sets which are needed to effectively use the BI tools.

Southward Jones from Birst, a company which provides cloud-based business intelligence software, advises business executives to deploy BI tools incrementally. Instead of expecting the software to solve all problems, prioritize certain outcomes that the organization wants to achieve. Once the first problem has been answered, add on a few things cumulatively and do not forget to be flexible.

According to Jones, focus on answers that will serve to validate recent strategies or those that will have the largest impact on the operations of the business. Remember to select a starting point and keep in mind that while BI tools can answer business questions eventually, it cannot answer everything in just one go.

8. Not Enough Training

Litcom president, Steve Litwin, says that a lot of companies exhaust their budget on licenses and short training courses for users. They fail to recognize, however, that the BI systems being used today are complex structures which need longer weeks of training for users to genuinely acquire value. Ideally, ongoing training should be practiced in order for individuals to be comfortable and familiar with the entire system. For instance, companies can host weekly sessions over lunch where various aspects of the system will be discussed.

9. Not Leveraging on Intelligence

Marketing and Sales VP of i-Sight, Joe Gerard, says that a few companies collect relevant information from business intelligence software but they fail to share, analyze, or act on these data – and this has proven to be a huge mistake. When assessing BI solutions, it is crucial to always think outside what is normal. By taking leveraging on intelligence and data reporting, companies can thwart risks and make knowledgeable decisions in order to drive the business forward.

Business intelligence software may be used to analyze and report various data points, forecast trends, and identify opportunities and risks. The most common mistake that several organizations make is becoming complacent with a defined set of reports. This often leads to failure to consider the whole business environment. Companies should maximize the reporting and collecting features of their business intelligence solution so that can better predict possible problems and avoid problems. For a list of reviews of business intelligence software, check out the website today.

Trevor Price

Trevor Price helps small businesses leverage mobile technology to reach their audience and extend their capabilities in delivery, information, and tracking.

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