We have put together a helpful list of 13 signs that make it easy see when a Business Intelligence solution is needed. Of course, you don’t have to wait until you see them all at once, and at least one is enough to raise a question mark. We advise you to go through the article and then complete the checklist at the end in order to find the BI tool that can help you achieve your goals.
Put together by our Business Intelligence specialists, this list is drawn from 10 years of experience of working with businesses that have encountered at least one of these signs before implementing a BI solution.
The signs and how BI can help
1. You have multiple business applications and data sources and the process of putting them together is still manual.
The process is cumbersome and assembling the information in such a manner can cause serious headaches when it comes to relying on that data. Most of the time it leads to inefficiency and poor decision making. By using a Business Intelligence solution, you eliminate inaccuracy, obtain precise information about your business, and make sure that everyone is on the same page.
2. Reporting occurs once a month or yearly.
Needless to say, reports should be easy and fast to obtain. When you are receiving information about your business only monthly or yearly, the decision process is slow, the response-to-market is virtually nonexistent, and you won’t notice potential bottlenecks building up until it is too late. Business Intelligence tools respond to this problem by offering an easy way to create instant reports as often as you want, with KPIs that matter for you in order to help you create or maintain your competitive advantage.
3. You need both a company overview and an in-depth view for certain operations.
It is absolutely vital to know how your company works both at macro and micro level. If you find it hard and time consuming to understand and put together the data in order to see how your company is performing at any level, then BI might just resolve this problem. Using a BI dashboard, you can see a clear picture of your company and create reports with the parameters you want instantly.
4. You need to share information effectively and efficiently with employees across your company.
If your system provides the same data to everyone with minimal security constraints, then you are most likely to have employees who don’t take data-driven decisions. You need to provide users with the information that is relevant to them, not the company at large. Business Intelligence can help you create a single application that displays inputs differently, making it relevant to the user according to their role in the company. Protect your data and avoid integrity issues with a BI solution that lets you share what data you want with whom you want and no one else.
5. Your IT department is still in charge of creating reports.
The control of data is passing from the IT department to the end user. If your company hasn’t made the change yet, then maybe it’s time you did. In the past, technical knowledge was required in order to generate reports, but now, by using a BI tool, there is no need to limit the reporting process exclusively to the IT department. Users with any level of technical skill can generate reports using drag and drop.
6. You have a clear reporting system but the information received is becoming less and less useful.
You need actionable and useful data if you want to build a strong competitive advantage. BI steps in to help you solve this problem by instantly telling you which areas of your business are struggling and which are performing. This way, you can really take advantage of your data.
7. Your business is growing – or at least that is your impression.
Seeing the company growing but not being able to put your finger on what’s going well and what needs improvement is a serious reason to start being concerned. A good BI solution provider can offer more than just tools to analyze and access your data, they offer consultancy and training so that you can use these tools to your best advantage.
8. You are gathering or monitoring data but that is about it.
Congratulations, you have made the first step! Don’t let all that effort go to waste or lose important information that can help your business in the decision-making process. Without analyzing the data, all that effort is pointless. A BI solution can help you overcome this challenge and find the answers to many of your business questions. Spend your time analyzing instead of compiling your data.
9. Your business is dependent on Excel, spreadsheets and “Excel gurus”.
Put a stop to this. It is not healthy for your company, short or long term. You most likely got to this point by having many spreadsheets for your reporting and recording processes. “Excel Gurus” were once an absolute must, as not everyone in the company is a spreadsheet specialist. Business Intelligence can help you by keeping your business information in a single location that can be accessed by all or who you want. The solutions are easy to manage so put your “Excel gurus” to better use. Last but not least, there is no second guessing if the numbers are right or not.
10. Competition is thriving.
When did this happen? Unfortunately, this sign appears last and needless to say that it is the most important one. The right Business Intelligence solution can help you stay ahead of your competitors, retain current customers, and gain new ones, giving you a strong competitive advantage because it will ensure faster response times and speed up decision making.
11. You struggle to know how old your data actually is.
Along with having actionable data, you need it to be accurate and up to date. BI delivers current data and relieves you of this struggle as the system is updated constantly, dare we say, in “real time”.
12. Which is the “right spreadsheet”?
If you hear this question more often than you should or if you don’t hear it at all, it means that you are losing precious time and you are prone to error. By using a BI solution, you make sure that all of your information is centralized without people having to pull data from different sources. Ditch the confusion and inefficiency as soon as possible by using a Business Intelligence tool.
13. You want to switch your company focus from the past to the future.
Data can provide insights about the past but it can also help you foresee the future. Using a BI reporting dashboard, you can get the hang of patterns or trends, better estimate future activities, set realistic KPIs, and lead your company to a brighter future with fewer uncertainties.
You have reached the end of our list. If you answered yes to at least two of our entries, then your suspicions are confirmed. Pick from the list below the signs that apply to your business and we will send you a recommendation of what you could do in order to improve your current situation: