Business Intelligence (BI), advanced analytical reports and reporting, can be a vital part of an enterprise’s business model, enabling end-users across all tiers to have in-depth knowledge of the state of the enterprise. This intelligence can make or break a business in a highly competitive sector – by ensuring that teams are operating with the most relevant and current information at their fingertips at all times. According to a recent article in enterpriseaapstoday.com, most BI is acquired by ITand these highly centralized reports can be
But, for all the advantages of using BI, if it isn’t properly implemented, it can have the exact opposite effect. What are some of the challenges that IT teams face in deploying BI and bringing it into full adoption? According to Gartner, one issue that undergirds all others is the common misperception of BI tools as “too difficult” for most use cases. The enterpriseaapstoday.com article offers a look at six of the gnarliest BI mistakes to make and how to avoid them.
Give them an Inch…When IT Departments or Users Have Too Much Control
It’s understandable that IT departments think they need to be in the BI driver’s seat; after all, they’re generally the ones buying a BI platform in the first place. But, while the logic of this is obvious, are IT teams really the best ones to do the BI purchasing? Or, if they do, should they be doing so in a complete vacuum? IT looks at software purchases from a very specific point of view, which can filter out everything except the factors they deem most relevant: stability, security, scalability and vendor reputation, all of which comes down to minimizing risk.
But according to one Forrester Research analyst, the best solution is something in between a strictly IT-focused BI purchasing scheme and a user-managed one, which can lean towards cloud-based platforms that can compromise enterprise network security.
Ignoring the Obvious: Users' BI Needs
No matter how great your BI is, if its capabilities don’t match what the end-users need, it’s a problem. Millions into it, companies can and do find themselves saddled with a system-user mismatch.
Establish the specific reporting capabilities your organization’s users want and need. For example, find out if users need interactive reports versus only static ones and include that as criteria for any BI being considered. By surveying users before acquisition and integrating that in the proof-of-concept evaluation, organizations can avoid this pitfall.
Wishful Thinking: Underestimating Training and User Enablement Costs
Often two weeks is considered SOP for training allotments. But that miscalculates the complexity of BI and the requisite training to master it, which often exceeds that. When IT, or an executive, proposes BI or a BI upgrade, it is advisable that they research the typical amount of time teams actually required to become not only familiar, but proficient, and use that as a base for that element of the budget request.
Rather than looking at BI as something to learn via a “crash course” model, aside from a general overview, training modules administered through “lunch and learn” sessions, BI “feature of the day”, videos-on-demand, and other incremental learning modules, are recommended for optimizing BI users proficiency.
Turning a Blind Eye
BI is like any other platform, it will need to be periodically upgraded, to continue to meet the demands of an enterprise or an industry. A BI platform needs to have the capability to adapt and change to new functionality demands and technologies that users interface with.
Implementing BI is phase one. Phase two, three, and four, might be likened to continuous or lifelong learning. Keeping up with BI best practices is one way that an enterprise’s executives can ensure that the initial investment in BI continues to prove rewarding. One BI analyst suggested factoring in things like moving from interactive discovery to automatic discovery and cloud-based solutions that better serve BYOD users, into the selection of particular BI vendor.
Even out-of-the box BI has a learning curve, and understanding the inner workings of metadata and how the data presents is not something to trifle with (or waste gobs of money muddling through).
Work with a BI vendor that has broad-based user support capabilities 24/7 and consider working with professional systems integrator. This can save an enterprise lots of time in the short-run and money in the long-run (Source: InetSoft Technology).