A Business Intelligence solution represents a substantial investment of money, time and other resources. It is therefore natural that the company should want to extract the maximum possible leverage from this investment. There are several things you can do to ensure that this happens. This article addresses some of the key issues.
BI is about Strategy not about Information Technology
The first step towards getting the best out of your Business Intelligence initiative is to ensure that it is looked at as a strategic solution and not as a report creating solution. If an organization fails to look at BI solutions as a strategic initiative, more often than not, it will be left to the IT staff to manage it. However BI solutions can only be exploited fully by business users and not IT users.
Business Intelligence Case 1
Using Business Intelligence as a strategic tool, here is what Televerde, a professional services company was able to achieve in terms of financial and strategic advantages :
Business Intelligence Case 2
In yet another case of very fruitful utilization, a French apparel and footwear company with a €800 million turnover, used a Business Intelligence solution to take its business to much greater levels of efficiency.
Previous to their BI initiative, this company did not have any integrated solution for the entire worldwide business. Some divisions used BI solutions locally while others were content with spreadsheets. Getting a unified view of the business was nearly impossible and even if some king of report was generated, it was a near certainty that it would be inaccurate and out dated. With the implementation of a common, companywide BI solution, there were several major improvements. These were:
So what must your do to extract best value from your BI Investment? Here is a short list that sums up the above discussion.
In conclusion, any Business Intelligence solution is an important investment. If used with imagination and a spirit of discovery, it has the potential to take your business to the next level. However, it is important to stress that it is a business solution. Information technology is only a facilitator. The tool is to be used by business men, not IT staff. Fortunately, most BI solutions are built to be very easy and intuitive. You do not have to be a geek to get the best out of them.
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