Thanks to the recent technological innovations and circumstances to their rapid adoption, having a data warehouse has become quite common in various enterprises across sectors. However, many businesses seem to face a lot of challenges, which includes ensuring a ‘single source of truth’ across the organization.
Several large organizations have faltered on different stages of BI implementation, from poor data quality to the inability to scale due to larger volumes of data and extremely complex BI architecture. This is where business intelligence consulting comes into the picture.
What is Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence (BI) encompasses a wide variety of tools, applications and methodologies that enable organizations to collect data from internal systems and external sources, process it and deliver it to business users in a format that is easy to understand and provides the context needed for informed decision making.
In order to be effective, a BI solution must be aligned with the organizational strategy and business objectives and must be able to scale to support the changing needs of the business.
BI consulting comes as a huge relief for organizations because implementing BI and analytics is a time-consuming, capital and labor intensive process that is essential for every business aiming for high-growth and sustainability.
The three components of Business Intelligence are:
- Data Strategy:a clearly defined plan of action that outlines how an organization will collect, store, process, and use data in order to achieve specific goals. Data governance and security measures are critical components of data strategy.
- KPI Analysis: the process of evaluating the performance of an organization using a set of measurable metrics
- infrastructure: refers to the hardware, software, and other key resources that are used to manage, maintain and analyze data within an organization.
Data strategy and management roadmap:
Effective management and utilization of information has become a critical success factor for organizations. Information management within organizations is a dynamic and complex process. Rapid changes in technology and the ever-changing competitive landscape are increasing the pressure on organizations to make swifter and more informed decisions. Any successful business needs to be able to effectively detect and respond to changes in their operating environment. To do this they need information, accurate and timely information.
On the other hand, it is an equally crucial priority to ensure the security of the data and meeting with the regulatory and compliance requirements. Data is susceptible to breach due to a number of reasons. Most of the breaches are due to internal protocol failures or failure to implement checks and balances in place.
Issues that come up because of incoherent data strategy and poor data management includes- Latency, poor data quality, risky data security measures, and higher costs
Organizations that are not effectively tracking their KPIs are at a competitive disadvantage. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a necessary component of any business intelligence strategy. By understanding an organization’s KPIs, an organization can track progress and identify areas of improvement on an ongoing basis. This provides businesses with information that can then be used to make informed decisions about where to allocate resources and how to respond to changes in the marketplace.
Some organizations may have missed certain KPIs which are essential to get a 360-degree view of their business. KPIs need to be tracked at different levels from across departments (at an operational level) to overall level (strategic level). Designing and implementing an effective KPI strategy can be a challenge that should ideally not be overlooked. This also applies to businesses that may not have a data warehouse and operate with the help of a backend database system.
When implementing a KPI strategy, an organization must track KPIs that can answer questions such as- what happened, why it happened, and what is likely to happen. And as a result, the number of KPIs being tracked are subjected to increase over time.
The BI infrastructure:
This includes designing and implementing data warehouses, data lakes, data marts, and OLAP cubes along with data mining, and modeling. Without a strong BI infrastructure, it can be difficult to effectively collect, store, and analyze data.
The BI infrastructure can prove to be quite expensive if not done right. The BI architecture defines the processes, tools, and data flows necessary to support BI within an organization. The goal of BI architecture is to provide a framework for supporting BI initiatives within an organization in a way that is efficient, scalable, and extensible. The BI initiatives include the organization’s short and long-term goals, current business challenges and business objectives among others.
The final stage of BI, which is generating visual reports and dashboards for analytics also witnesses a few common mistakes by organizations including delays and cluttered dashboards that are filled with chaos instead of stories. Dashboards are supposed to be neat and built to help with decision making at the strategic, tactical and operational levels.And the faster the reports are produced, the more productive and agile the organizations tend to become. To ensure minimum latency, efficient data management is key. And to ensure vital storytelling, reports and dashboard designs should be strategically aligned to a business’s short-term and long term goals.
A BI architecture must be designed to support the specific needs of the organization and the BI solution must be tailored to fit the architecture. The architecture must be able to accommodate the growth of the BI solution and the changing needs of the business. It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all BI architecture; each organization must design an architecture that is appropriate for its specific needs.
BI planning and implementation can be extremely complex with the massive volumes of data organizations today possess. A lot of meticulous planning and research is involved during every step of the journey. For small and medium organizations, it is a good idea to opt for business intelligence consulting which could result in millions of Euros saved from using the right tools, having a strategy in place and ensuring a smooth implementation of BI without any incidents.