Refine Your Search

Three Elements of Impactful Business Intelligence

Business intelligence (BI) is more than a dashboard. To create an effective BI strategy, three elements are necessary to serve business decision makers: people, process, and technology.

BI projects that encompass all three elements can lead to the successful implementation of a BI tool and enable end-user adoption. When forming your BI strategy and selecting a visualization tool to implement, remember to consider people, process, and technology.

People
The success of a tool is ultimately defined by those who use it, making end users an important component of any technology initiative. Engaging end users throughout BI strategy development, tool selection, implementation, and adoption is crucial.

Engaging leadership ensures the right message spreads throughout the organization. Gathering requirements from executives and managers informs the inclusion of features and information key end users will interact with – and informs end users what matters most to decision-makers in the organization. Once the dashboard is approved, training will be required for end users initially and on an ongoing basis to provide end-user support once the tool is implemented. People are critical to the success of your BI project. Ongoing communication and engagement with the end-user base will increase the likelihood of successful adoption.

Process
Process change is best received by executives who can speak to the necessity of the proposed changes and influence change. This task is made easier when an executive team can articulate the reasons behind the change and how it will make life simpler for all involved. Achieve clarity by preparing to overcome the questions that almost always arise by undertaking the following steps:

  • Define and communicate a BI strategy rooted in organizational goals;
  • Generate buy-in from key influencers and executives across the company; and
  • Communicate updates early and often with all users involved.

Applying this approach soothes hesitancy about change. When employees understand how the strategy is tied to the organization’s goals, buy-in increases.

Technology
With big-name BI tools like Tableau, Power BI, Qlik, Domo, and SAP commanding the BI market, it is important to understand the differences in the tools to determine the right tool for your organization. Review our tips on finding and selecting the right BI tool for your organization, shared in this blog post.

Once you’ve selected a tool, a great way to validate and confirm the accuracy of the data you’ve brought into the new system is to undertake a small BI use case, such as a profit and loss statement dashboard. Linking directly to the data allows you to automate the creation of reports, creating process consistency and efficiency.

There are many factors to consider when selecting the right BI solution for your organization, and it is critical to select the one that maximizes value. Here is our internal case study.

Wrap Up
Approaching BI from a holistic perspective of people, process, and technology takes time, requires buy-in, and is an investment for your organization. These efforts lead to better return on investment and are worth the resources. Before you launch BI as a strategic initiative for your organization, take the time to create a strategy and be thoughtful about how it strengthens your organization’s ability to execute.


About the Author
Joe Kaltenthaler is a Business Intelligence Analyst for KSM Consulting. Joe works with clients to enable the strategic implementation of business intelligence. Connect with him on LinkedIn.