How to Build a Successful BI Strategy
Each organization has its goals and plans. They gather data to determine the best approach and which actions to take. We can’t deny the power of data to help organizations succeed. Many companies have started to adopt BI strategy because they see it as a way to improve profitability, optimize internal processes and discover new revenue streams, identify market trends, and spot business problems through data analysis and effective decision-making.
Starting such an approach requires preparation. Let’s learn how to create a business intelligence strategy.
What Is BI Strategy?
Let’s first define the term before we get to the strategy. In the 1950s, it was a technology known as decision support systems. These systems became a complete tool over the following decades mainly because of the increased data companies could collect on their internal processes as well as their customers (the rise in internet usage and computer use accelerated this process).
It was also cheaper to store more data. Companies had unlimited access to a variety of data, including internet usage records and social media activity. BI aims at finding patterns and trends in all of this data.
The US$23.258.94m in business intelligence revenue is expected to be this year.
These are some explanations we believe to be relevant. BI simply means that the right information is delivered to the right people at a time when they are most needed to make better decisions faster. BI uses methods to gather unstructured data, transform it into information and improve business decisions.
The following are possible BI options:
- Performance Management
- Predictive modeling
- Data mining, etc.
BI uses the data generated by your business in its various activities. It then analyzes and visualizes the data to help you understand and make better business decisions. BI is essentially a way to convert raw data into useful information by structuring and analyzing it.
Data analysis is the reason why companies invest in BI. Analytics reports can impact all aspects of a company’s business processes, regardless of how they process their data. Both terms can be confused. BI uses both past and current data to inform current decision-making, while business analytics uses historical data to explain the present and predict the future. BI uses different analytics methods, including:
- Data mining is an automated analysis of large data sets to identify patterns.
- Text analytics searches textual (unstructured), data (e-book, research paper) in order to identify patterns. This can be used to analyze sentiment on social media, online customer feedback, and other purposes.
- Business Analytics identifies connections between data and companies. It helps predict future trends and uncover inefficiencies in systems.
Why Businesses Should Implement BI
- If your company is suffering from:
- Employees who are underperforming
- Customers are losing their business
- Time and resources wasted
- Although you have tons of data, you don’t know how it can be used.
Data-driven decisions can benefit your company in:
- Performance tracking
- Optimizing operations
- Predicting trends
- Plan approach to increasing profit
- Analyzing customer behavior
- Analyzing competitors data
- Problem solving and discovery
The following sections provide details about other benefits.
Profitable Business Decisions
As we have already said, BI allows you to draw insights from your data and make better business decisions. In dashboards, graphs and charts don’t provide a visual representation for your business performance. Visualization allows you to visualize data and observe trends. It also makes it easier for you to understand and interpret the data.
Business intelligence is based on financial and operations data. It generates accurate reports, visual representations (charts, graphs), or written information. This way, all stakeholders (especially business owners), are aware of every change in the company.
BI is a way to analyze an industry, market, competitors, strengths, and weaknesses and identify trends. You are the first to know the future trends and identify opportunities.
Each industry is subject to its own risks. Cyber threats, data leaks, and other risks can all be involved. BI allows organizations to identify and reduce these risks in the most efficient manner. BI Fintech institutions can create secure intelligence platforms and reduce fraud and cyber attacks that were previously impossible.
You might be tempted to think that implementing BI will cost a lot and thus be a costly investment. We can guarantee you that your business will benefit from the insights gained. They will help you make better business decisions and improve performance. There are BI tools that are free or very affordable (e.g. Google Data Studio is a free BI tool that doesn’t cost any extra, so budget won’t be a problem.
Access to most business data is easy. You don’t need to program, do data mining, or hire specialists. Data can be exported from the location it is stored (e.g. The BI tool allows you to export the data from where it is stored (e.g. Excel) in just a few seconds. To begin BI, you will need to analyze the data and crunch the numbers.
The dashboards make it easy to visualize the data and allow you to control your business activities.
Business Intelligence Cycle
Its life cycle has several stages.
- Direction — Determining the direction of development, and the goals
- Collecting data and information from all sources
- Processing — Transforming raw data into an easily understood format that is ready for analysis
- Analyze — Interpreting the processed data
- Dissemination — Communicating the new-found insights to people
How to Build a BI Strategy
A business intelligence strategy can be described as a plan that helps businesses to measure their performance and then strengthen it with architectures and solutions. These are the steps you should follow to build a business intelligence plan.
Define your Current State
You need to ask simple questions to unlock the potential of business intelligence, and to take your company to the next level.
- Where are you at the moment?
- What are you looking to accomplish?
- What is possible?
A well-planned business intelligence strategy will allow your business to grow. As an owner, you should be prepared to answer questions.
- Machine learning — What, When, and Why it Will Happen?
- Predictive analytics: What might happen?
- What happened to descriptive analytics? What’s the future?
Create a BI Roadmap
A plan is the first step to business intelligence strategy. Implementing BI in any organization involves many steps. The project roadmap should include the who, what, whom, when, and how. It doesn’t matter what project management method you choose (agile or waterfall), it is smart to communicate when milestones have been reached and tasks are complete.
A roadmap is a list of milestones and deliverables in chronological order. It allows employees to stay on the same page. They can be aware of what has been accomplished and what is coming up and allow them to adapt to changing circumstances.
Present BI for the Stakeholders
Before you implement a business intelligence program in your company, it is important to define and agree on the terms of BI. Because data processing involves many employees, it is important that everyone understands the business intelligence development strategy and is on the same page.
Set the Requirements and KPIs
This stage is where you will need to identify the problem and determine the business goals you want to achieve with the BI development strategy. The plans will help you set the parameters for BI such as:
- Which data sources will you use?
- What business analytics do you want to be aware of?
- What metrics can help you improve your performance?
- What are the KPIs and other evaluation metrics that help to define tasks as completed?
Select the Tools
The industry, size, and business requirements will all play a role in selecting the right tools for BI infrastructure. It’s worthwhile to create a list of requirements for your business intelligence system and do market research.
The BI market offers a number of tools that are available as both embedded versions and cloud-based (software-as-a-service) technologies. Google Data Studio and PowerBI are some of the most popular BI tools.
Create a Prototype
This is a quick project that verifies tech concepts. It involves presenting simplified features, validating assumptions, and testing the product’s functionality to ensure the concept is feasible. It helps you to identify the source data and to determine where transformations can be made to make it secure for large amounts of data that the end-users have access to.
Set the Team
Without people, business intelligence strategy and roadmap are impossible to create. It is best to bring together experts from different departments to form a team that can provide specific insight, have a different vision, and make strategic, architectural, and technical decisions. There are usually five major roles.
- Head BI – The person with the technical and business skills to generate insights and implement BI.
- BI engineer – The person who designs and implements BI systems. Common technologies include SQL, MySQL, AWS Redshift (HBase), BigSQL & Oracle, SQL, Apache Spark & Hadoop. SSIS, SSAS. Pentaho. Tableau. Power BI. You can find out more.
- Business analyst – The person who provides expertise in data validation and processing and visualization to the rest of the team. Also, the person who transforms analytics into actionable insights.
- Data Scientist – The person who uses statistics, analytics tools, and machine learning to extract actionable value out of big data.
You can always hire a vendor to provide the best solutions for your business if you don’t have an expert team.
The Benefits of Outsourcing BI
- Time and cost savings
- A fresh, independent perspective from outside the company
- Professionalism and expertise
- While the BI team does its job, you can focus on the core processes.
- Accuracy and Scalability
No matter how small or large your business is, implementing BI will bring you many benefits. To get the most out of BI, partner with a trusted vendor.
BI, or business intelligence, is the process of analyzing the data generated by your company to generate actionable insights that can be used to drive business decision-making. Although it may seem simple, it was complex in practice. It required a lot of computer processing power, advanced statistical skills, and coding knowledge.