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Business Intelligence Considerations- Magnum BI

The Importance of Pre-Job Planning

In today’s world, access to seamless, accurate, and timely information is key to developing and maintaining competitive advantages; business entities who have not yet implemented data-driven decision-making processes are finding themselves further and further behind their competitors who have. An integral part of the data-driven approach is the implementation and utilization of a business intelligence platform which is intuitive, simple and cost-effective.

Most competitive business entities have some form of reporting, either internal or financial, but a well-executed data-driven approach will offer the following advantages:

  • Give managers quicker responses to business-related queries – Self-service business intelligence and analysis tools allow power users, often those with dual roles, the ability to share and publish the business intelligence (BI) applications they create with other end users in their organization. Likewise, managers may also utilize these tools to create ad-hoc reports for themselves, their peers or their supervisors.
  • Offer customizable solutions – Typically, guided-discovery tools operate with a pre-defined collection of data and metrics, but self-service BI tools enable power users to add data and define new metrics for their analyses without requiring IT intervention. There are some limitations: 1) Power users must have security access and privacy rights to the data sources they intend to use in order to develop applications; 2) The data sources must be easily accessed by the BI tools in question and, 3) Power users must understand the structure and definitions of the data.
  • Obtain important business metrics reports whenever and wherever you need them Many current data visualization platforms allow applications to be compatible with mobile devices, allowing end users to utilize dashboards on iOS and Android devices.
  • Allow managers to find cost-effective solutions

Leverage your BI tools to find previously undiscovered insights in your organization’s operations.  Using aggregated purchasing data, identify and learn your vendors’ capabilities and preferences, and utilize it to create optimized distribution channels. Using vendor stratification, distinguish suppliers in terms of their value to the company then determine which distribution channels are the most cost-efficient to ship those goods. Using your operations data, discover trends among major cost-centers and use them to develop strategic advantages to increase efficiency and profitability.  With inventory stratification, identify your most profitable products and services. These are only a few examples of the types of analyses power users can create with a tabular BI platform.

  • Get the knack of streamlining operations – Import data from your enterprise’s various data silos to your BI platform, allowing end users to create organization level analyses. This process is referred to as information integration and involves merging information from heterogeneous sources with differing conceptual, contextual and typographical representations. 

The benefits of a business intelligence platform and strategy are apparent, but what are some of the factors that should be considered prior to the implementation and execution of such a project? Once implemented, how can you gauge its success and value to an organization? To answer a few of these important questions regarding BI is Chris Kadavil from RigServ.

Explain the difference between business intelligence and competitive intelligence.

Competitive intelligence consists of collecting and studying information of an organization’s market, competitors, and products. In stark contrast, business intelligence is the collection, storage, and maintenance of an organization’s data.This involves all the extraction, transformation and load processes used to source data from different data silos to a company’s data warehouse. Though the traditional approach has been to separate the CI and BI functions in an organization, many organizations today often streamline them together.

Which factors are considered when devising a BI strategy for a company?

When creating a business intelligence strategy for a company, one of the most important factors to consider is the nature of its business and industry as it’s closely related to how often and in which form their data is collected and structured. On an enterprise level, data engineers and data architects often must consider the amount of data that is generated daily, how much of the collected data is stored for analyses, determine the integrity and quality of the data, and even “massage” or clean the data as necessary for usage in analytics or visualization platforms. And, of course, these steps would vary from industry to industry.

How can you determine if your BI project implementation was successful?

There are actually several metrics you can use to gauge the success of a BI project: (1) the speed and ability of the tool to drill down from organization-level aggregate data to very specific data; (2) the timeliness of users’ access to necessary data; (3) the centralization of enterprise data; (4) the amount of time spent handling the data by end users; (5) the speed at which decisions are made by executives and (6) the bottom line impact of these decisions. Utilizing a combination of these metrics, you can determine the return on investment of your BI project development and implementation.

Without a doubt, it is necessary to have a clearly defined and managed BI strategy and platform to remain competitive in the information age, but without proper consideration, it is easy to implement a system or platform which will not generate the value executives seek. If you have any further questions about the advantages of utilizing BI tools or the challenges of defining a clear-cut strategy and implementation, RigServ personnel would be glad to speak with you. Click below to learn more.

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