The importance of business intelligence cannot be overstated. This powerful tool provides critical knowledge and insights that give companies a solid leg up in the race to market success. With it, organizations gain a window into their business operations in a myriad of areas, enabling leaders to make better, data-informed decisions that drive competitive advantage.
Most businesses today realize the importance of BI, particularly the need to compile and analyze data. In fact, in 2021, the percentage of businesses citing BI as instrumental to their organization was at an all-time high. More than 55% of organizations noted that cloud BI was either “critical” or “very important” to their business, according to a study by Dresner Advisory Services. This recognition is also reflected in a study by Forbes, which found that more than 95% of businesses face some kind of need to manage unstructured data, with over 40% of businesses saying they must do so on a frequent basis.
While recognizing its importance, many business intelligence projects fail, according to analyst firm Gartner, which notes that poor planning, low user adoption, and a variety of other factors are leading issues in unsuccessful BI efforts.
To help companies succeed, we’ve developed a list of five common mistakes to watch out for during BI tool implementation.
1. Poor Communication
A lack of communication between the IT department and business operations can spell trouble for BI project success. IT departments may make the mistake of thinking of BI implementation as an engineering project, rather than a business initiative. The first step in planning a BI project should be determining what information the business really needs, according to industry experts.
To start, talk to people from various parts of the organization, ask the right questions, and determine how they plan to use the intelligence data and how they want to present it. IT should think of the BI project as one element of a larger business strategy with the ultimate goal of securing valuable information to drive competitive advantage.
2. Lack of Executive Support
A lack of executive support can be a major stumbling block to BI implementation. While it may seem like the path of least resistance, not including key decision makers or team leaders in your BI platform selection process and strategy development can cause problems later, particularly if issues like extra cost or slowed implementation arise. The best path is to clearly communicate with executives and staff about the goals of BI implementation. Also, getting the C-suite’s buy-in on the selection of the BI platform can go a long way to ensuring a unified front going forward.
3. Ignoring Ease of Use
One of the key factors of BI success is user adoption. Many of the critical insights offered by BI data analysis won’t happen without user input, so ease of use is essential. BI tools should enable the average business user to capture important data insights without the need for expert technical knowledge. With minimal training, users should be able to analyze, model, manage, and share data. BI applications that are too complex will likely get little use. Be sure to choose a platform that will allow your organization’s users to be self-sufficient, with no need for IT expert assistance.
4. Lack of Strategy
Many companies get so focused on meeting aggressive migration deadlines that they rush their BI implementation — a tactic that can end up doing more harm than good. Before launching a BI project, clear objectives that align with overall business goals should be outlined. It is critical to consider every possible use case before selecting a new BI tool to bring into the mix.
Along these same lines, IT teams can get caught up in jumping on the bandwagon of the “latest and greatest” BI tool, without taking the time to assess if the tool is actually the best option for their business. In other words, avoid selecting a new platform just because other companies are doing so.
5. Not Implementing an Effective Change Management Plan
To reduce the possibility of low employee adoption for the new BI strategy, an effective change management strategy is mission-critical. This means ensuring not only proper employee training but also employee buy-in. It’s important that employees understand why business intelligence is important to the company and see the benefits of its use. Next, make sure you establish a change network of key employees throughout the middle layer of your organization who can help disperse vital information to their respective teams.
Finally, distribute consistent and clear messaging to help set expectations and goals. There is no such thing as overcommunication, so share your message across various channels, including email, town hall-style meetings, newsletters, videos, or any mode of communication that gets your key information delivered.
In summary, BI is a valuable set of tools that can collect, analyze, and transform data into pivotal business insights — if done correctly. At Atos OneCloud, we assist companies in the design and implementation of effective BI modernization strategies to unlock new insights, empower employees, overcome challenges, and drive success.
For more information on BI solutions, contact us to speak with one of our experts.
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