Getting Real Value from BI Investments
Many organizations struggle with their data. Whether those without any structured analytics or data management practices, as well as businesses with mature BI infrastructures, there are always gaps to visibility. Data volumes are on the rise, companies expand their business models or provide new services, and the way in which data can be managed and processed is constantly evolving.
Many organizations struggle with their data. Whether those without any structured analytics or data management practices, as well as businesses with mature BI infrastructures, there are always gaps to visibility. Data volumes are on the rise, companies expand their business models or provide new services, and the way in which data can be managed and processed is constantly evolving. Consequently, the roles of business intelligence and information management also need to reflect these changes. Organizations need agile practices to ensure that they are collecting, managing, and analyzing data that can be acted upon. In the past, technology could not keep up and the promise of BI was not all it was cracked up to be.
Now things are different. Database technologies, “big data” storage, in-memory analytics, and the ability to leverage multiple types of data expand the value proposition of what business intelligence has to offer. The challenge becomes understanding the options that are available and making sure that the right choices are made within organizations that not only reflect current needs, but that can also support future needs. Looking at scalability, user licensing, business pains, levels of use and interactivity, and information architecture are some of the starting points when making sure that solutions support broader organizational needs.
The reality for most organization is that there will be the realization that BI needs to be an ever changing, constantly evolving process. Additionally, until organizations start to look at BI as an essential part of daily business processes and as an extension of daily operations, its use internally will be limited. Business intelligence and analytics can no longer be developed to monitor specific metrics without being able to provide action items. Identifying performance gaps, or issues with the supply chain, or lack of sales is a great start. But unless there is also the ability to look at cause and effect, and identify what needs to be done and the tools required to get there, then full BI value can’t be realized.
Although still a pipe dream to many, as technology continues to catch up and applications can be developed to support the convergence between operations, business process, and analytics organizations will continue to get closer to the realization that technology can be used to drive information value.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Businessprogram, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.
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