We’ve been spending a great deal of time this month talking about business intelligence (BI), and for good reason. When set up and implemented properly, a business intelligence strategy will provide your organization with the data and insights necessary to truly understand your position within your industry, anticipate upcoming market trends, and improve your overall operations. In other words, BI can be a true game changer for your business, providing a major competitive advantage that helps you thrive in the coming years.
While these insights are essential for the growth of your business, it can be challenging to set up and implement the right business intelligence strategy to deliver the information you truly need. Therefore, it’s crucial to do your research before diving into the planning phase of the process. Make sure you truly understand what you need out of your BI solutions, and make sure you have a strong plan for how to set them up properly.
We recommend reading the following article to gain a deeper insight into how to implement a BI strategy at your organization:
At Webolutions, we help our clients set up and manage their business intelligence solutions, providing Real-Time Intelligence Dashboards™ that give them the actionable insights their team needs to better understand the changing landscape of their industry. Our team will work with you to gain a clear picture of your specific goals for your BI solutions. Then, we’ll recommend the proper strategies and tools to deliver the information your business needs.
Key Takeaways from this Article
A business intelligence strategy provides a framework for your team to make data-driven decisions on just about every aspect of your business. The insights you gain from your business intelligence efforts can then be leveraged to elevate the success of your business.
Implementing a BI strategy at your company will offer a variety of benefits, including:
- Real-time data tracking – Receive instant access to the important data needed to run your business more effectively. This allows you to be proactive in your decision making instead of finding out too late that an essential action needed to be taken.
- Data harmonization – Different departments in your company are most likely collecting different types of data. When viewed separately, you only receive a partial picture of what is going on. Business intelligence allows you to receive all of this data in one comprehensive report, making it easier to make informed, data-driven decisions that will positively impact your business.
- Improved efficiency – You’ll receive important insights that will help you understand how to address areas where employees are underperforming, redundant roles exist, and other organizational inefficiencies are negatively impacting performance. You’ll also be able to see the results of the actions you take to determine whether they’ve achieved their desired outcome or if additional adjustments to your strategy are required.
- Improved visibility – It can be easy to get lost in a sea of data. Business intelligence solutions allow you to more clearly see how this data is impacting every aspect of your organization.
- Actionable insights – You’ll be able to view historic data and compare it to the real-time data you’re gathering to better understand trends in your market, predict the success of potential strategies, and identify actions to take which may help you increase revenue and profitability moving forward.
- Deeper customer insights – You can use your BI efforts to more effectively understand the behaviors, preferences and purchasing patterns of your customers. This can help you provide better customer services and make improvements to your products that will resonate with your customers.
- Greater competitive advantage in your market – You have the ability to compare your metrics with those of your competitors to understand areas where you’re performing better than they are, and also ways in which you can learn from their actions to improve your performance. This knowledge can help you create a plan that will make you stand out from your competitors and resonate better with potential new customers.
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Steps to Take When Implementing a Business Intelligence Strategy at Your Company
In order to maximize your BI efforts, it will require a significant amount of planning. Here are the steps necessary to construct an effective business intelligence strategy:
- Create a roadmap for your BI strategy – This roadmap should be guided by the goals you’re trying to achieve. Once you’ve identified your goals, you can determine the data needed to guide the actions you take towards achieving these goals.
- Identify team members responsible for implementing your BI strategy – Business intelligence encompasses multiple aspects of your operations and therefore, it’s crucial that the team responsible for implementing your strategy includes individuals from all departments using this data.
- Define your KPIs – You’ll need to determine which key performance indicators (KPIs) are necessary to track to achieve the desired outcome from your business intelligence efforts.
- Choose your software tools – There are many BI software tools available. You’ll need to evaluate your options and identify the right tool(s) for the specific needs of your business. Hiring IT services Virginia Beach will help you choose the best tools for your business.
- Choose a data storage method – There are two options for storing the data used with your business intelligence tools: on-site servers or cloud-based solutions. In most instances, a cloud-based option will be a more effective approach.
- Synchronize your data – Often, each department will have their own unique way of gathering data, and they most likely will each utilize different sets of tools, approaches, and storage methods. In order to receive the holistic insights necessary for effective BI implementation, you’ll need to integrate all data in one place so that it can be evaluated in a broader context.
- Create a feedback loop – When creating your business intelligence strategy, schedule regular meetings with all team members involved in the process to monitor the status of the project and make any necessary adjustments to your plan.
- Roll out in stages – Rather than launching your entire BI strategy at once, start with just a few critical KPIs. This will allow you to evaluate the success of your strategy on a smaller scale and make any necessary adjustments before implementing your plan on a broader scale.
Getting Started – What You Need to Do Next
If you’re planning on implementing your BI strategy on your own, here are the things you must do first to ensure you get the most out of your efforts:
- Identify your objectives – some potential goals for your BI efforts may include:
- Improve your internal workflow
- Improve customer retention
- Optimize your expenditures
- Improve your ROI on your marketing efforts
- And many more
Remember, less is more. The key is to narrow your objectives to the most important items that will move your business forward. If you focus on too many goals, your efforts will be too scattered to achieve meaningful results.
- Identify the data you need:
- What are you already collecting?
- What do you need to start collecting?
- What are the best methods of obtaining and storing this data?
- Do you already have the solutions you need in place, or will you need to adopt new data gathering tools?
- Assemble your team:
- Make sure all departments are represented on your BI team
- Involve your team members in the planning process from the start to ensure they are fully invested and have input on what their department needs to get the most out of these efforts
- Narrow down your KPIs:
- As with your goals, less is more, so choose only the most critical items
- As with your goals, less is more, so choose only the most critical items
- Compare software vendors:
- Unless you have individuals on your team with the background necessary to evaluate BI software tools, you’ll need to work with a third-party vendor who can guide you to the right solutions for your specific needs
- Make sure you choose a vendor with:
- Experience working with businesses in your industry
- Specialized knowledge of BI software solutions
Once you’ve taken these steps, you’ll be well on your way to implementing a business intelligence strategy that will elevate the success of your company.
Let Webolutions Help
As you can see, there is a lot involved in implementing a new business intelligence strategy at your company. In many instances, working with a third-party BI provider can streamline the process and ensure you are set up for success every step of the way. At Webolutions, we’re here to guide you through this process. Our team can help you implement your BI solution, and our Real-Time Intelligence Dashboards™ will deliver the actionable insights you need, providing you with up-to-date information at all times.
To speak with one of our consultants about developing true business intelligence for your company of at least $5 million in annual sales, call us at 303-300-2640 and request a Free Business Intelligence Review. During this 30-minute introduction, we work together to help you better understand this system, discuss your business goals, and start outlining your plan. You can also email any questions to [email protected].
Webolutions is a full-spectrum business consulting and strategic implementation company. We help businesses across the country identify and effectively bring their unique story life, allowing them to scale faster, smarter and easier.
Our specific areas of expertise include:
- Differentiating Brand Development
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