This is a first conversation based on what I am hearing in the market. There will be more to come, and I want your thoughts please. Let’s make a difference.
Top Three Hurdles to Successful Reporting and Analytics
The challenge of useful, powerful, and appreciated Business Intelligence is felt across industries, departments, and roles. By using BI well, you will position yourself to beat your competition. If you do not use the data available to drive business decisions and goal attainment, you position your competitors to win – because they ARE leveraging their data.
What is the definition of successful Business Intelligence?
My best practices definition is “Success is measured by the ability of the right people, to use the right data, and create usable reports that aid in business goal attainment”.
Sounds simple, right? Well it will be with planning, understanding and buy-in from users at all levels. It is truly a change management issue as well as a technology issue. IT will drive the technology side, but must work hand in hand with the various business leaders to develop outcomes that make a difference in efficiency, process, and profitability.
The Top 3 Hurdles to BI Success:
- “Give me all of the data and I will figure out what I need”
Users, Managers, and Executives do not realize the depth of business case resolution that their data can provide. The approach tends to be, “give me all of the data and I will figure out what I need and want to use.” Inherently, this is manufacturing the outcome instead of letting it manifest organically.
Tied closely to this request is the real situation that people do not like change. They “have always done it this way” is a first cousin to the data dump method. Overcoming a historic process can be harder than learning how to use BI well.
With the powerful BI tools available, dashboards and reports can be targeted to achieve business success. These successes will be defined by each leader based on corporate goals. The tough part comes in taking a measurable goal and allowing the solution to mine the data from various sources to provide accurate reports from which to make decisions. Long story short – is the report authentic and actionable.
- “My data is a mess ! “
How many times have I heard that reporting and analytics is a moot point because the data flowing in has not been cleansed or integrated in years. Well then, we know where to start because this statement is true. Garbage in is garbage out.
So, this hurdle to BI success becomes part of the solution. Regardless of how simple the reporting and analytics outputs are, their foundation must be in valid data.
Housekeeping is essential – so the longer cleaning the house is put off, the dirtier it will get.
- One and done is not an option
Let’s look at a very common situation: When the shiny new “box” of BI software came – the enthusiasm was real. Users throughout the company were vested and interested in the cool reports that they would be able to generate. Well, that was 8 years ago. Hopefully much has changed in your business since then. The reports, however, have not changed. You are measuring and dwelling on 8 year old business challenges. This is definitely not effective.
A proactive sustainability plan will separate the average performing BI users from the rock stars. Incorporate this into your reporting and analytics plan!
YES – THIS IS PURPOSELY REPEATED – IT’S IMPORTANT
This is a first conversation based on what I am hearing in the market. There will be more to come, and I want your thoughts please.
The challenge of useful, powerful, and appreciated Business Intelligence is felt across industries, departments, and roles. By using BI well, you will position yourself to beat your competition. If you do not use the data available to drive business decisions and goal attainment, you position your competitors to win – because they ARE leveraging Big Data.