Having a strong business intelligence (BI) strategy will help your organisation to compete and thrive. But, to be successful, you must be able to combine both historical and forward-looking predictive analytics into this strategy.
Here are our top tips to help you capitalise on the power of data and use it to formulate a strategy that will enhance your business.
What is business intelligence (BI)?
BI describes all the technologies, applications and processes used to collect, integrate, analyse, and share business information. The purpose of BI is to help you better understand your organisation and your marketplace. And, ultimately, to support better business decision making.
But, to be successful BI must be comprehensive. Let’s face it; there is no point in making big decisions using incomplete or incorrect data.
What to think about when creating your BI strategy
This will be different for every organisation, but there are some key components you should consider.
What data do you have and what information do you need?
Fundamental to any BI strategy is data. So you must take the time to establish what metrics you need to track, and how you are going to do this. Don’t just focus on the data itself, but the business challenges and questions it can answer.
This can be a huge task, so it’s best to start with the data that is most important to you and build from there.
And don’t just think about your business. Look at the wider industry so that you can benchmark your organisation against your competitors.
It’s also vital that you consider historical data so that you can monitor changes over time. For example, looking at the information for one year might indicate a worrying slump in engineer response times during a particular month. But if you have previous data to compare with you could spot seasonal trends that help you to identify when and where more resource is needed.
Who is going to assume responsibility for BI?
BI involves a lot of work, so it’s essential that you establish roles upfront to stop any single employee from becoming overwhelmed. As well as a head of BI, you might also want to appoint developers, analysts, etc. to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks. You should also ensure that stakeholders from different areas of the business are involved.
But technology can help with this. Indeed, as technology becomes more and more advanced, it is possible to deploy automated systems that can do much of the hard work for you. And, with the right outsourced technology partner, you can enjoy a customisable solution that ensures the right information is pulled from the right places, in the right format, at the right time.
Our software provides you with a plethora of reporting options, tailored to the needs of each user. For example, you can look at the real profit and margin information of each client, look at the value of planned maintenance vs reactive work, and establish the profitability of all your engineers.
We also provide the ability to filter and analyse a wide range of data quickly and easily. By presenting this information in an easy to understand format, you can examine trends and uncover insights that will help you to optimise the performance of each element of your operation.
Where is your data coming from?
Companies often have data stored in a plethora of different places using a wide variety of tech. But, unless this information is integrated this can be a huge barrier to business success.
To ensure data silos don’t hinder your BI strategy look at all the different data assets in your company. This could include CRM software, E-commerce data, email signup marketing contacts, data held in Excel spreadsheets, and social media data (among others).
Next, look at how any new technology can provide a better data management solution that consolidates all this valuable data, and shares it across your business.
Where are you going to store your data?
Once you know what you have, you have to decide where to keep it. Today, for more and more businesses that means the cloud.
With a cloud-based approach, you can appoint an ISO27001 certified and trustworthy provider, committed to safeguarding your data. However, to protect your business be sure to undertake due diligence to ensure your provider understands what’s needed to ensure GDPR compliance and avoid risking hefty fines.
If you are serious about continuous business growth a BI strategy is a must. But once this is in place you can’t just forget about it. Instead, any plan should evolve and flex with changing circumstances.
For more information on how our software can support your business intelligence strategy and boost your bottom line, contact us today for an informal chat.