BI systems: The three biggest mistakes

A BI system is an essential element of a successful company. Here's how to steer clear of the three biggest mistakes when using a BI system.

Today, when the business intelligence system (BI system) is the make-or-break of a thriving business, making the business a stakeholder in the BI system may be considered a best practice. Conversely, having the IT department spearhead the initiative is not the best way to gain management support for a BI system.

The only way to prove the importance of the BI system is for the project to be directed by the business even though it may have been initiated by the IT department.

Along the way, here are three practices you should avoid with regard to a BI system.

1. Having only one tool for all enterprise BI requirements

The concept of a single enterprise-wide BI system standard is laudable but flawed because organizations need to face the reality of overseeing a number of BI platform components (although it is a diminishing number). This even though managing a portfolio of solutions for the BI system will definitely demand more effort than that required for a single platform. The balance of capabilities rendered and their relevance to the business validate the effort incurred by ensuring an appropriate match to end-user needs and thereby a higher return on the investment.

2. Not equipping business teams for decision making on the move

Decision making is not something confined to the office or the boardroom any longer. Decisions are being made on the road, in warehouses, in client meetings and in airport lounges, where the decision maker often requires instant access to only a few key metrics shown by the BI system on a mobile device. This reduces the impediments associated with decision making, increases business process performance, and enables broader input into the decision at hand. BI systems on mobiles allow real-time decision making.

3. Not leveraging the power of collaborative business decision making through social business discovery

Decision making is not an individual’s task—it is a combined effort. It's based on social exchanges driven by real-time discussion, dialog and shared ideas. Data discovery based visualization tools’ social business discovery approach places the social and collaborative experience at the forefront. A report-centric, traditional BI system compels single users to make gut-feel decisions based on stored, pre-configured data. By contrast, data discovery-based visualization tools allow you to interact with and share the data and analytics of a BI system to make bold decisions and accomplish common goals more efficiently than before. They also provide you unprecedented freedom to collaborate securely and confidentially. Fire up a real-time collaborative session and invite others to join. When you create a new chart in the BI system others can view it immediately and move it around the sheet or amend it— and vice versa.

So develop multiple charts in your BI system and lay them out side-by-side, and interact with the charts as you discuss options and move forward through the rapid analytic app development process.

About the author: Ramendra Mandal, Country Manager, India, QlikTech, has over 19 years experience in the field of technology. Prior to joining QlikTech Mandal held important positions in leading companies such as Oracle, Siebel Systems and Informatica Business Solutions
(As told to Sharon D’Souza)

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