What Is A Business Intelligence Strategy?

A business intelligence strategy lays out how a company will use its data. It helps ensure a return on investment.

Businesses have started embracing BI solutions and embedding them with traditional solutions to meet business objectives.

The tools offer extended value throughout the enterprise process, making them increasingly popular.

There are various tasks to do in creating and implementing a BI strategy.

For example, IT and BI managers and others involved in planning it — the CIO or Chief Data Officer, say — need to:

  • Get approval and funding for the BI program

  • Structure and staff the BI team

  • Design the BI architecture

  • Select the BI software that will be used

  • Work with business users to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) and other business metrics to track

  • Train users on the BI tools.

Data projects such as forecasts, incentive compensation plans, elasticity exercises, product prices, reporting packages, business plans, and more strongly benefit from the analysis and automation of BI solutions.

What Are The Benefits of BI Systems?

Now more than ever, the amount of business data dealt with and stored gets way out of proportion to treat it manually – adding all of the unstructured data that needs to be processed first to be understood and later used.

It takes time and knowledge to make the best out of such assets and a solid planification.

BI is essential for business growth and for maintaining competitive advantage. 

It helps extract comprehensive insights from raw data and translate them into strategic planning.

BI technology applies relevancy to the decision, which enhances the execution of company objectives.

With proper and actual BI strategies, you have a purpose and clear objectives to grow your business. And pull more revenues and even help for better decision making.

BI specialists and analysts will handle the business ecosystem quite well without compromising the data quality.

So if you want to improve the quality of your business decisions matters, invest in a sound BI system.

What Does A Business Intelligence Strategy Do?

A BI strategy is a roadmap that enables businesses to measure their performance and seek out competitive advantages, and truly “listen to their customers” using data mining and statistics.

The business intelligence system presents a complex task, technology, and applications of information systems that strongly support enterprises and organizations’ analytical and planning activities.

With BI strategy, you will be able to:

  • Early identify issues by monitoring KPIs

  • Drive fast and effective decision-making

  • Precisely assess business requirements and market demand

  • Determine all possible ways of data usage

  • Evaluate development risks

  • Improve operational efficiency

  • Aggregate different data sources into a unified system

  • Enhance marketing and sales programs via competitive analysis

  • Raise revenue thanks to increased customer satisfaction

An effective strategy for BI and analytics brings together a data-driven and objective understanding of markets, customers, operational processes, and business performance, along with better-informed insights from both the BI team and business users.

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Establish A BI Vision

Just as every business has a vision, there should be a vision for the BI system.

Your BI strategy needs to align with your business goals and vision.

The best business intelligence strategy lays out these resources initially, with additional wiggle room.

The enterprise should determine the role of BI technology and its base technology vision in ensuring the business strategies are met.

Determine the key business drivers, the vision which guides the data subject sections and drives the business unit.

Ensure that the BI roadmap works hand in hand to ensure that the business initiatives are prioritized to meet the business vision.

The business should have insight into what they want and which is critical so that the BI can work to deliver what is important to the business user first as it works on the priority list.

Focus on the business problem first, and then the data will follow.

Develop An Accurate Budget

Once you have defined the business’s current situation, it is time to think about a budget.

Developing an accurate budget is crucial in building a successful business intelligence strategy.

Budgeting allows you to smartly allocate your resources to make sure you have everything you need to kick it off.

Business Stakeholders

Identify the key stakeholders and get them involved.

While BI is about technology and systems, it also needs to be embedded in and supported by the key business areas.

A BI strategy should include multiple stakeholders and a sponsor to lead the implementation.

It may be tempting to consider the Chief Information Officer (CIO) or Chief Technical Officer (CTO) as the sponsor. This is usually not the best approach.

BI should be sponsored by an executive with bottom-line responsibility, a broad picture of the organization’s strategy and goals, and who knows how to translate the company mission into mission-focused KPIs.

Chief Finance Officers (CFOs) and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are good fits.

They can govern the implementation with a documented business case and be responsible for changes in scope.

Of course, whoever the chosen sponsor is, they will need to communicate with the CIO/CTO constantly.

Identify Key Performance Indicators

For a BI to succeed, set data definitions and the right KPIs have to be determined.

KPIs are values that show how a business is attaining its objective effectively, at the center of a good BI strategy.

At this stage, it is important to determine the following:

  • What data will be collected?

  • Who will be involved in BI processes?

  • How will BI strategy be integrated with the corporate business operations?

  • How to deliver BI solutions?

  • What BI tool to select?

  • Which KPIs do you need to monitor?

  • What will BI lifecycle management look like?

It is essential to ensure KPIs are aligned to business strategies to achieve its objectives when implementing the BI.

You may want to create KPIs for everything in a company at times, which might be wrong.

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Do A Data Analysis Audit

A successful BI strategy requires more than a robust technology platform. It focuses on processes and personnel and takes a business-first approach to gain insights from data.

You may be surprised to discover how many users are actively self-serving on BI and analytics. Also, survey decision-makers and other business users about their use of data.

Which existing reports are effective? How many meetings and decisions already rely on data, reports, or dashboards?

Knowing where you stand enables you to take additional first steps toward a formal BI strategy without disrupting good work that’s already being done.

What Does A BI Governance Team Do?

A BI governance team will be responsible for governance processes, BI tools, and lifecycle management or the design and development of BI architecture.

Don't Shortchange, Change Management, And Training

Enterprise leaders who want to optimize the value of their BI initiatives need to incorporate change management into their strategies and include adequate user training.

Employ A Data Dictionary

Data dictionaries are challenging to any business.

Extensive documentation and agile development have led to these large data dictionaries, which can be challenging and time-consuming to keep updated.

There has to be a consensus on business calculations and data definition for a BI to succeed because its lack is one of the problems facing many companies today.

Trusted vs. Untrusted Data

Trusted data is stored in databases or easily imported into spreadsheets, customer relationship management (CRM) data, financial data, etc.

This is the data you probably have used in previous business analytics.

Untrusted data is information such as emails, conversations with customers, business processes, images, news items, trade journals, etc.

With modern BI, you can bring untrusted data into a governed and secure environment for analysis.

The BI team needs to survey stakeholders and information consumers to see what data sources they will need for analysis before deploying the BI platform.

Iterate And Advance

Like so much else in IT and business in general, an effective BI strategy involves iterative improvements and bigger leaps into more advanced uses of data, such as predictive and prescriptive analytics.

An effective BI strategy should reflect that.

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Have A Data Source

Business analysts, executives, and managers have the skills and tools to do their data analysis work. But where will they get the data?

To make the most out of vast amounts of data, companies need to handle it properly to identify insights and build intelligent strategies to ensure their competitive edge.

To enhance better decision-making, it is vital to collect data from various sources, integrate it, and analyze it in a way it will contribute to your business intelligence.

Decide on the business intelligence strategy you will use and use that to create a plan for the data storage.

Whatever you do, don’t connect them directly to the data source. You must protect your operational systems.

The traditional data warehouse is still highly relevant and practical; it enables IT to manage data quality and provide users with data and a logical model of how the business operates.

Enterprise leaders must make available the right data — that single version of the truth.

Then they must demonstrate to business users that they can trust the data and, thus, the answers produced by their business intelligence tools.

Every company is a data company, whether they know it or not.

And every business – regardless of the industry, product, or service – should have a data analytics tool driving their business.

What Is A Data Governance?

Essentially, data governance is a collection of processes that ensure the efficient use of data.

It establishes clear responsibilities for data management, and it helps ensure quality and security.

Here it is important to understand that a governance strategy will not help you make better decisions but the right ones.

Building A Perfect Business Intelligence Roadmap

A business intelligence roadmap is a visual document of prototyping various deliverables at various stages in the given timeline.

Because you already have the volumes of data at this stage before you create the roadmap. What you need to do is organize and map it to your requirements.

And set small targets and goals for each step.

What Is A Business Intelligence Competency Center?

BICCs help identifies data needs, establish governance structures, and oversee data quality and general data integration processes.

These are programmers, data scientists, and analysts, specialists in relational databases and reporting tools.

We recommend establishing such a team if you have a set of specialists to spare or the resources to hire them.

Choosing The Best Tools For A BI Strategy

The best way to find out the best BI tools for your organization is by doing market research and features and applications that your BI tools carry to meet your business needs.

For example, lightweight tools and applications cost less, and it’s best for a small company that deals with lesser data.

And companies like e-commerce and logistics; deal with a higher volume of data and require heavyweight tools and applications.

Top players on the market provide a wide range of functionalities in their BI tools, such as Oracle, Tableau, IBM, and Looker.

However, you have to assess your specific business requirements.

The thing is that ready-made solutions may be limited in solving your unique problems while at the same time offering features that can be excessive to your type of business and which you likely do not use at all.

Don't Race To The Top On BI Tools

Business intelligence software promises more advanced capabilities than ever: data visualization, prediction, and now augmented analytics features, in which AI and machine learning lend a hand to find patterns in your data and aid the BI process in other ways.

These are exciting times. Not every business team needs the most advanced BI features. Nevertheless, pause before widely deploying new technologies.

For many parts of your organization, basic operational reporting will prove adequate.

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Business Intelligence Is Not Just A Technology Initiative

To succeed, a deployment must have the support of key business areas from the get-go.

IT should be involved to ensure governance, knowledge transfer, data integrity, and the actual implementation.

But every stakeholder and their respective business areas should also be involved throughout the process.

By involving a range of stakeholders, you can ensure you cover the three broad classes of business intelligence users: strategic, tactical, and operational.

The Bottom Line Responsibility

If you want to make the most out of your data, you need to apply a business intelligence strategy, which helps foster effective, fast decision-making and increase revenue.

Selecting appropriate technology and software platforms is only a part of BI.

If you want to increase your ROI and reap all the benefits from the valuable insights it provides you, follow the step-by-step BI strategy mentioned above.

Of course, each business has its specific needs; therefore, the strategy can be adjusted appropriately.

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