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Getting Better ROI from your Business Intelligence and Analytics Strategy

The following is an excerpt of the new business intelligence whitepaper, Seven Key Factors for BI Success by leading business analytics and business intelligence consultants, DecisionPath. While many companies have invested heavily in business intelligence and analytics, their BI strategy hasn’t helped them to achieve the level of success or ROI on business intelligence they’ve been seeking.

Excerpt for Seven Key Readiness Factors for Business Intelligence Success

Business Intelligence Readiness In Context

Before we jump into the seven readiness factors, it’s important to frame these factors in the context of a business-centric approach to business intelligence, and to make the important distinction between BI readiness and BI maturity.

A Business-Centric Approach to Business Intelligence

In a traditional approach, SMEs provide input for their needs, which are often limited by a fairly narrow definition of business intelligence’s role. In a recent survey of business users, the most common descriptions of business intelligence was either “traditional reporting, but using newer/better technology” or “analytical tools for business analysts and power users.” Far fewer (about half as many respondents) viewed business intelligence as a mission critical system that drives business processes and profits: in other words driving ROI on business intelligence. In such an environment, we’ve found — in our work as business intelligence consultants — that companies have a vague sense of what value BI can provide. As a result, they develop very generic requirements that focus on the technological aspects of business intelligence (rather than BI strategy) with statements such as:

  • Produce enhanced organizational capabilities to manage data and information as organizational assets.
  • Provide a single version of the truth.
  • Enable consistent and reliable access to accurate corporate-wide data.
  • Provide more sophisticated reporting and analysis, faster turnaround, improved accessibility, and enhanced quality.
  • A single touchpoint where detailed financial transaction information can be filtered on user-entered selection criteria, viewed online, downloaded in standard file formats and used to generate real-time results.

The traditional approach limits the benefits a company can derive from business intelligence (even the most technically successful programs) because it doesn’t clearly link business intelligence with the core business processes through which business results are achieved.

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