5 Tips to Business Intelligence (BI) Success

business intelligence dashboardWe live in an era of data overload.  Our systems gather and networks gather massive amounts of data and most of it flies by without even being examined or analyzed.  Some of the data is relatively useless to business strategy but most companies don’t utilized the nuggets of information gold that they already have.  Companies spend money to store and backup in their systems but in many instances, don’t take advantage of the existing data that is stored there.  Many times they don’t even know that it is there or how to access it.

Here are the keys to building successful Business Intelligence (BI) dashboards for your business:

1. Start with the data that you already have.  Generally, there is already a ton of data that is being wasted by not being examined or analyzed.  Make sure the data is accurate and there aren’t hidden assumptions that will result in bad information.

2. Bubble the data up to a data warehouse.  Make sure that you don’t make mistakes in how the data is summarized but pulling data out of your production systems decreases the chances that you disrupt your production systems.

3. Make the dashboard match your business strategies.  Pretty graphs are nice, getting real information to your management and end users changes the game.  But remember that pretty graphs can tell the story much better than raw data.  Interactive graphs allow users to drill into data and slice the data in different ways than you may have anticipated.

4. Ensure that the dashboard is easy to access and easy to understand. If the information is easily accessible and relevant, your BI dashboard will get a lot more use.  And your company will benefit from it.

5. Don’t forget your clients!  While BI systems can be valuable internally, some companies tie their clients into their services through client focused dashboards.  Helping your client be more productive in their business is part of your job as a world class service provider.

 Summing it up

BI Dashboard can be very valuable to your company but only if they are providing the right information to the right people at the right time.  Bubbling information up to the level where decisions are made will make your managers, end users, and clients more informed and more productive.  And remember, although technical people will build your dashboard, make sure business involved and the results are understandable to non-technical users as well.