Establishing a solid business intelligence (BI) strategy for your business is often extremely powerful. During this article, we are getting to check out what BI is, how it helps businesses, and the way you’ll start today.


Business intelligence, or BI, can appear to be a process that involves tons of your time , effort and money. However, that’s not entirely true. Actually , BI is about applying strategy, analytics, data, and KPIs to your business processes in order that they run more smoothly. So no matter whether you’re handling Excel spreadsheets worth of knowledge or an entire data lake and years of archived stuff, you’ll still enjoy some BI basics. 


Today, we’re getting to check out what BI is, how it helps businesses, and the way you’ll start today.


What is Business Intelligence?


We’ve talked before about making data-driven decisions. And for us, business intelligence is an extension and formalization of that behaviour. That is, to form effective business decisions, organizations have to use data. However, to try to to that, they have an idea to:


  • Understand what data to access
  • Understand what data to use
  • Understand what success seems like (KPIs)
  • Build reports to trace progress.


Business intelligence is the methodology that brings this stuff in touch in a meaningful way. It’s the process of how you analyze data and switch those insights into business action.


How BI can Help Businesses


So how can business intelligence help businesses? There are a couple of key ways. 


First, BI gives you a strategy and framework to follow to allow you to be a data-driven company. This basically turns a nebulous concept into something far more concrete.


Second, BI can offer you how to hedge your decisions, reducing risk and resulting in better, more methodological choices.


And finally, BI gives you the power to make predictable, repeatable results. It gives you the power to cause some (hopefully positive) outcome then do this again and again because you recognize how you bought it.


Four steps to getting started with BI


Now let’s get to the great stuff. Here’s what you would like to try to do to urge you to start with BI, and build a BI system that serves you.


  1. Build the proper data


BI is all about data. Not just any data, but the right data. So you would like first to know what data you would like to possess access to so as to execute a BI strategy. 


To get that data, you would like to possess a transparent idea of what your organization is trying to realize , within the sort of high-level business objectives. Once you’ve got that, you’ll extrapolate out KPIs and, in then, an inventory of the info that you simply need. You’ll also need external data sources in order that you’ll benchmark your success/failure to a broader industry average


  1. Find the info you would like 


Now that you simply have an honest idea of what data you would like , you’ve got to travel and obtain it. This means: 


Identifying and accessing your primary data. This is often data that’s generated by your customers using your product or service (e.g. an app feeding usage data).


Identifying and accessing your secondary sources. this is often the things most of the people believe — the CRM, your CMS, marketing automation tools, sales/product data, project management data, etc… 


Identifying and accessing your tertiary sources. This is often the third party stuff that’s purchased or acquired from outside your organization.


  1. Build the proper roadmap


You’re almost there. Now that you simply have a thought of what you would like and therefore the data itself, it’s time to create a roadmap. 


A BI roadmap is once you lay out exactly what your BI will do, how the people that need it’ll use it, and any specific requirements you’ve got . This work should be a natural extension of your data planning steps. Frequently, it’s a matter of merely marrying steps (1) and (2) by taking the high-level objective in (1) and building out a KPI framework from the info in two.


Naturally, 1, 2, and 3, all often overlap heavily in terms of your time , and therefore the order. However, generally, we discover getting a thought of what needles you’re moving and where those needles are, causing better road maps. But hey, it’s your show.


  1. Build the proper team


Finally, building your team. All this BI work doesn’t just happen. you would like a fanatical team.


We recommend the subsequent functions, although, for smaller projects, some /all of those are going to be filled by an equivalent person:


A database pro. you would like someone to manage your databases. This is often only the case if the BI team features a DB to steer . If not (and it’s often the case BI pulls from data sources instead of managing their own) then you’ll probably give this a miss.


A BI developer. Speaking of integrations, you’re going to need a developer to create integrations to urge all the info you would like where it must go. Behind the info scientist, this is often probably the foremost crucial role, because there’s an excessive amount of work here to borrow resources from other internal teams (contrary to what the CFO might say).


A data scientist. Data scientists concentrate on crawling through vast amounts of knowledge and finding trends, correlations, and themes, and (ideally) weaving those into stories that everybody else can follow. If you’re working with larger data sets, a knowledge scientist is mission-critical to the BI team.


A data visualization pro. Finally, a designer. you would like someone to show all those lovely, albeit dry, reports into cool tools and visualization that help tell the info story in a way that users can understand and follow. It’s also essential that your tool, if you’re building one, is straightforward to use and straightforward to know — two things a designer can help with.


Wrap up


Business intelligence doesn’t need to only be for enterprise organizations. Anyone can take the methodology and apply it to their process, bringing rigour and data to an otherwise nebulous concept of “data-driven deciding .”


The core of the thought is simple: get the info you would like , put it in a usable format, distribute it to your team, then track performance against both historical data via KPIs and third-party benchmarks. By using BI, you’ll create better business outcomes that — critically — repeat again and again. 


Moreover, with the proper process in situ , the proper data, and therefore the right team, you actually can’t fail with BI.


Got more BI questions? We have quite enough answers. Get in-tuned to find out more.