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What your Business Intelligence Solution Can Learn from Taylor Swift

December 10, 2014

7 lessons the groundbreaking star taught us about success.

At first glance, you might be hard pressed to find anything that international music sensation Taylor Swift and your business intelligence and analytics project have in common. But if you look closely, Swift actually sets the perfect standard for exactly how your BI environment should behave. [Editor's note: The author fully admits to the obsessive listening of Taylor Swift while at her office desk. She was not harmed by her coworkers in the making of this content.]

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1. Be adaptable.

Taylor Swift's career is a lesson in adaptability. In the same way that Swift seamlessly matured from country chart toppers to pop chart toppers, your BI solution should also smoothly scale to greater reach when you need it. TARGIT is developed for easy deployment in any scale and environment. Setup the servers and enable access through Windows, web, or mobile clients. If that isn't enough, embed TARGIT into your other applications. TARGIT can scale across different servers or tap into the cloud without losing any work. It's easy to expand TARGIT to fit the changing needs of any company.

2. Be everywhere.

You'd be hard pressed to find a place that Swift is not blowing up right now. Print media, social media, commercials, radio, the top of just about every music chart, and Target department stores. The only place you won't find her today is on Spotify. Like the beloved ever-present pop princess, a business intelligence platform must be everywhere. Desktop, mobile, thin clients, and embedded into the systems that employees work -- in order for business intelligence to be effective and meet business objectives, it must be all places for all people.

Embedded BI has been long been possible with TARGIT through the Integration Kit. But with the latest release of TARGIT, there is now out-of-the-box integration to Microsoft SharePoint, Dynamics AX, and CRM. The TARGIT Anywhere client also makes it possible to integrate it into almost any application that supports the display of web content, like the machines on the shop floor or internet-enabled televisions in the office.

3. Play nice.

Unlike the many of the world's celebrities, Swift has kept a sparklingly clean image. No catfights, drug or alcohol abuse, or wardrobe malfunctions for her. She appears genuinely indebted to her fans, and showers them with appreciation more so than most. Just like Swift's easy-going manner, your BI should be a breeze. The fastest way to meaningful ROI is through user-friendly self-service analytics. And when we say "self-service" we mean self-service. No more waiting for the IT department to create or modify reports and analyses. TARGIT's data discovery, ad-hoc analytics, and intuitive interface mean even the most non-technical user can always find the data they need to make decisions.

4. Be easy to understand.

Catchy beats aside, Taylor Swift's ascendance to pop icon was helped immensely by her easily-relatable lyrics. In a music world filled with poppin' bottles in the club, dirt road pickup truck tailgates, and trashing hotel rooms, Swift's lyrics about love and life are refreshing because they're relatable across genres, gender, and age. And being easy to understand is critical in your business intelligence. 

When you have only eight seconds to get your point across, you better be sure users can glean all the important data they need in a single glance. The right data visualizations will allow you to draw insight from your information and make the best decisions possible while taking fast and decisive action, and with time to spare. At TARGIT, we offer courses, tutorials, and handy tips and tricks for making the very most out of your data visualization tools. Check out our blog topics on great data visualizations.

5. Be good at everything.

Singing, dancing, guitar, fashion, makeup. Is there anything Swift isn't good at? Your business intelligence platform must be multi-talented too. That means real-time dashboards, self-service analytics, user-friendly reporting, stunning mobile capabilities, and simple data discovery technology in a single, cohesive platform. Your BI solution must be it all and do it well. Otherwise you'll find yourself relying on multiple platforms to get the full picture of your company. That's a waste of time and effort. 

6. Engage everyone. 

From tween girls to retirees and everyone in between, if you deny tapping your foot to "Shake it Off," you are a liar. (And ok, even if you don't love it, it's still stuck in your head.) Like Swift's ability to be an earworm for all, your BI technology must be designed for everyone in the organization. When you consider each role -- we call them BI personas -- and how they work, you'll be able to design an environment that delivers BI to users the way that best fits them. From the shareholder who only wants to consume dashboards and storyboards to get critical KPIs at a glance to the BI pro who maintains the systems and designs analyses for others -- your BI solution must be able to deliver data in a way that's customized for how each persona works best. This guarantees fast, high ROI and aligns the company in ways never before possible. This is BI for every role in any company in any industry. We'll have more on this soon, so stay tuned.

7. Win awards.

Stacks of Grammy Awards? Swift's got them. Don't you want confirmation that your business intelligence solution also stacks up against the competition? I'mma let you finish, but TARGIT has a few of our own. No. 1 in three categories and "consistently outstanding" according to BARC, Microsoft Gold Certified, and included in Gartner's Magic Quadrant. We love the work we do, and so do industry analysts and our users. The people have spoken.

Go on, let your BI be the star of the company.


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