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3 Steps to Set Up Your Company for BI Success 

February 24, 2016

So you have a business intelligence platform. So what? Data-driven optimization isn’t something that happens overnight. Rather, it’s a cultural shift that must permeate its way throughout the entire organization, sometimes slowly and others in leaps and bounds. At TARGIT, we call it the BI journey.

Each company’s journey progresses in accordance with the amount and complexity of data, and the power of tools used to analyze it. Typically, in any modern business intelligence project, there are three stages that take companies from basic BI to data-driven powerhouses. We’ve created a guide to help you navigate those progressive stages of business intelligence so you know what to expect every step of the way: 3 Stages of Becoming a Data-Driven Organization.

But even before a company can consider incorporating BI into their daily business life, there is a significant amount of groundwork that should be laid to prepare the company for the cultural shift of a data-driven environment, and ensure success in some of the lesser known, yet significantly detrimental challenges to BI success.

You don’t just put a powerful BI tool in the hands of employees and expect them make it work in the same way you don’t just walk out your front door and run a marathon without proper training and preparation. The first step is strategically planning for a successful, long-term project. Furthermore, you can’t buy your way up the BI maturity model. Expensive tools and platforms do not equal data-driven success.

At TARGIT, we empower companies to set data free to all decision makers throughout the organization, fostering a bimodal BI environment. This enables companies to execute a modern BI strategy that still satisfies the secure, structured, centralized IT data warehouse roll-out while giving the freedom of data exploration and discovery to everyday business users.

Journey

This is not the traditional, centralized Top Down approach to BI. In fact, we encourage data exploration as a key element to your BI strategy, as long as you are able to bridge the gap between traditional BI and the modern BI landscape. To help you “embrace the and” we therefore suggest taking these three steps to prepare your company before implementing business intelligence and analytics technology.

Step 1: Map the Metrics that Matter

Before implementing any type of business intelligence project, you need to know what you’ll be monitoring. This is easy to nail down in theory, but we see many companies struggle in identifying precisely which key performance indicators (KPIs) should be measured to give a comprehensive view of goals.


Many companies attempt to monitor so many lagging and leading indicators that they muddy the waters at best and drown in information overload at worst. Learn the difference between these indicators and how to determine which KPIs you should be monitoring in this guide: The Metrics That Matter.

Step 2: Consider the Users

Once you figure out what needs to be analyzed, the next step is determining who will be consuming those analyses. Employees use of BI and analytics varies widely throughout every organization. BI is not one-size-fits-all. Some users need advanced analytical functionality, while others only need to browse through a few high-level dashboards.

If you aren’t delivering dashboards and analyses in a way that makes sense for each user, it’s likely they won’t be used. We’ve broken down the types of BI users found in most companies of every size, and identified how to design reports and analyses that are most likely to be easily consumed, understood, and utilized by each in this guide: How to Ensure the Highest User Adoption Rate for your BI Project.

Step 3: Strategize, Operationalize, and Harvest

With the metrics and users mapped out, it’s time to line up the full decision-making strategy. Every decision made in a company should go through a cycle that flows through observation, orientation, decision, and action. We call this circle the Action Loop, but it’s also known as the OODA Loop in military strategy.

Every decision maker in the company should understand what information is needed for each stage of the Action Loop that relates to his or her responsibilities. This ensures the reports and analyses generated through the BI platform are designed to answer the most important business questions.
An organization that cycles every decision through the strategic Action Loop ensures increased organizational learning and continuous process improvement. A company will have dozens, if not hundreds, of loops spinning at any given time.

You can read about defining your company’s Action Loops and their role in creating an efficient, data-driven organization in the guide: The Better BI Strategy.

With these three critical steps in place, companies are ready to take on the technical implementation of business intelligence. These steps don’t diminish in importance once the system gets humming though. They should continuously be reviewed and, if needed, revised. This is the groundwork for a data-driven powerhouse.

Download the guide to the BI Journey today: 3 Steps to Becoming an Analytics-Driven Organization.

BI Journey


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