Three Business Intelligence Best Practices for 2023

Originally published March 10, 2023. Updated April 22, 2024

Across industries and geographies, organizations are using data and analytics to adapt to the rapidly changing business landscapes in which they operate. Many are evolving their business intelligence (BI) and analytics initiatives to put data in the hands of their employees quickly and accurately, so those employees can evaluate it and make informed decisions that drive business forward.  

Each year, Dresner conducts its Wisdom of Crowds BI Market Study® to understand how corporate BI and data science practices are evolving, what drives success in BI-focused initiatives, and which BI solution providers are leading the global market.  

The 200-page study contains a wealth of insight into the BI market, including trends and vendor rankings. One section that stood out to us in the 2022 edition of the study ranked various contributors and obstacles to success in BI, based on input from respondents in various roles and organizations around the world.  

Based on these rankings, we’ve compiled several business intelligence best practices you can apply to your BI and analytics practice in the year ahead:  


#1 Data-Driven Culture  


While the right tools and systems are essential for data analysis, they aren’t the only critical components your organization needs to advance its BI and analytics strategy. Along with high-powered tools, you should also develop a culture that emphasizes the role of data in decision-making.  

Do this by encouraging your employees to inform every decision with reliable, up-to-date insights — and giving them the tools they need to access and draw conclusions from those insights.  

In Dresner's 2022 market study, 63.9% of respondents agreed that "a culture that understands and values fact-based decision-making" contributes to success in BI, while 55% saw "a culture that doesn't fully understand or value fact-based decision-making" as an obstacle to success.  

Establishing a data-driven company culture requires more than an inspiring mission statement or an impressive set of analytics tools. To infuse data into your decision-making processes, you’ll want to focus on several initiatives in tandem:  

  • Data democratization and accessibility  
  • Scalable tools and systems  
  • End-user training and adoption  
  • Stakeholder buy-in and support  

While each of these elements is central to data culture, stakeholder buy-in can be one of the most valuable, as it enables your organization to invest further in BI initiatives and encourages end-users to adopt the tools at their disposal. According to the Dresner study, 73.8% of respondents saw “support from senior management or other BI champions” as a contributor to BI success 


#2 Universal Understanding of Business Needs and Objectives  


No matter your industry or size, your business has a unique set of needs, goals, and objectives that directly affect decisions and long-term strategies. The same is true for your BI and analytics department. However, it’s not enough to integrate these goals into your high-level BI strategy or discuss them in executive board meetings.  

If your frontline employees and mid-level managers don’t have a clear understanding of your needs and goals, you’re not likely to make considerable progress toward them — or enact impactful change across your organization.  

56.7% of Dresner's market study respondents stated that organizations were successful with BI when "business objectives or needs were understood and met." In comparison, 42.3% said organizations were likely to encounter obstacles when "business objectives or needs were not understood or met." 

Along with defining clear goals for your BI practice, you should invest in training, education, and open dialogue with your entire organization to ensure everyone understands your objectives, as well as their role in supporting them through their day-to-day activities.  


#3 Access to Skilled Experts and Support Resources 


Adoption and change management are essential elements of your organization’s BI implementation, whether you’re rolling out your first automated reporting tool or your tenth custom integration. 

Your employees, whether data analysts or front-end business users, need access to skilled experts and support resources who are well-versed in BI best practices and the nuances of the specific tools and systems in which your organization operates. 

In many cases, your BI solution provider will play a key role in training your employees. You might also rely on consultants and other external partners to implement your new solution, maintain it over time, and ensure your employees can use it effectively. Look for providers and partners who: 

  • Offer a combination of self-service and live training resources 
  • Have experience implementing BI in your industry or market sector  
  • Understand the external tools and systems that house your BI data  
  • Invest in continuous innovation and product development  

Dresner’s study found that 49.2% of respondents believe the “availability of skilled, expert resources” contributes to BI success, while 59% believe that a “lack of skilled, expert resources” is an obstacle to success; the greatest obstacle to a successful BI practice according to the study results. 


Discover Why Dresner Named TARGIT a BI Leader for the Third Year in a Row 


Dresner’s 2022 Wisdom of Crowds study outlines today’s top BI technologies and strategic initiatives and shows how the BI landscape has evolved in recent years.  

What’s more, it’s an invaluable resource for evaluating BI vendors like TARGIT on the characteristics that are most vital to the success of your organization’s BI strategy 

Access your copy today to see how TARGIT ranked against 27 other BI vendors on value, usability, integrity, and other vital characteristics. Plus, take a look at all of the contributors and obstacles to BI success, as told by respondents to this year’s market study.  

See TARGIT in Dresner's 2022 BI Market Study

Originally published February 3, 2023. Updated April 22, 2024