4 Steps to Creating Effective BI Teams

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software advice logoBased on Software Advice’s 4 Steps to Creating Effective BI Teams

Business Intelligence – the ability of an organization to collect, maintain, and organize complex data – is no longer the domain of a centralized group of IT staff or advanced data analysts. Today, powerful BI tools are accessible to a wide range of business users.

BI is everywhere, and it’s everyone’s job. But with this proliferation comes new challenges. Teams of BI users today often lack the structure, guidance and leadership to effectively mine data.

In this article, iVEDiX shares its unique perspective on establishing an effective BI team that allows the success of BI to permeate and drive innovation throughout the business.

1. Addressing functional needs
It’s imperative that Business Intelligence (BI) strategy be grounded in reality. When it comes to business needs there are a lot of highly complex BI solutions out there.  Often, the best way to choose the right solution is by conducting an assessment.

When we first engage a client, we show them all that we can do and where they can be with a ‘2015 vision’.  In the midst of serving a range of companies we’ve found that many are not ready for mobile solutions, like miVEDiX. Recently one of our clients said, “Do you know what a horse and carriage is? That’s us. What you’re showing us is a Ferrari.” – Now that’s perspective!

Being honest about your BI environment allows you to develop a strategy with vision that meets the genuine needs of employees and paves the way for a successful implementation. This is where most time should be spent; this is how IT, Business Intelligence and Data systems will drive value to the company’s bottom line. BI is not just a supportive decision maker anymore; when used properly, BI is a money maker too.

2. End-to-end Expertise
The launch pad of a constructive assessment is a team that has data fluency from end-to-end (or as we say @iVEDiX data-to-device). BI teams with this unique perspective are able to support and foresee Business Intelligence needs as they emerge within a changing business environment. This quote from the original article struck me:

“These groups drive better decision-making processes throughout the enterprise not just by providing better information, but by re-defining the process through which questions are first asked and action is taken,” Myron Weber, founder of BI advisory firm Northwood Advisors

Now, we’re not saying to invest all your resources in training a battalion of BI savants, but when choosing a team or consultant it’s important that the builders have a high-end knowledge of your business process and industry. With this they can build a more flexible strategy that will adapt and respond to the functional needs of your enterprise.

3. Build Confidence through Data
If proper data cleansing is one of the biggest enterprise concerns of the next decade (Kindermans, Data Cleansing and Performance are Two Big Challenges for Analytics: SAP), than we can expect data to be the strongest force for enterprise decision making in the years to come. However, data cleansing is not the real soft-spot, a well assessed business process and proper data-to-device fluency are the elements that lead to clean data.

The real challenge is reporting insightful information that overviews business drivers, while drilling down into specific organic data, like sentiment. This emerging practice of combining traditional and nontraditional data (ex. databases & social media), is highly unmanaged and requires special expertise managing conceptual, logical, and physical data models.

When data is productive, useful, and reliable teams can optimize the strategic use of their data. While building flawless data is impossible, cultivating insightful data is what gives your Business Intelligence value. Having a strategy rooted in excellent data architecture buffers the complexity of BI with relevant data that increases employee adoption.

4. Implementing the right tools at the right time
Tapping into the future gives employees a sense of purpose and companies a competitive advantage, but Business Intelligence is becoming more mobile and less optimized. The nature of mobile apps is to be simple to use, understand, and access.

Many of today’s mobile BI apps are web-based or imported from desktop reports, which make it difficult to access real-time data, or take full advantage of the native operating system security, gestures, and more. Leading mobile apps will not just rendering content on a device, they will offer an interactive user interface and comprehensive visualizations that take little to no understanding of business intelligence to use.

As a BI developer, it is iVEDiX’s responsibility to create tools that are intuitive and enlightening. Developing an effective BI team starts with connecting BI to end-user needs, understanding data from end-to-end, developing human insights, and choosing tools that are right for your business.

What are some other ways you’re business is building an effective BI team?


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