5 Tips to Early Success with BI & Analytics

Business Intelligence and Data mining concept - business woman show on virtual screenA petabyte of data sounds like a wonderful thing – until it’s time to figure out what it all means. The value of embedded business intelligence and analytics is that it helps the organization’s C-suite give end users data that can be comprehended in dashboards and reports.

Managing the data isn’t as simple as building an ad hoc reporting system and turning loose the business staff. Certain steps must be taken and best practices followed to separate the wheat from the chaff. Here are some tips to make your BI and analytics implementation more successful.

Start with the basics

What key business metrics absolutely must be measured and analyzed? The business intelligence and analytics system must include the ability to report on this data. All the bells and whistles that can be added will be useless if these basics aren’t met. Knowing the basics is a good way to determine what core reports and dashboards end users will need.

Clean your data

Is your data ready for business intelligence? We’ve found data quality is one of the main determinants of success in an integration. Accurate data is not enough. Data must be complete and relevant. Data may be clean within separate databases, but to merge them for BI and analytics, the data must be standardized. Whatever data the reporting interface connects to have to be well-formed, organized, and optimized for reporting speed. A best case would be to have database views that are reporting ready and pre-aggregated.

Democratize that data

The best BI and analytics solutions will give end users access to much of the data. This large volume of data can be tamed and made actionable by putting it in reports, dashboards and visualizations seamlessly integrated into the application business users leverage every day. Ultimately data is only actionable if it is put into a report, dashboard or visualization that a business user can understand and interact with in real-time.

Train the users

While modern embedded BI solutions should be self-service, not every user can be self-taught on an application. Plan to spend time with training. A bit of knowledge gained at the start should ease the pain of user adoption. While you want the end users to discover vital insights from data that you never imagined, it’s best to train them on basic dashboards and reports that any business needs.

Make BI use part of the workday

This goes right along with training the users. To assure adoption of your integrated BI tool, embed the BI application with its dashboards, visualizations and report creating directly into your application. The user will be happiest with a platform that’s integrated into your application rather than having to learn how to use a separate tool. If you can fit BI into their daily routine, user adoption will increase.

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