Business Intelligence: More than a Software System?

In order for a business intelligence (BI) project to be successful, it needs to be treated as part of a larger, broader company-wide change and more than just a software implementation.

Traditionally, BI has been used for performance reporting from historical data, and as a planning and forecasting tool for a relatively small number of people in a company that relies on historical data to plan ahead. BI projects need to be treated as a cultural transformation of the business, instead of an IT project.

There are several ways business executives can get the most out of their BI projects. For instance, they can start by encouraging companies to view BI as an organizational change and not simply another computer program. Like enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other business software applications, there is a lot more to BI than its computerized aspects. It works best when it is applied in tandem with executive efforts to streamline business processes, improve business functionality and make the entire company more efficient.

One of BI’s main applications is its ability to facilitate effective and efficient communication across various departments or divisions of a business – a benefit that shouldn’t go under-appreciated by executives and company managers.

Focus BI efforts on delivering the right information to the right people. Apply a business process orientation to BI that connects horizontally across functional areas and outwardly to customers and partners. To keep strategy execution on track, BI must address all staff and management levels in the organization.

Allocating resources – including people – properly is a major focus of BI and other business software applications. Being able to do this effectively is one of the things that separates a good business from a great one. Putting the right information in the hands of the right people, and putting those people in the right places, is key to getting the most out of your business strategy.

When you view BI as a change in business culture rather than a simple IT restructuring, you’ll be able to fully enjoy its benefits.

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This entry was posted in Business Intelligence (BI), January 2013, Newsletter. Bookmark the permalink.

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