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Making the Most of Your Business Intelligence Investment

Is your team and management frustrated by time wasted on manual reports? Are departments operating in silos, unable to produce consistently accurate data? Investing in a long-term business intelligence (BI) strategy can help your organization save time, money, and gain valuable insights. Developing a thorough BI roadmap consisting of a data management platform, analytical tools, and data governance that are uniform across the enterprise will drastically reduce manual processes and produce more accurate and insightful reporting.

Governance Leads to Adoption

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The key to success when implementing business intelligence tools is to ensure proper governance in three key areas: source system data entry, data integration and management, and analytics/reporting development. Lack of governance in these areas will produce inaccurate or unreliable outputs, which will negatively affect adoption and ultimately cause the mission to fail.Another key component to successful adoption is to provide continuous training opportunities for employees and a system where they can report challenges or issues that will be addressed quickly.

Data Stewards Hold the Key

The first line of defense for data integrity lies within the business systems that originally captures the data. Business systems typically provide ways to control the data that is entered into each field. When possible, critical data points should be required and restrictions around what can be entered (like data type, length, format, etc.) should be applied. Data stewards should be assigned to each business system, with each accountable for certain modules or components are responsible for governing the data that enters that system and for ensuring the timeliness and accuracy of data entry.

An ideal data steward would have an in-depth understanding of the system and the business processes around it, as well as an in-depth understanding of how their data impacts downstream systems and reporting tools. Document the specific responsibilities of each system’s data stewards and hold them accountable for fulfilling those responsibilities by reviewing data quality and actions taken toward improving it.
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The Result: Empowerment Through Data Literacy

Implementing a BI strategy and modern data management and analytical tools will allow teams to consume more insightful and timely reports. These investments will also enable business users and analysts to produce reporting and analytics in a self-service manner, reducing IT overhead and bottlenecks. With appropriate preparation and governance of the data model, and with adequate training, empowering data consumers with self-service reporting capabilities will begin to foster a data-driven culture.

Craig Dougherty

Craig Dougherty is Director of Consulting Services for Avaap's business intelligence and analytics practice. Craig is an experienced leader in developing solutions that create efficiencies and provide meaningful insights for organizations across industries.

Connect with Craig to learn more about getting the most out of your business intelligence investment.