The perfect business intelligence strategy starts with your goals.
Do you know your KPIs and targets? Do your employees know these numbers?
The right strategy requires buy-in across your entire organisation.
Having the right data in the right place at the right time delivered to the right person is the key to a successful strategy. Businesses that have effective information architecture in place achieve more success in terms of profits and capacity to respond to new developments in the market.
You want a comprehensive plan starting from the ground up that encompasses everything from your historical data to the results of your current sourcing efforts and data governance. This will allow you to confidently focus on your future goals while remaining flexible enough to react quickly to unforeseen circumstances.
Let’s look at the steps required to achieve the ideal business intelligence strategy for your business.
Assemble Your Business Intelligence Team
An effective business intelligence team is the foundation of your strategy and should be devoted to the task full-time. Each member must be organised and capable of clear and dynamic communication. Resist the temptation to pull team members from other departments as employees in already demanding roles will not have the time to effectively focus on the BI needs of your business.
The perfect team will include the following players:
Business Intelligence Lead
The individual at the head of the BI team should be highly trained in business and technology. This team member will be insightful toward business development with the knowledge to implement an effective strategy.
The developer designs and creates channels that can extract data from multiple sources and then transform and distribute it into the data warehouse.
A professional data analyst will acquire, process, and summarise incoming data. This data will then be transformed into reports, summaries, and visualisations for the organisation’s future.
The administrator is responsible for all the data and metadata for the business. He or she handles everything related to databases including creating new applications, support, and maintenance.
The data scientist extracts information from big data through computer programming, machine learning, analytical tools, and statistics and converts it into valuable information that can provide direction for future marketing endeavours.
Upper Management Executive
There needs to be at least one representative from upper management on the team. This key executive is needed for communication between those in charge of running the company and the business intelligence division.
Develop an Optimistic, Yet Realistic Business Intelligence Blueprint
BI is all about analytics and data. Once you have your team in place, work with them to identify the main goals you want to set for your business. This blueprint should be based on realistic growth, but should not be devoid of some optimism.
The structure of the blueprint must address five essential components.
- Historical Data: In order to visualise where your business can go, you need to take a look at where it has been. Accessing previous data will give a picture of the organisation’s past performance as well as which strategies have proven successful and which have failed.
- Organisational Key Performance Indicators: Set up and monitor internal metrics specific to your organisation.
- Industry KPIs: In order to accurately measure the effectiveness of internal actions and marketing techniques, the team needs to be familiar with industry-specific metrics such as profit margins, revenues, and ROI.
- Reporting and Analytic Requirements: Once it has been determined which analytics are integral to the success of the BI strategy, sources of information can be gathered and collated with an eye toward improving the overall plan.
- Clients and Prospects: Identify targeted clients who will be using your BI solution and focus on their basic needs and interests.
Most businesses have access to huge amounts of data coming from many different sources. Core data is generated from your business’ mobile app, website, and online shopping site. Peripheral data comes from purchased products or services like a CRM system. External data is that which is gained through sentiment analysis (e.g. likes or dislikes on social media).
All of this data must be gathered, categorised, and analysed comprehensively to meet the expectations of the BI blueprint.
Storing and Accessing Data
Properly organised data must be warehoused so that you can look at your company’s history of successes and failures. This will enable you to understand how well your efforts are working so that you can make strategic decisions.
Considerations for warehousing include:
- Database Size – affects performance, with larger databases requiring more time to retrieve information.
- Schema Design – the structure, data types, and limitations of the database; may involve diagrams and charts.
- On-premise or Cloud Storage – the protection of your data is integral to the success of your business intelligence strategy. Cloud solutions provide greater safety for valuable data.
- Concurrency – a robust system will allow numerous users to simultaneously access data with minimal interference or delay.
- Scaling – resources can be swapped in and out as needed in order to meet shifts in demand.
In a rapidly changing landscape, perfect business intelligence strategy stays ahead of shifts to convert data into actionable information.
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