On one hand, information is everywhere, and you have access to so much data from your customers, partners, employees, and a wide array of digital tools that you’re most likely swimming in useful data. How much of it is actionable and measurable? That is what makes business intelligence different from pure, raw, unabridged piles of information you have at your disposal. Business intelligence is meant to be useful, goal-driven, but also industry and business-specific.
Data in every shape and form will always be the foundation for running a successful business. You need it to understand what you’re doing right and how you’re already impressing your customers, but you also need it to recognize potential market opportunities as well as your business’s issues, make predictions, and anticipate problems to make better decisions. Here, we’ll give you the core ingredients for putting all that information into a meaningful BI strategy that will drive your business forward.
Determine your goals and KPIs
To start working together, your teams need a common goal, or a set of goals that will guide them on this journey. In a sense, the business intelligence that is at your disposal is only as useful as the goals that determine the data’s purpose.
Before you begin haphazardly taking bits of data and implementing specific solutions based on that information, make sure you list dedicated BI KPIs that will help you give your employees a direction. That way, your marketers, sales experts, customer support agents, and everyone else will know precisely what they are working on, together.
Integrate data management with your cloud system
Thanks to the growing trend of remote collaboration and rapid business growth, more companies are turning to cloud platforms for their data management needs. That, of course, includes your business intelligence strategy, since you should focus on integrating all your internal processes onto a single, unified platform.
With the right security precautions, tools, and of course, the right implementation protocols, your BI strategy can safely and seamlessly evolve on the cloud. This gives you the right level of agility and scalability to help your BI strategy grow over time, not to mention the ease of collaboration and use of the available data no matter where your teams are stationed.
Train your employees to make the most of data
Every BI strategy can have different and business-specific KPIs, tactics, analytics tools, and other elements that differ from one brand to another. What they all have in common is the fact that people are behind all the BI management, maintenance, and implementation. If your team is using Microsoft’s Azure cloud technology to unify all business processes, they also need to be well-versed in handling your business intelligence, databases, and the security protocols behind them.
A great way to achieve that level of consistency is to make sure your cloud experts have the necessary Azure certifications and access to ongoing training. That way, they can maximize the use of all the available data management tools and BI-friendly software for the sake of your business. Remember that employees are the ones in charge of your BI strategy and the ones who need the know-how to implement and protect it.
Avoid and eliminate data silos in your business
Separate departments will always require their own independence in the performing of certain tasks. That, however, is no reason to keep them out of your most essential BI reports and data centers. In fact, data silos in general have the tendency to lead to long-term performance issues. If your sales team cannot share their insights and data with your marketers, your campaigns are most likely not going to be as on-point as they could be with access to the right information.
This is where BI tools like Birst help companies pool all data into a single place that everyone with the right permissions can access and leverage. Having a unified BI platform to collect and analyze your crucial business intelligence is a surefire way to set the stage for greater cohesion and data-driven collaboration in your business.
Utilize data visualization to your advantage
In addition to having a clear set of guidelines for collecting and analyzing your data, such as your KPIs, you also need a strong data catalog that you can use at any given time. Even more so, your business intelligence strategy should have a dedicated set of data visualization tools that help you present and summarize core information in the simplest, most digestible ways.
Visually presented information, in the form of charts, graphs, and interactive imagery can be extremely helpful for your business in various situations.
For example, if you’re looking for new investors for your organization, presenting them with the core BI information and analytics in a visually appealing format can be more convincing. It’s also easier for employee training, onboarding, and other internal processes that heavily rely on your data.
Running a business means encountering numerous setbacks, challenges, and roadblocks. Having a BI strategy at your disposal means being equipped to handle them all. Although every strategy needs a level of flexibility to survive market shifts and changes in customer needs, your business requires a certain level of stability in how you approach business intelligence, to begin with. Leverage the listed ideas to create a stable structure around your data, and you’ll have a strong BI strategy to help you keep growing over the years.