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Explaining business intelligence is like moving a piano up eight flights of stairs. It’s not just that the piano weighs a ton; it’s that it is incredibly unwieldy. Business intelligence is a cumbersome term, and it, too, is difficult to haul around a building full of diverse personnel. Gartner defines BI as “an interactive process for exploring and analyzing structured and domain-specific information to discern trends or patterns, thereby deriving insights and drawing conclusions. The business intelligence process includes communicating findings and effecting change.” This often does little to clarify the term and, more importantly, to communicate goals and objectives to management and teams. It’s helpful to take a moment and define business intelligence. Maybe we can’t make the piano lighter but we can help you figure out a better way to carry it.
At its most fundamental level, BI is being able to make information available and accessible. This enables better business decisions in an organized, timely fashion. That’s it. It’s enough! As Gartner defines, the end goal is to effect change. According to a 2011 LogiXML survey, many business users are dissatisfied with their companies’ BI implementation. Nearly 38 percent felt that their BI tools were not adequate. LogiXML CMO, Ken Chow, said of the findings, “It pointed to something we’ve seen, which is this widening gap between IT and business users with respect to their BI expectations.”
We help find a way to bridge that gap. One of the problems we see again and again is not being able to implement change in a lasting way. Business leaders always want to question data and use it to make better decisions. The problem is that they have to go through the process of working with IT to pull that data each time they want to do something different. It is as if each BI project or tool is designed to be a “solution” to a discrete problem rather than a strategy that can be applied to a range of concerns throughout the organization. This is time-consuming and ineffective, and it further widens the gap between business and IT.
BI puts a usable data framework together. This way, management and personnel can use the data to make rapid decisions regardless of the specific application. SSB is able to help build the infrastructure your business needs in order to access and utilize data efficiently and consistently. Creating this framework is usually our first step; it provides a solid foundation for launching other goals and initiatives. From there, we can move on to helping them make automatic assessments and in discovering capabilities they had never thought possible before. A strong framework suddenly makes these applications possible – and manageable.
More than half of all BI projects fail entirely or do not deliver on the promises made when they were launched. The most common reason is that many businesses regard BI as “just another IT project” instead of a dynamic, evolving strategy. We help create the mindset that a well-organized framework will help facilitate decisions throughout the organization. While flexible and fluid, the framework adds necessary organization and consistency to data-related efforts.