5 Reporting Mistakes To Avoid So You Can Make The Most Of Your BI Initiatives

According to Gartner, business intelligence and analytics will continue to garner attention from CIOs this year. Newer BI solutions such as Cloud BI dashboards, Social BI dashboards, and traditional BI solutions leave businesses spoilt for choice. Every business wants tech-savvy and simple data visualization tools that power-users can use to make the best decisions. Read on to see the five mistakes your business can avoid when investing in BI.I.

1 | Not defining the value of BI for your business

There are two steps to achieving true BI success: establishing how the business performance can be improved, and defining the scope of the BI initiative. If business units fail to understand what to extrapolate with BI reports, then the initiative is bound to fail and will cost the organization a lot of money. Once the scope of BI is defined, businesses can clearly address the issue of RoI.

So how should businesses determine whether they need BI?

Begin by asking the following questions. They will guide you in sculpting a robust BI case:

  • Why should you put your money in BI?
  • What business issues can BI solve?
  • What insights do you have already (pertaining to the same problem) and where do you see BI enhancing your understanding?

2 | Sticking with legacy reporting habits

Organizations invest in BI initiatives for two reasons, firstly to derive more value out of the data dumped in data warehouses, and secondly to look at data in new and inspiring ways, using modern visualization methods. But, if business units blatantly adhere to viewing reports without using new data visualisation methods,  investments in BI will be rendered useless.

So how can your business avoid this?

The primary target should be to train power-users who will eventually interact with self-service dashboards. Allowing users to experiment with a variety of output models will help them acclimatize faster, and increase their confidence in the use of BI applications.

3 | Attempting to measure excessive amount of metrics

Another mistake businesses make is to data-crunch with too many metrics, components and complex visuals. Do not overwhelm your BI dashboards with a plethora of reports. The purpose of a BI tool is to derive value out of your data via simple and elegant presentation. Clear reports empower rapid decision-making, whereas convoluted reports confuse power-users.

Here’s how to avoid making the same mistake:

Make it an organization wide mission to simplify, not complicate data- crunching through BI tools. This accelerates decision making and increases the value obtained from the investment.

4 | Using incorrect metrics

While modern business intelligence applications are built to crunch large sets of data, this does not mean that more data will lead to an increase in relevant reports that enable business units to take action. BI tools are not just made for simple data summarization. BI’s effectiveness is derived from context sought by your business units.

Steer clear of data overload:

It is of utmost importance to contextually input data into BI tools. The aim should be to output actionable data, not just generate a numerical summary. Each business unit should investigate whether the output value indicates any action that can improve business performance. It is vital to align each metric with a business goal.

5 | Assuming data warehouses are the key to effectively utilising BIs

Formerly, organisations did not collect enough data, but that has changed in today’s business environment. Data warehouses usually represent significant wastage of a business’ resources to build and operate. While self-service dashboards have now repositioned data warehouses as the technical means to achieve business intelligence, they are not the key to successful use of BIs.

Do data warehouses matter?

Yes, but do not look to them to be the only solution for effective implementation of BIs. Data warehouses are useful only when coupled with smart BI applications and intelligent utilisation by business units.

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