Most of the immense potential of BI is untapped
Despite a lot of research and industry investment in data-driven decision-making, BI penetration continues to be low in 2020-2021. According to BI-survey.com, the average penetration rate of Bi products across the board is around 17%. Even the most popular tools in the market today enjoy a modest adoption rate of 25-40%. This leaves most of the immense potential of BI untapped.
A typical business will produce reams of operational, market, and customer data, which can be analysed through BI to surface useful insights. And this has major implications for organisational success – a study by Forrester finds that businesses that rely on data management tools for decision-making are 58% more likely to cross their revenue goals than their non-data-driven counterparts. They also boost customer trust by 8% and compliance by 173%.
Organisations new to BI implementation can get started with a few basic tasks, which add up to significant benefits over time. This includes:
1. Generating reports
Generating reports has always been a staple activity for nearly every business function, be it weekly performance snapshots, monthly updates, or extensive annual reports. These could be meant for internal consumption by the leadership team, external clients in B2B organisations, summaries of partner relationships, or data analysis for self-assessment. BI automates report generation and dramatically cuts down the time and effort you need to crunch numbers, apply filters, reformat, and publish. It even allows you to customise or make use of pre-built report templates, scheduling production so that reports are delivered via email, at a particular time.
2. Gain from self-service anywhere
BI tools typically come with self-service capabilities, both for desktop as well as mobile interfaces. This means that you can not only conduct exhaustive data analysis but you could quickly look up information on the go. For example, field service executives could gain significantly from self-service Bi on mobile.
3. Enable role-based access to data
Role-based access has two major advantages. First, it lets you secure organisational data, allowing only the relevant stakeholder to view data and edit only if they have permissions. Credential expiry can strengthen security even further. Second, it lets employees at every level gain access to the data they need – for example, self-assessing performance by viewing one’s own productivity KPIs in the last few months.
4. Benchmark performance
This is among the most foundational capabilities of BI. You can map current performance KPI (across the ongoing day, week, month, or year), and plot trends against historical data patterns. This tells you if you are progressing as planned, if there have been anomalous bends on the road, or if there are persistent issues that require troubleshooting. BI is also helpful in day-on-day troubleshooting. Embedded BI features in your business apps create a contextual map of crucial events (e.g., a customer interaction with below-average CSAT), allowing you to study the conditions that caused the issue.
5. Leverage Big Data
Finally, business intelligence solutions can integrate with big data sources as well, like social media or unstructured data from wearables, which would be otherwise overlooked in a manual-only data landscape.