In Good Humour: Everyday Realities of Bad Business Intelligence

Date: Tuesday, August 9, 2022

The data that helps you get the big calls right. The information that ensures you understand where you're at – and gives you the tools to get to where you want to be. Business Intelligence (BI) is crucial to the success of any organisation. So how confident are you in your processes, systems, and reporting? Do they help or hinder your team? Here are some hidden costs of bad business intelligence... 

Budget now, or budget more later  

"There's no budget for business intelligence". Sound familiar? Maybe other priorities have taken over or maybe your predecessors investigated BI options and thought they were too expensive. The truth is that the longer you're not getting the right information and an efficient data flow, the more complicated and expensive it will be in the future. The truth also is that there are cost-effective and easy to implement BI options for most budgets 

All roads stop at Claire 

Or Dave… or whoever is the unfortunate guardian of the spreadsheets at the end of month. Chances are they didn't ever want control of the reports – but neither did anyone else. Which means it's a begrudged scramble – when they really should be doing something else. And the vital information is often late getting to the right people, which delays action and creates bottlenecks. 

The chain is easily broken  

Are there only a handful of people (or worse, just one spreadsheet guru) who really understand your reporting tools and systems? Does chaos ensue when they aren't around to answer queries? Are you running everything through an outdated legacy system that only (busy) developers understand? It's a real risk to the smooth running of your business if the vital information you need isn't easily accessible to everyone in your team. 

Breaking news... possibly  

Basing the big decisions on the most up to date information is key. So how confident are you that your reports are using the right numbers? 100%? 75%? 50%? Bob said they were the latest so they probably are... Gone are the days when any old data will do. The world moves fast. To react to it and make the critical decisions with confidence, you need to be able to access the right data, at the right time, wherever you are. 

The data merry go round  

It really should be called the misery go round. The endless back and forth between those desperate to get their hands on meaningful data and those doing their level best to provide it. You end up with put upon developers who aren't aware of the nuances of the ask and frustrated colleagues who underestimate the complications of pulling the data together. With a user-friendly BI system everyone can access the information they need in real time. 

Who got all the pies?  

The majority of users want to use data and information to illustrate a point – and will have a specific purpose in mind. If they ask a developer for a pie chart and get a bar chart, it's frustrating. If users aren't sure what information a developer can access, their vague requests are frustrating too. It's the fault of neither, but a time constrainer of both. A good BI set-up can give end users access to the stats and reports they need and free up your developers to work more strategically. 

It's a stab in the dark  

When you're up against it and there's a deadline looming, jumping through hoops just isn't an option. Welcome to the world of fudged information and vague charts at best - and compromised spreadsheets and data breaches at worst. Business information should be easily accessible and understandable for everyone in your organisation. The harder it is to access the less efficient you will be. 

It can seem daunting overhauling your BI. But the right insight in the right hands can be the difference between a business surviving and a business thriving. 

It’s time to get serious about Business Intelligence 

Business intelligence can help companies make better decisions by showing present and historical data within their business context whilst enabling accurate forecasting of potential organisational performance.  

Being able to deduce action from data is a competitive advantage leading you to grow your customer base, improve employee productivity, and create a better product or higher quality service. Business intelligence enables you to know what’s happening in real time, why it’s happening, how to stop it or capitalise on it, and how to predict what will happen next. 

About Village 

Village Software Engineering design and build remarkable software solutions.  We are focused on and committed to powering your business through data – improving your insights, increasing your productivity your efficiency, and reducing your costs.   

Our full-service offering includes application development, enterprise integration and business intelligence software solutions that embrace leading edge technologies and methods.   

Need our help? 

If you’d like our advice on how to harness the power of your data then please get in touch for an exploratory chat.  

Graham James

Graham's background is in Enterprise Information Solutions within the Manufacturing, Education, Healthcare and Supply Chain sectors. The depth of his Board level experience in IT adds dynamism to the management team to grow in traditional and new markets.

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