So, your BI tool is in place. Quality data is starting to flow from databases and resources into the central database. The next critical process for BI success is analysis.

NB: This is an excerpt from our latest white paper: ''Eight keys to achieving business intelligence success in 2017". To download the full white paper, click here.

Being able to make business decisions based on data is a competitive advantage. It’s important to link analytics to business outcomes to show how BI influenced revenue-generating opportunities, increased operational efficiencies or improved customers service. This will strengthen the business case for analytics while showing the value of the underlying data.

Gartner analyst Alan Duncan wrote:

“Mapping business value outcomes to the analytic questions and the underlying data needed to support them highlights the value of the data being provisioned, enables the team to identify new uses for existing data and allows any current gaps in available data to be identified.”

So what should your company be measuring? What questions do you want your data to answer? And what actionable intelligence do you hope to take from your raw data?

The answers to theses question depend on the business role, but there are three key things that you need to define as you prepare to explore and analyze your data, regardless of whether you’re in sales, finance or inventory management.

1. Define your goals

Ultimately, you want to maximize the value that you get from your BI solution.

This starts by defining your KPIs and metrics. Among the key things that every business should measure are financial metrics such as revenue, cash, and assets; operational metrics such as inventory turnover and production levels; and sales and marketing metrics, including win rates and leads generated.

2. Define your priorities

You will get the outcomes you want once you have defined how you want your data to improve your business.

What is the focus of your business this week, month or quarter? Once you have defined what is most important to your role, department or business, you can use your BI tool provide the intelligence needed to move forward.

3. Define your outcomes

Your BI solution should provide you with the information that can help you achieve your desired business outcomes; those things that will make the most difference to your organization.

You can get the most from your BI tool when you understand what you want your raw data to reveal. Does your business need to focus on lost business, underperforming products or regions with new business opportunities? When you know what you want your analysis to reveal, it makes it easier to begin the analysis process.

Your BI tools should allow you to drill deep into your data, providing a consolidated view of products, customers and financial data. As your single source of truth, your BI tool should facilitate a level of analysis that should eliminate doubt and wonder while uncovering what is really going on with your business.

This has been a preview of our new executive/IT white paper on eight keys to business intelligence success in 2017.

To download the complete white paper, click the image below:

8-keys-to-bi-success

Tags: Job Role - IT, Strategy, Management and Performance, Job Role - Executive

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