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Best Practices for Incorporating Business Intelligence & Analytics

By Sheejo Arvind, Head LoB - Customer Engagement, Commerce & CRM (CEC), Invenio Business Solutions

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Sheejo Arvind, Head LoB - Customer Engagement, Commerce & CRM (CEC), Invenio Business Solutions

Thanks to information explosion, customer expectations are soaring. Along with rapidly evolving business preferences, advances in technology are also enabling this space.  Technology is changing procurement, on one hand it aims to simplify customer experience and on the other hand it looks to redefine the approach to doing business. It is important to realize that the digital economy has enabled the creation of a host of tools to create, organize, transmit and store information in digital form. Amidst this, Business Intelligence and Analytics plays a central role in being able to extract relevant information and using it for corporate decision making. 

As big data is expected to become one of the most vital components of business operations, interest in business intelligence (BI) is also surging. Although BI presents virtually limitless potential with regard to transforming immense volumes of data into organization-benefiting intelligence, there are many ways for these projects to fail. This has led to CEOs/MDs/CIOs/senior management exploring the option of outsourcing BI operations. 

In order to successfully incorporate BI and Analytics platforms within any organization, it is useful to adhere to some of the best practices given below.

  1. Understanding your organization’s BI readiness: Organization’s need to realize the drivers for incorporating BI and Analytics platforms because it can help the enterprise to make real-time adjustments to business direction
  2. Taking stock of existing resources: It's important to conduct a periodic assessment of existing resources because it helps the IT team to expand the use of BI across the enterprise by creating virtual BI instances that unify global, local data and metadata
  3. Defining the project’s objective, goal and scope: Organizations want BI and analytics to improve operations and business processes. However when the area of focus is well-defined, it assists in determining the gap between the targets and the existing performance thereby facilitating extraction of relevant information
  4. Creating a robust BI and Analytics roadmap: IT architecture must be examined and integrated so data is shared among systems to verify its accuracy, consistency, and reliability. These processes ensure a consistent approach to BI as new IT systems are integrated within the organization
  5. Ensuring Agility and Accessibility: BI user interface design options to enable ease of use and interactivity. BI is all about supporting business needs, thus the analytics programs also need to evolve with changing business needs
  6. Establishing training programs for internal client support personnel: In order to ensure BI project success, IT members must proactively train employees to effectively use and extract information for decision-making
  7. Monitoring BI initiative: BI strategy must ensure that objectives are being met. Wherever technology is falling short of aiding users in reaching business goals it is important to monitor, capture, analyze, and report on critical key events the moment those events occur
  8. Identifying partner who can understand and align with organization’s strategy: It’s critical to keep in mind that outside consultants cannot establish or determine your BI strategy and vision. Hence organization’s must partner with third party vendors who can understand and align with organization’s strategy

Digitalization is real, and a growing number of Indian companies are already reaping handsome rewards from it. Heightened awareness now needs to be backed by a real workable digitalization action plan. To avoid missing the “digital bus,” numerous companies have rushed to adopt digital technologies such as social media and cloud technologies without appropriately aligning it to their broader business goals. In order to harness the digitization drive, both government run organizations and private players can employ the best practices.

The World Economic Forum mentioned in its 2014 Global Technology Report that data is “a new form of asset class and is now the equivalent of oil or gold.” The trend of Analytics is becoming mainstream and more and more businesses are incorporating it in day-to-day activities to harness its power. The maturity of businesses is also rising, as are the expectations and now the focus is on getting gleaning actionable intelligence for future events. 

It is vital for organizations to determine the need for incorporating BI and Analytics platforms because not all organizations are suited for the same. Hence, a thorough assessment is needed with inter-dependencies clearly understood to define the BI and Analytics platforms roadmap. It should start small and then grow and at each stage the IT leadership should be able to demonstrate the alignment to the organization’s objectives. IT departments need to embrace the cultural change and as more and more businesses leverage such business platforms; users will be able to engage with UI with greater efficiency.

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