Trying to start a business intelligence project when you don’t know all the KPIs you want to measure beforehand is a common starting point that quickly turns into a pain. The problem arises when there’s a task that requires you to improve a process, but when asked by IT to specify in advance every piece of data you want to measure and every query you want to run, you can only give the high-level strategic KPIs. Later on, you’re stuck returning to IT with new requirements and waiting for the changes to be implemented, just so you can continue to drill in and investigate the process further.
Common BI Pains and How to Resolve Them
While it may be an unrealistic expectation for business users to provide a list of all the KPIs they want to measure to IT in advance, this is one of the 5 most common BI problems–and it stems from BI software that doesn’t allow business users to independently analyze data. Business users are then forced to rely on IT every step of the way, and cannot follow their train of thought when investigating and analyzing their data. The new challenge is to find a BI tool that delivers both a business and technology solution, so business users can access data on their own and add new requirements as they arise. Here’s a detailed guide on how to choose a BI tool to address the pain of operating business intelligence when users don’t know what they want to measure in advance, and how to resolve that pain to guarantee business intelligence success across your company.
Access to All Your Data Is the Greatest Freedom
Here’s a little industry secret: If you choose the right BI software, business users don’t need to know the data, queries, or KPIs they want to measure in advance. Ultimately, business intelligence is all about investigating further by filtering, adding new data, and drilling into it as you go. Users can’t know from the beginning in which data source, department, or process the problem is stemming from without having to pre-design all their questions in advance (which is the stumbling block in the first place).
The key to resolving this BI pain is to choose a business intelligence tool that gives business users access to all the data, so they can independently discover what they want to measure, and measure it without having to wait for IT to deliver the data they need.
Back-End Technology Can Make or Break Your Company’s BI
To address this problem, choose a BI tool with technology powerful enough to give the business user access to all data as well as the data exploration capabilities to drill into data, slice through fields, compare between any combination of fields, and ask any question to any piece of data.
Insist on high-performance back-end technology that has the capacity to give business users access and run analysis on all the data. Only then can business users identify the root cause of the problem at hand without having to go through IT cycles when a new question emerges.
Tip: When evaluating a BI software, ask for a Proof-of-Concept using all your data and verify what data exploration capabilities are available to the business user.Read all 5 most common BI problems.