Your BI implementation strategy will involve big changes for your staff, your data’s infrastructure, and even your company’s workflow.
During the BI implementation process, your IT department will do most of the heavy lifting. They’ll be responsible for creating and maintaining the data warehouse and infrastructure to support your BI implementation strategy.
This being said, you may ultimately discover that your BI vision requires more expertise or infrastructure to become a reality.
At the end of it all, however, you’ll benefit from actionable insights that are accessible from a single data-enriched dashboard. This will become a single point of truth that anyone in your company can navigate with ease.
Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of your BI implementation strategy.
Resolve Weaknesses Uncovered in Business Intelligence Strategy
When you created your business intelligence strategy, you likely uncovered weaknesses in your current data management system. The first step in your BI implementation strategy is correcting those shortfalls.
Start by collecting missing data required for BI implementation success.
Afterwards, determine where that data enters the organization. Then, assign the responsibility for that data to an employee that’s near its entry point. When that’s all sorted out, create a workflow that will consistently and reliably capture that data moving forward.
Arrange for the automatic collection of data where possible.
There may be missed opportunities for auto-capturing data. Whether it’s downloading information from your vendors, digitizing your new hire forms, or promoting your online ordering website, make the most of digitized data. This will promote the use of the most accurate, most timely data possible.
Dismantle data silos.
Sometimes different departments track the same data, but separately. When this happens, chances are, one set of data is inaccurate. As an example, your sales department may be tracking sales; however, the accounting department’s figures are probably more reliable. Obviously, after BI implementation there will be a single, accessible dashboard. Until then, make arrangements for key players to access the most accurate information and dismantle unreliable data silos.
Revise the workflow to support business intelligence implementation.
During your business intelligence strategy planning, you may discover that your current workflows won’t support your BI implementation strategy. Work with the key stakeholders to make the necessary changes.
Link Business Intelligence Data Across Departments
At this point, your BI implementation plan gets pretty technical.
Essentially, if you’re going to bring together data across departments, you have to establish relationships between that data. The relationships you create will link data throughout the company. These relationships, or links, are what make your BI dashboard possible.
But it isn’t so easy to link (for example, linking the customer data in sales with the customer data in accounting).
Remember, these departments have been operating as data silos, and they’ve created their own records. The sales department may have information for Carlton Shoes, while the accounting may have records for Carlton Shoe Company. The seemingly insignificant difference will prevent the business data from merging into your dashboard.
The job of making these data fields identical falls on your IT department.
The IT department can edit many entries of “Carlton Shoes” to read “Carlton Shoe Company” much more quickly than an assistant can manually edit them. But it will be time-consuming for IT to find and make all the necessary changes throughout the company’s data.
Build Business Intelligence Database
Your business intelligence database is the “data warehouse” from which analytical insights are made. And again, it falls on your IT department to create this piece of infrastructure. Wherever your data currently resides, IT will need to move it to the business intelligence database. IT will also need to ensure that future data makes its way into the business intelligence database.
Organize How Business Intelligence is Gathered
With data linked through relationships and the business intelligence database created, it’s time to make sure the workflow process is organized around BI implementation.
During this stage, your IT department makes sure data is flowing into the business intelligence database as intended. They will also ensure the data will result in the reports and insights outlined in the business intelligence strategy.
Keep Reading: 6 important data management best practices
Set-Up BI Dashboard and Analytics
With the business intelligence database established, it’s time to set up the dashboard (along with its reporting and analytics capabilities).
Once again, your IT team are the star players making this happen.
As you’re probably beginning to see, business intelligence implementation requires much of your IT department’s resources. You’ll likely need to reduce their other responsibilities, hire additional IT professionals, or outsource this BI implementation altogether.
Once the dashboard is live, the executive team and other departmental leaders can start harnessing the power of business intelligence. But the work of business intelligence implementation isn’t finished.
Managing Business Intelligence
If you’re developing business intelligence solutions in-house, you’ll need to consider its long-term management.
The data you’re collecting, of course, needs to go somewhere. And even if you’ve used existing infrastructure to store your business intelligence data to this point, your storage needs will continue to grow.
You’ll need to have servers and other hardware in place to accommodate this growth. If you fail to put these structures in place before you need them, your database may crash and you’ll lose valuable data.
You’ll also need to consider the staffing requirements for managing your business intelligence.
The database, its dashboards and the data supporting them need to be maintained. On top of this, you’ll start to see more opportunities within business intelligence, and you’ll want to explore more advanced analytics and capabilities. When this happens, you’ll need someone in IT to make it happen.
Security Needs for Business Intelligence
Data theft is a huge threat.
As you consolidate and grow data to fuel business intelligence analytics, you must also consider how to protect your company from threats. If you develop your business intelligence in-house, you’ll have to invest in robust security measures to keep your data safe.
Your BI Implementation Strategy in Action
Business intelligence takes you beyond using data to solve small-scale problems.
Forecasting and analytics can give you a competitive advantage. However, data for most companies has grown into an unruly monster. This being said, if you’re going to wrangle all that information into actionable insights, you’ll need a business intelligence strategy and a plan for its implementation.
Even if you develop and implement your BI strategy in-house, you’ll still need to invest in the infrastructure, staffing and security requirements to support it – unless you partner with Teamworks Group.
At Teamworks, we have the infrastructure, expertise, and all the latest security measures to customize, optimize, and implement your business intelligence strategy. And with our ongoing management and support, you can continue to rely on business intelligence analytics for years to come.
Give us a call today to get started.