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How to Develop a Business Intelligence Strategy

In the background of your day-to-day operations, there is the hum of all the data you’re collecting.

But you know – If you could develop a business intelligence strategy that could analyze all that data, your company would have huge competitive advantages.

This being said, wrangling all that data into one BI dashboard can seem like a monumental task. However, if you break down that process into clearly outlined steps, it can make that task seem not so difficult.

Let’s talk about how to develop a business intelligence strategy in a step-by-step format.

Assemble Your Business Intelligence Strategy Team

A great business intelligence strategic plan starts with a great team.

Your team includes the key stakeholders who will develop the vision for your company’s use of BI tools, most likely the executives.

But your BI team should also include departmental leaders responsible for overseeing data collection, as well as IT leaders responsible for the “data warehouse” behind it all.

Self-Evaluate Your BI Data Analysis Maturity

Your team’s first step in developing your BI systems should be determining where your company currently falls on Bersin’s Analytics Maturity Model. These levels are detailed below.

  • Level 1, Operation Reporting: Your company’s current bi process reports focus on compliance and data sources accuracy.

  • Level 2, Advanced Reporting: Your company is using some proactive reporting for business decision-making purposes. Reports are disparate, coming from across departments. And the reports require at least some manual preparation.

  • Level 3, Advanced Analytics: You’re using business analytics to solve problems. Raw data is transformed into actionable BI solutions.

  • Level 4, Predictive Analytics: Your company uses data to develop predictive models and for future planning. Data visualization across departments is integrated into a single point of truth. The culture of the company embraces data-driven decisions.

Your BI implementation strategy should allow for a gradual progression through the BI data maturity levels.

Rather than trying to jump into Predictive Analytics, use a phased approach. This will also give you the opportunity to identify and strengthen data weaknesses you uncover along the way.

In other words, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Define Your Business Intelligence Goals and Vision

Now that you know where your current business intelligence BI strategy stands, you can decide where you actually want it to be.

Consider your key departments and areas of business. How can data analysis drive better decisions in each of these areas?

For example, you may currently measure the success of your marketing efforts by increased sales. But what if you could link the quality of your customers to a kind of marketing campaign?

Data from accounting and customer service could each help you rank your customers.

Afterwards, you could identify the key characteristics of your best customers (like those who are enthusiastic about your brand and require fewer internal resources to secure repeat business and referrals).

As another added layer, what if you could connect data from marketing, sales, accounting, and customer service to develop a marketing plan that targets these fruitful customers?

Sounds too good to be true, right? With the right analytics, it’s not.

Establish goals that detail how business intelligence can help you make better business decisions throughout your company.

Assess Your Current Methods of Collecting Data Sources

Using your goals as a roadmap, determine if your current processes are collecting the right data and if so, where that data is stored.

In the above business intelligence strategy example, you would need data to determine the desirability of customer characteristics.

For example, it would be helpful if the customer service department has records of customer issues and information about the general ease of working with each client. Clients that demand hefty discounts for minor mistakes rank low on the desirability scale.

From there, you would need to link customers to marketing campaigns. Is your company currently asking customers how they heard about you?

Essentially, break down the data you need to achieve each business intelligence goal. Determine if you’re currently collecting that information. Find out where that data is kept. Or make a plan to adjust the organizational process to begin collecting that data.

Examine How BI Data Travels

Now that you’ve identified the most important pieces of data, examine the workflow that collects, stores, and uses that business intelligence strategy definition.

Identify the positions responsible for recording data, and determine if the operational process supports accurate and reliable data.

Perhaps separate departments are collecting the same data. If so, do they agree? You’ll want to decide which department should oversee the collection going forward.

Finally, examine ways manually entered data can be collected automatically.

For example, can the accounting department reduce its paper flow by connecting with vendors digitally and downloading invoices?

Does your onboarding process support digital forms and signatures for new hires that feed directly into your onboarding software?

Do you need to invest in software to achieve your data collection business goals?

Business Intelligence Implementation Strategy

You’ve assessed your current data maturity level and outlined your goals for your business intelligence strategy. You’ve also determined how your current operational workflow must change for that BI strategy to succeed. Now you’re ready to implement the plan.

When you get to this point, you’ll also want to break down the process into phases and consider outsourcing your efforts to a BI implementation partner.

Business Intelligence Software Partner

As you can imagine, developing a business intelligence strategy is a time-consuming process.

The implementation phase of your BI processes may require significant investments in storage capability and additional IT personnel to create and manage your business intelligence software.

In many ways, you’re recreating the wheel if all the work of your business intelligence strategy happens in-house. You may be able to save considerable time and money if you partner with a BI software provider.

Teamworks Group can help you with every phase of your business intelligence strategy and implementation.

Let our experience help you avoid the pitfalls of implementing BI tools. We’ll do the nitty-gritty work of organizing your data into a single BI roadmap. You’ll have access to actionable data more quickly without the high cost of development. Contact us today for more information.


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