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Looking Into the BI Breadbox


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By Mark Jensen, Director of Product Management at InterDyn BMI

How Big Is the Breadbox?

Ask a hundred people what Business Intelligence (BI) is and you will get two hundred different answers. At least that is what it feels like to me, as every week I hear about a new business intelligence, data analysis tool which will solve reporting and data problems for all of our clients. This post isn’t going to parse through all of the BI tools available today but rather will take time to explain what BI means to us and where we feel an organization should start in developing a BI strategy.

What Is in There?

In my opinion, BI is more than just data analysis tools and dashboards; it is the spectrum of what you do to gather and manage data combined with your insight and experience about your business and industry. This definition includes data capture and data management, the reports you generate on a regular basis, customizing reports, budgeting, planning, forecasting, dashboards, KPI’s, data warehousing and data mining. The result of all of these activities and outputs when combined with your insights and experience is business intelligence. And remember you are analyzing and managing this data for one purpose…to learn.

Where Does It Start?

The foundation of a strong BI strategy and processes is data management. No it’s not the sexy topic but here is the reality, which you already know, you get out of something what you put into it or as the computer geeks like to say, garbage in, garbage out. If you are going to live and die by the reporting and dashboards you create you had better have a data capture and maintenance plan in place. Take care to plan out your data sources, data quality standards, data cleansing, error checking and ongoing maintenance. Are you in an industry where data must adhere to government policies and laws? If so then integrate that compliance into your data management plan. A strong data management plan will result in reliable, trustworthy reporting and data analysis, which will increase what you learn about your business, your customers and your industry.

By 2020, the amount of high value data - that is worth analyzing - will double

IDC and Microsoft Cloud Opportunity Survey, https://partner.microsoft.com/en-US/Solutions/cloud-partner-profitability

What Next?

If you are looking at BI and Data Analysis tools take a moment to first think about data management within your company. Is the focus on high quality data? Is there someone within the organization who thinks about data management? Should there be or can you afford to have people spending even part of their time to ensure a data management plan is carried out across the organization? Important questions I think you should ask before you go to far down the BI path. With a data management plan in place you can begin designing your BI strategy to help your company learn and grow.

Contact us to learn more.

by IntrDyn BMI

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