Turn Enterprise Data into a Competitive Advantage:
5 Steps to Amplify Business Intelligence
Amplify your business intelligence resources and tools to provide accurate, consistent, and trusted data.
In the quest to establish a single source of data truth, most organizations have made heavy investments in business intelligence resources and data management solutions over time. The intent of this collection of people, systems, and processes was to create an accurate and consistent view of data for company decision makers, regardless of the data source and location.
Unfortunately, achieving the ideal level of data integrity has been difficult for some organizations. Each time a business adds a new product, partner, or channel, they also add a new data source. And, if not consistently defined and integrated, it can wreak havoc for analysts accountable for delivering decision-grade data, insights, and recommendations to the organization. This leads to stakeholder misalignment, conflicting viewpoints, and poor decisions that can be counterintuitive or even damaging to business imperatives. The market is more competitive than ever so organizations can’t afford to wait any longer to get it right.
So, what can a company do to ensure their data management resources and toolset are making the intended impact? Follow these five steps to create the right environment for powerful business intelligence!
Step 1: Involve all partners, early and often
Organizations interested in amplifying their business intelligence must involve a diverse group of leaders, stakeholders, and practitioners early in the process of establishing the data management solutions and the governance. Capturing their pain points and requirements ensures solutions are developed considering all organizational vantage points and is invaluable to creating solutions that meet all decision-making needs.
Since data is dynamic, with tools, techniques, and sources continually evolving, be sure to create regular feedback loops and open lines of communication among all stakeholders. This collaboration will support solution adoption, ensure compliance, and grow company-wide data literacy.
Step 2: Identify, define, and document business driving KPIs and metrics…it’s all about the numbers!
Work with cross-functional partners to identify the metrics that are most important to running the business. Agree on what information is needed to make decisions impacting strategy, operations, revenue, and profitability then identify the related KPIs, their data sources, data stewards, and definitions. Remember documentation is KEY! Memorialize these details to ensure consistency and mutual understanding across teams. In other words, gather your business requirements.
Step 3: Operationalize stakeholder requirements – this is where the tactical work begins!
Now it’s time to develop a solution strategy based on the business requirements identified by stakeholders. Work with data source and platform owners to assess current gaps in the data collection, storage, and reporting procedural and technical infrastructure, including real or perceived organizational silos. Document gaps and set the plan to make needed updates, corrections, and technology additions or refinements. Review with the business owners and then we start the work. Assign responsibilities and set deadlines to expedite the project roadmap. Remember to meet regularly with stakeholders to prioritize work efforts.
Step 4: Establish, educate, and enforce corporate data governance
Companies often neglect this critical step, causing unnecessary roadblocks. Corporate data policies, processes, and procedures must be created and maintained to protect the integrity, reliability, and consistency of all data generated and consumed while running a business. While data governance sets the rules, data management is equally important as it enables the execution and enforcement of these policies and procedures. Once established, train all users across the organization, ensuring compliance with regular check-ins and ongoing education. When possible, use systems to enforce data integrity.
After implementing this data governance process, our clients have experienced significant improvements in data cleanliness and substantial time savings.
Step 5. Democratize the data with easy, real-time access to outputs.
The key to turning data-driven insights into business transforming actions is having accurate, consistent, and trusted data at your users’ fingertips, while respecting and enforcing data access policies. Build dynamic reporting systems that include intuitive dashboards aligned to specific business needs defined by stakeholders, including all KPIs they’ve identified as decision critical. Ensure all reporting tools and outputs are intuitive, clearly defined, and available when, where, and how users need them. When users spend less time finding and validating the information, they spend more time creating leverage from the data and better decisions for the business.
Are you ready to make a bigger business impact through a seamlessly connected data ecosystem?
The pace of business continues to accelerate, demanding an even faster response for delivering decision-grade insights. Now’s the time to optimize the investment made in business intelligence resources and tools. When enterprise data is consistent, trusted, and readily available, your team is transformed from reactive to proactive. Imagine the impact this competitive advantage can have on your business!
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