Business Intelligence for Everyone – Part Two

In today’s increasingly data-driven world, restricting access to Business Intelligence (BI) to a few individuals or a few departments of an organization does not really offer any value to the organization. BI solutions can be costly to deploy and maintain, and if the whole organization is not benefitting from them, then the value is lost. In the last post, we saw the flaw with having a dedicated BI unit with BI experts who serve internal customers. In this post, we’ll extend the discussion.

As mentioned earlier, one of the major arguments for this centralization of intelligence and reliance on BI experts was that most BI systems were deemed too complicated for line managers to use. But this is changing. Today’s BI systems are far more intuitive and user friendly which allows users to take advantage of the systems with little to no formal training. So, without requesting anyone, managers can themselves use the solution to gain insights into their own business unit. For example, using BI, a sales manager can visualize the status of every prospect and lead across the sales funnel while the HR manager can easily pull out reports to understand the performance of any employee.

An added advantage of this is that it enables real-time decision making. In some industries, decisions have to be taken on the move, decisions which can have a significant impact on the future performance of the organization. In older days, managers had to rely on BI experts to give them the information they needed. This takes time and defeats the purpose of the request. Now, though, with every manager having his own access to the BI system, he can process the information himself and take decisions.

Today’s BI systems integrate seamlessly with other business management solutions to improve productivity and efficiency of the users. It also saves time for the IT department and does away with the need for specialized BI experts.

In the truest sense, by giving access to business intelligence for everyone, organizations can democratize data and gain complete value from it.