“BI is not a crystal ball that pops out the answer”. This was the message from Gartner, following research suggesting that as many as 70 to 80% of corporate business intelligence projects fail to meet their objectives. So what can go wrong – and how can businesses keep their analytics projects on track? We take a look…

BI is viewed exclusively as an IT project

Your executive board has seen the value of becoming a data-driven company: one that bases its decisions on evidence as opposed to going on a hunch.
You need to implement a strategy for implementing BI – so who’s responsible for this? You could place it exclusively into the hands of your IT department – but there are problems with this approach. In particular, if the initiative is led from a purely technical perspective, its value might not be obvious to the wider business.

Forrester reminds us of the importance of “putting the business into business intelligence”. Especially when you are putting analytics tools in place for the first time, this is a point that’s easy to overlook. So yes, it’s important to have IT involved at the outset – not least to factor in issues such as stability, security and ease of deployment. But at the same time, be sure to seek the input of the actual users when choosing your solutions.

The data is bad

If there’s one thing guaranteed to cause your people to lose confidence in data analytics, it’s inaccurate and misleading reporting. Good data hygiene is therefore essential; ensuring that outliers and noise are filtered out – and that seemingly small data entry mistakes are rectified.

This is why a solution such as MotioPI can prove an invaluable add-on to your core analytics software. Through continuous testing, you are alerted as soon as changes have potentially jeopardised the quality of your data assets. This quality control oversight means that errors can be identified speedily and before any real damage is done – saving you weeks of headaches down the road.

The training isn’t there

Do your people really understand how to use the system? Appropriate staff training is crucial when deploying any new business-critical software – and analytics tools are no different.
If they are going to embrace it, business users will need educating on how and where to access data, how to create, modify and interpret reports and all other components of the solution.

The solution just isn’t user-friendly

You’ve provided the training – but staff take-up of the analytics tool you’ve invested in is still nowhere near as high as you’d like it to be.
Let’s say reports take too long to produce – or they fail to provide the insights your people were looking for. The interface is confusing and lacks intuitiveness. In these situations, it’s hardly surprising that users will go back to the old way of doing things – even if that means reverting to the use of ad-hoc spreadsheets.

The user experience shouldn’t be overlooked. What’s more, there’s no reason why a solution shouldn’t be stable, powerful, secure and be user-friendly at the same time. The likes of Cognos Express provides a useful illustration of what’s possible: enterprise-grade functionality coupled with self-service access. It’s precisely what ordinary business users need to work independently and access the information they need – when they need it.

But here’s a question: who decides what is – and what isn’t “user-friendly”? You? Your IT guy? Your marketing manager? We all have our own preferences, and there are plenty of tools out there (Tableau and Qlik, for instance) that are able to deliver the visually-pleasing, headache-free experience your less-technical people are looking for.

Conventional wisdom says that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Someone’s vision of what great BI should look like has to take precedence over everyone else’s. Or does it?
There’s actually a way to square the circle – and it comes in the form of next-gen consolidation. Whether it’s because of a merger, or simply a case of users adopting software on their own initiative, you may find yourself in an environment where there are multiple analytics tools at play. Developed by Kootium in association with Motio, Theia means stakeholders can keep the tools that are already working well for them, – all brought together in one place.

Need further help in maximising the chances of BI being embraced across your organisation? Speak to Assimil8 today at info@assimil8.com or call 0845 812 0138.

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