Having a head for business and having business intelligence (BI) is not the same thing. The first relies on instincts, but the latter relies upon copious amounts of data. BI leverages services and software to convert data into actionable insights that will assist a company in making strategic decisions. BI tools will assess and thoroughly analyze past and present data, and then the tools can display their findings in ways like reports, charts, dashboards, etc. to help in the planning and decision-making process of a company. Data analytics and visualization can be powerfully transformative tools for a business, assisting in everything from optimizing supply chain management or creating a superior customer experience.
According to recent studies, 60-73% of all enterprise data remains unanalyzed, and the lack of data literacy costs the US economy more than $100 billion a year. What opportunities is your company missing out on by not utilizing the data at its fingertips?
There are a wide range of BI tools to help your company have a competitive edge, so before making any decisions, it’s important to know what you need and to do your research. Here are a few tips to make sure you get the best fit for your company.
Make a Plan
Consider how your current systems can be enhanced. What functionalities are you lacking? Where can workflow be improved or strengthened? What practices are maybe out of date?
What is it that you want to achieve now? In five years? In ten years? Having this mapped out will help you as you make choices about your BI.
Set KPIs in Order to Measure Your Progress
Similar to that feeling you get when you can check a box off your to do list, setting key performance indicators, or KPIs, will help you to accurately measure the success of your technological pursuit.
With your own team or with the vendor, set realistic benchmarks to attain, and then check in to see that those goals are being met. If they aren’t, it isn’t a sign of failure but a sign that something needs to be redirected and utilized in a way that will be advantageous to your company.
Find a Vendor that Supports Your Company and Its Goals
Similar to when you were searching for an ERP vendor that would work well with your company, you need to look past the pretty presentations and the glittery promises and find the company who will work for yours. Reaching out to your ERP vendor for suggestions could be really helpful in this process, as perhaps they partner with other likeminded companies who will work to support your company and vision, or, even better, perhaps they also work in other areas of AI and IIoT that could assist your new business intelligence venture.
Take your time and vet each company. Look into their data security credentials so that you can have confidence in their knowledge of how to keep your information as secure as possible.
Communicate and Celebrate at Every Step
Even if you are thinking about only implementing small changes, change in general causes people anxiety. This is especially true as businesses turn more and more towards automation. Your team gets nervous about what that means for them and the trajectory with your company. Communicate clearly about how these new tools will benefit everyone. Give your team confidence both in their ability to use the tools, but also in their job security.
The benefit to this communication, as well as celebrating even minor successes, is that when your team is not well trained on how the technology works or why they should use it, they won’t use it. Then, you have just spent a good deal of money on a fancy paperweight. Emphasize teamwork and collaboration because it’s important for all areas of your organization to have a sense of ownership and awareness.
Just like with your ERP system, in order for implementation to be successful, you must have employee buy-in. When you focus on small victories, you boost the confidence of your employees and will see sweeping effects through your team and your customers.
In order to avoid overwhelming your team, consider rolling out BI in smaller, actionable areas.
Map Out Your Project While Keeping Scalability in Mind
Starting small is helpful to avoid overwhelming your workflows and your teams. However, as time goes on, new technology and new business expectations are going to arise. This needs to be kept in mind every time you incorporate new technologies. Spread out technological advances throughout your company, never overwhelming a single team but always keeping the future and functionality in mind.
Set Risk Management as a Priority
The whole world runs on data, which is why self-service BI tools are in such high demand, but that leaves us all very vulnerable if precautions are not taken. This requires having a risk management plan in place that focuses on data security, quality, and training. Users should know how to use and manipulate the data appropriately without providing any kind of vulnerabilities.
Whether by process tests, systems integration tests, performance tests, or any other kind of test, do it often and expand what it is you are looking for. Make sure the system will work beyond best case scenarios. As we’ve seen in industry over the last two years, the unthinkable can happen. Try your best to be prepared for it.
Check Your Benchmark Goals
Remember those KPIs? How’d you do? After going live with self-service BI tools, measure your progress and performance. See how your team is feeling about things. See how customers are responding. Use these insights to define your next steps because in industry and technology, there will always be next steps.
Your ERP system has great capabilities and functions, but is it time for your organization to consider how BI can work to propel what your current systems are doing into the future? Godlan’s team of consultants is happy to help. We know the power and potential of your ERP systems and how to help them reach their full potential in this ever-changing world and market. Visit Godlan.com or call 586.464.4400 today.