BI and Tech

Five misconceptions about Business Intelligence

As return on investment and the benefits of business intelligence software becomes increasingly apparent, more organisations are choosing to invest. However, as the number of solutions continues to grow, the quality will vary and the amount of misinformation is increasing. Listed below are five common misconceptions about business intelligence.

1. Every business must have access to real time data

Access to real time information depends upon the type of organisation and the frequency with which the data is updated.

In a business where critical changes are happening every few seconds, such as a firm of stock brokers, then accessing real time data would be critical.

Where data is updated every few hours access to real time data is not necessary as the BI solution doesn’t need to be updated as often.

Your BI solution should match your current business needs, but also be flexible enough to evolve to match your changing requirements.

2. Every employee needs their own BI dashboard

Where performance against time is closely monitored, such as a call centre, baggage handlers or Just In Time production, giving each employee a BI dashboard would have an adverse effect on performance.

Organisations such as these often use large display screens in public areas which show employees the current target and current performance level.

This form of limited access is a lot more useful than giving a dashboard to each user, which would distract and interrupt their work. Even in an organisation where the performance of individual employees is monitored, such as a delivery company, carte blanche access may not be the right answer to increase efficiency.

Every organisation must carefully look at who would benefit the most from having access, and to what degree, as too many charts can be equally confusing and render a BI solution irrelevant.

3. BI makes things more complicated and is difficult to use

The volume of data being recorded in all organisations is constantly increasing but any business intelligence solution should make it easier to find answers.

Some of the more complex BI solutions can have a lengthy implementation phase, but even these are designed to help users navigate more easily through their data.

The length of time needed to learn how to use BI software can vary, but there again not every user will need to be trained to the same level.

With the Panintelligence dashboard training takes a day to become a competent editor, but an end user can be trained in less than hour.

4. Everyone should be interested in big data

Big data is a commonly used phase which describes a large data set, usually made from structured and unstructured data, common to social media.

Big data can reveal useful insights and, as the power of social media increases, monitoring these channels can prove beneficial.

Small businesses often use social media to raise awareness, however, the cost of gathering, hosting and analysing data via this channel would outweigh the potential benefits.

In large organisations social media is merely one of many data channels used for analysis, as the volume of data being gathered is significant.

Big data has become synonymous with business intelligence, whereas an organisation’s interest in it should actually depend upon its size and the amount of data they consume.

5. Business Intelligence costs people their jobs

Dashboard reporting software is designed to improve performance and efficiency, as well as make it easier to analyse large volumes of data.

It can make certain aspects of a person’s job easier, and shift the focus of their time, but it doesn’t replace people. When dealing with complex reports that are gigabytes big, it can be time consuming to find anomalies, see trends in the data and answer difficult questions.

Business Intelligence software can significantly reduce the amount of time needed for these tasks, moving the focus to formulating strategies to tackle any problem, rather than spending the majority of time identifying them.

It enables organisations to be more proactive as unusual activity is easier to spot, allowing them to respond to change more quickly.

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