How to implement your Business Intelligence Solution
All business leaders say they want to use data to their advantage, but not all understand the importance of implementing a business intelligence solution. If you're attempting to persuade your stakeholders, here are our tips on how to achieve sign-off and then implement one.
1. Focus on ROI.
Starting with a broad claim such as; 'We need a BI tool to get greater insight from our data', will mean you'll struggle to develop a persuasive argument. You need to demonstrate Return on Investment. So start off by spending time outlining the data you have available and highlighting where the gaps lie. Then focus on one or two key examples where better data analysis could have the biggest impact. It might speed up sales, improve product lines or lower your operating expense ratio. By drilling down to the results you could achieve you can build a benefit-cost analysis that will help get you the sign-off you need. Detail is better than broad arguments.
2. Communicate with the right stakeholders.
There may be many stakeholders in your business who are interested in data, but when it comes to implementation you’ll need to identify those who will benefit from your Business Intelligence solution from day one. You'll be making their life easier and helping them to make informed decisions, so make sure you really understand their pain points from the outset. You’ll also need their support when it comes to providing data, so be clear about that from the beginning. You may have achieved sign-off for your BI project, but it can quickly encounter road-blocks if the right stakeholders aren't fully on-board.
3. Decide who's leading.
Once you have your key stakeholders on board, you need to decide who is leading this project. Is it you? Are you doing it all in-house? Or are you going to enlist the help of Business Intelligence experts? You need to weigh up your priorities, budget and time available - remember to keep focused on the ROI you outlined in step 1!
4. Be clear about data management.
Kicking off a BI project properly and keeping it on track relies on good data management. If you have got your stakeholder management right, you should be able to plan the data you need and who’s providing it. You should also track the quality of the data and put it in order of priority. It’s important not to rush the data management, because the insight your solution provides will only be as good as the data that goes into it.
5. Set measurable objectives.
You achieved sign-off for your BI tool based on clear ROI, so it's important not to lose sight of that goal now. The quality of your end product needs to support your ROI objectives. Be clear of your progress against this throughout and keep everyone in the loop. Communicate with your stakeholders and keep your in-house team or external experts engaged. By setting clear objectives and holding everyone to account you will prevent timescales, scope and budget creeping up.
6. Use your solution!
From day one make it as easy as possible for your stakeholders to get valuable insight from your new Business Intelligence solution. Set up automated reports and make sure there is a data manager on hand to respond to any queries regarding the insight.
How can Acutus Consulting help?
We can be your business intelligence partner - from gathering requirements to leading and implementing the entire BI project. Give us a call or email us, we’re always happy to have a chat.