The new economy is all about understanding. Reshaping the business environment needs a thorough and better understanding. Companies worldwide are now more cognizant of this fact than ever before.
The understanding about protecting the existing business goes with questions like:
- Where is the company’s revenue coming from?
- Who are the most profitable customers?
- What future holds for us?
The understanding about the operations goes with the questions like:
- How can we cut cost and be efficient?
- How we can increase productivity?
- What is the safe limit of risk?
The understanding of the business environment pops up questions like:
- Can the growth rate be maintained?
- What external factors will crop-up and affect us?
- What is the trend in our business consumer behavior?
With so much information available in and out of the enterprise, deriving the right knowledge out of it has become the real power. Companies are beginning to understand this now. The key is answering the above questions realistically. In this scenario, Business Intelligence which was once considered as a tactical tool has become ubiquitous now. Probably a comparison can be made with email requirement. All the stake holders need to make use of both email and Business Intelligence tools!
The answers to most of the questions facing the enterprise can be found in implementing a BI tool rightly. In simple terms, BI integrates data from multiple sources and provides analytical power to better understand the business, its operations and the environment in which the business lives in. BI is the technology that should come out with truth about the business based on data.
Let us look at three critical areas to un-lease the power of BI:
- BI tools should be used to unlock the power of data and its explosion. The ability to access meaningful data in a timely, efficient manner through the use of familiar query and analysis tools is critical to realizing the competitive advantages of this weapon. Equally important is moving and sharing data throughout the organization, between departments, offices and business partners. But with the proliferation of mixed system environments that must somehow be integrated with decision support systems, data marts and warehouses (see data warehouse concepts), electronic business solutions, and enterprise applications.
- BI tools should be used to do performance management. There is an absolute need to develop and measure Key Performance Indicators –KPIs. By creating a high performance culture, a great impact can be done on the business. The cornerstones of this performance culture are clear expectations and commitment of the people. The consistent objectives are measurement of performance and measurement of competencies. The business value and ROI that can be achieved by BI – Performance Management is the power that will differentiate enterprises in new economy.
- BI tools should ensure accuracy, timeliness and consistency in reporting. With intuitively designed dashboards, executives can see and know what is happening instantly. The new economy is based on experience as much as it is on information and technology. The reporting tool used is not to be considered as secondary. The classification of reports like management reports, business reports and operational reports should be made diligently; both with strategic and analytical importance. And they should be made available to right number of users.
When the choice and implementation of BI is right, the utilization of BI is by the right people at the right time, the power of BI will also be rightly realized in protecting the business, its growth and its environment.