Common Misconceptions that Prevail about BI

By CIOReview | Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Business Intelligence (BI), as a set of tools and techniques for informed decision-making, brings out pecuniary advantages to an enterprise if it is managed, designed, and deployed efficiently. BI assists in gathering, storing, analyzing, and providing access to data to formulate business decisions by involving users from various levels such as employee, manager, and executive level. With variety of tools for each of the targeted groups of people, BI is gaining popularity with the ongoing IT innovation. 

According to Gartner, the BI and analytics associated with it is projected to grow upto $16.9Bn in 2016, an increase by 5.2 percent compared to 2015. BI has eventually grown, along with technological advancement to deliver accessibility, agility and deeper analytical insight for the enterprises. “The shift to the modern BI and analytics platform has now reached a tipping point. Organizations must transition to easy-to-use, fast and agile modern BI platforms to create business value from deeper insights into diverse data sources,” said Ian Bertram, Managing Vice President, Gartner. With growing BI adoption, businesses should be aware of the common misconceptions that may hinder business growth. Below discussed are the common misconceptions in BI:

• Excel is a BI Tool

Many organizations use ‘Excel’ as a BI tool. However, “Excel was not designed as a multi-user, multi-department BI tool. While many use it in this way, it creates risks and is ultimately the least efficient tool for the job,” said Joe Stangarone, President, MRC, in the MRC blog.

Organizations rely heavily on BI tool to assist them in formulating business decisions to manage various business processes. . BI tools support multi-users to maintain workflow of an organization by fetching data from various departments within an organization.

• BI is for the Management and the Big Companies

Many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have impression that BI requires certain level of infrastructure which they cannot afford and on that note, they refrain themselves using BI tools. Many BI vendors use ‘Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform to provide services to their customers and with the grace of cloud, even smaller organizations are able to access BI tools. SMEs can discover greater advantages of BI platform to leverage their business to higher level with efficient resource management.

With the introduction of mobile business intelligence, BI is not restricted only to higher management. Mobile BI has made it possible to involve everyone’s view in decision making allowing every member of an organization to put forth the insights needed for developing organization’s process. BI also assists CIOs and other C-level executives to make business decisions to help organizations in making insightful and accurate decisions.

• BI is everything

Many organizations believe that the BI tool will simplify their workflow regardless of an organization’s business processes. Such situation calls for streamlining the processes before implementing any BI tool. Even BI applications may fail to deliver if the BI implementations are not supported by conducive infrastructure in an organization “Successful BI projects start with clean, organized data. Without this, no amount of BI software will give you the insights you want,” Stangarone added in his blog.

• BI Is Just Software

More than just software, BI is about planning and executing the right business strategy backed by comprehensive business data. Implementing a BI confined only to a specific department of an organization is not enough but it should be implemented in every department before working on it. BI implementation takes time to get accustomed with the existing workflow of an organization. Organizations expecting to streamline their process need to implement BI tools in every aspect of their business.

• BI is complex to use 

BI implements sophisticated methods to manage data and working on these methods is viewed as that only can be executed by IT professionals. But with the advent of technology such as cloud computing, even non-IT professionals are utilizing BI infrastructure efficiently. BI provides a vivid visualization of data which enables every individual of an organization to participate while making a business decision.

With growing adoption of BI, more companies and business users may tend to make assumptions of BI that may affect growth. Keeping the aforementioned facts will help business to approach BI in the right manner.