With all of the responsibilities, tasks and planning involved in getting a business intelligence program off the ground, it can be easy to forget some of the more basic demands of the technology in terms of management and optimization. For one, employee enablement and training will often be a critical step for all companies to take, while finding support for core demands such as data preparation must take place before the first project commences.
In many ways, the average analytics solution has become more intuitive and approachable for a wider range of users than ever before, but this does not mean that a company can deploy the technology and immediately enjoy optimal outcomes without any other efforts. Rather, the cultural and human aspects of business intelligence use and management will tend to tell the tale of success or failure in each individual situation.
Getting it right
Information Management recently argued that the major paradigm shift in the intelligence arena has been directly related to the obstacles most businesses will face when first deploying the solutions. According to the news provider, not so long ago, the greatest challenge was the technology itself, as it was novel, somewhat difficult to use and impossible to optimize without a wealth of knowledge in data science, coding and other skills.
Now, the source argued, the real hindrance resides in the areas of workforce management and enablement, as the solutions themselves have indeed progressed to a much more advanced stage of performance and accessibility than in the past. This places the onus on managers, leaders and even the employees themselves to be crafty in their utilization of the technology, and this will indeed demand a wealth of preparation and learning in most situations.
Interestingly, Information Management argued that “analytics is the only sustainable competitive advantage.” This is somewhat of a novel assertion, but one that might withstand the test of time given the immense value that these solutions, when properly managed, can bolster decision-making prowess, reduce risk and enhance productivity in one fell swoop.
What comes next?
In an extreme example, big data-as-a-service is beginning to catch on, but even in these situations, companies will still need to understand how to use those insights to their fullest potential. In that same vein, data preparation-as-a-service is starting to hit the market, but companies that are unsure of their ability to handle these critical components of analytics strategies will still benefit from tapping a supportive solution provider.
Leaders who understand their limitations, and those of their IT departments, will be better positioned to excel in their intelligence programs. Not only will leveraging a service provider tend to boost the success rates of these projects, as they can also work to the financial advantage of the programs over time.