Is your company “data rich, insight poor?” You’re not alone. Access to overwhelming amounts of data (2.5 quintillion bytes created per day) can be paralyzing to organizations, making it difficult to generate real business value from analytics. Investment in Business Intelligence (BI) tools is often seen as a solution to the problem, but organizations need to make sure they’re not just throwing money into a burning pit, in hopes of putting the fire out. International Data Corporation (IDC) stated that companies will be investing over $203 billion in data analytics/BI solutions by 2020. Companies are spending more now than ever on Business Intelligence, but executives are not happy with the results. Gartner uncovered the shocking truth that 70 to 80% of BI projects fail.
A recent Forbes article outlining the Business Intelligence landscape, based off Dresner’s 2018 Wisdom of Crowds® Business Intelligence Market Study, provides some strong insights into the challenges we collectively face. Let’s examine some of the key trends.
Is Your Organization Built for Success?
Dresner found that dashboards, reports, advanced visualization and data management warehousing are the highest investment areas for companies whose budgets increased from 2017 to 2018. BI investments are being driven by different parts of the business (sales, operations, marketing, etc.) But this method of development tends to exacerbate the exact problem that BI departments are trying to solve. Going back to our burning pit analogy, this is like throwing gas on the fire.
Having so many departments and individuals with separate needs and priorities investing in BI tools creates disorder. Many organizations are finding that having a centralized/dedicated person/team helps control the chaos. However, Forbes states that “fewer than 15% of respondent organizations have a Chief Data Officer, and only about 10% have a Chief Analytics Officer today.”
Like any leadership role, the simplest responsibility is to make sure everyone is running in the same direction. Organizations that have seen success have put the executive leadership in place (CDO/CAO/etc.) to oversee data projects across the organization to unify the strategy, control the data and exaction of these investments.
An added benefit of having executive leadership providing this oversight is so they can then be the driving force behind empowering individuals/ departments to become their own analysts as well. The Forbes article states that “Business Intelligence Competency Centers (BICCs) in the best run companies are knowledge hubs that encourage and educate all departments on how to excel with analytics and BI.”
We also find our customers who maximize value of their data are using a federated model that gives centralized control to a ‘knowledge hub’ like the article describes, but also gives users the ability to access and analyze trusted data sets.
The Secret to Turning Data into Insight
A BI solution is only as ‘smart’ as the data that feeds it.
It is important to remember that everything starts with the data. So before investing in expensive BI tools, understand that if the data you are feeding it with is faulty, or isn’t cleaned and validated properly, any BI project is bound to fail. Simple failure is not the worst of results however; it is disastrous to make critical business decisions based on flawed data.
There is a need for data intelligence, better data processes and data governance that must be layered in between the stakeholders and users of data and the data sources themselves. Finding the right data plays a critical role in the success of BI initiatives and it can be more challenging as organizations scale. Swarm is engineered to solve that problem for large enterprises, making it easy to find the most relevant, trusted, curated data to suit your BI project. Monarch Swarm enables data and analytics to tell a multi-dimensional story by leveraging all of the key aspects of data intelligence.
Technology Can Be a Force Multiplier For Other Technology
The BI adoption rate, according to Dresner, has been growing in industries such as Financial Services, Healthcare, Retail, Manufacturing, Education and more. BI solutions are used in nearly every department within organizations and generally are using at least 2 solutions. The market is crowded with BI tools that are famously finicky when working with messy data and require specific formatting.
While it’s generally not advisable to fix a problem by throwing money at it, there are incremental investments you can make to maximize the ROI of the other BI tools you’re investing in. Data prep, in general can be used to improve the value of other BI tools because it’s easier to produce insightful analysis with clean, structured data from multiple data sources.
Swarm was designed to work in any environment, no matter what data sources, or BI tools you’ve already invested in. It’s built to be flexible, to ingest any data source and export cleaned, transformed and re-formatted data seamlessly to any reporting, analytics or BI/visualization tool.
Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
Controlled collaboration is the key to ensuring agility while maintaining governance and security in data preparation for Business Intelligence.. The idea of a team-driven, enterprise data preparation and socialization platform that can provide a centralized location for data workers across departments to come together with trusted data sets is becoming essential for successful Business Intelligence.
Altair designed Monarch Swarm as a marketplace that enables users to search and browse cataloged data and data preparation models. Each resource is indexed by user, type, application and unique data values to break down data silos, eliminate duplicate work and improve data validity for reports and dashboards. The results are improved data governance, easier data discovery, faster collaboration and reliable Business Intelligence.
The trends covered in the Dresner report and the Forbes article are fascinating and packed with insight. They illustrate that there’s something missing from the BI landscape. That missing piece is data intelligence; A new concept derived from the need to use more data, collaborate with more minds and build more trust to maximize the value of the investments being made, skillsets being cultivated and executives being hired to drive BI forward in the enterprise.
Don’t be a statistic in the next BI failure rate analysis!