Approaching Business Intelligence Intelligently: A Three Part Blog Series

Approaching Business Intelligence Intelligently: Part One

December 13, 2012

Authored by Alana Smith, TeamCain

In this three part blog series, I’m going to look at Business Intelligence – the problem with BI, traditional BI faults and finally, the best approach to BI. So let’s jump right in with “The Bird’s Nest”.

The Bird’s Nest – One of the Fundamental Problems with Business Intelligence

What words come to mind when you see the following image?*
Does your BI solution look like the Bird's Nest?!

  • Chaos
  • Hectic
  • Messy
  • Crazy
  • Confusing
  • Complicated
  • Possibility for Risks or Mistakes

Now, what words come to mind when you see this image?*
Things are a lot more organized with iQ for Business

  • Organized
  • Simple
  • Easy to Understand
  • Clean
  • Practical

One of the fundamental problems of Business Intelligence is “The Bird’s Nest”... Many companies and organizations have a mountain of information in a lot of different places and they need to find a way to connect it all and make it easy to work with. If you can’t get the information under control and accessible for the people who need to use it to make decisions (a.k.a. the right decisions), you are missing a key source of actionable data.  It’s like The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: “Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.”

There are many Business Intelligence solutions on the market but a lot of those solutions tend to focus on one product – like just customer resource management (CRM), warehouse management, a single ERP solution - or they force you to pay a premium price to glue the data together. Sometimes these Business Intelligence solutions are just a presentation layer – a tool designed to create charts, dashboards and visualizations of your data; some are data warehouses only. But they don’t solve how to get to data, transform the data (from multiple sources) and how to tie it all together in a nice big bow. Organizations need to be able to have one consolidated view of their data.  

When it comes to Business Intelligence, companies find the following most important:*

Fast data exploration, query, and analysis = 69%
Ease of implementation = 65%
Ease of use for broad range of workers = 57%
Share and collaborate on information = 53%
Integrate with multiple apps (ERP, CRM) = 51%
*Source: Information Week Analytics/, 2009 Survey of 490 business technology professionals

It’s clear that companies want to be able to explore their data at the drop of a hat and not have to weed through multiple levels to see where that data comes from. And, they want to be able to do this quickly and easily. Having it simply available on today’s mobile devices would also be kind of handy.

Stay tuned for Part Two: The Faults of Traditional Business Intelligence. 
*Visit our Facebook page to compare the above two images and share what words come to mind!