Even if we hear about BI success, there are still business intelligence challenges facing companies that deter this adoption.
Research has shown that SMEs have been late adopters of BI and are lagging behind larger enterprises when it comes to utilising the potential of Business Intelligence.
Business Intelligence should help companies by making informed decisions. The major problem is that Business Intelligence is the overarching term applied to the tools, technologies, and best practices that that supposedly help organisations make sense of data.
- Where should we start?
- What tools should we use?
- What are the best practices?
- How do we manage the mass of data flowing?
- How do we make sure the implementation will be successful and we won’t have to change it again in the future?
- How can we stay on budget?
- How do we manage the infrastructure with a small and overloaded IT department?
Questions like these above show that it’s normally not just a technical challenge but especially an organisational one.
Once an organisation understands what they want Business Intelligence to provide, the next challenges become more technical. Here below we will explain some of the most common organisational challenges while implementing Business Intelligence in a SMEs.
1. Too expensive and hard to justify the ROI of BI
the price of deploying BI is a primary concern among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs are discouraged by the prohibitive costs of acquiring the right software. Also, limited resources make looking for qualified professionals such as data science experts, IT infrastructure professionals and consulting analysts impractical and worrisome. These deterrents are compounded by worries about expensive infrastructure investments needed to deploy BI software
That’s not always true, there are plenty of open-source and affordable solutions and also ways to get rid of this. With the rise of self-service analytics through BI platforms or cloud solutions, the cost doesn’t have to be a business intelligence challenge. There is no doubt that today, self-service BI tools have well and truly taken root in many business areas with business analysts now in control of building their own reports and dashboards rather than waiting on IT to develop everything for them.
Agile, innovative and cloud BI software solutions like i.e. Panoply, Stitch, MS Power BI allow small businesses to acquire the data they need without requiring anyone to shell out major cash for deployment – a clear-cut case for BI ROI.
2. Lack of company-wide adoption
Get everyone on the same page is not always easy and disjointed BI practices and failed universal adoption is a real business intelligence challenge. At a SMEs, probably there is few knowledge of data culture. Departments may be discouraged by many factors such as lack of time, resources. They may not see that the adoption costs outweigh the benefits.
They need to see a cloud-based enterprise-wide BI tool in action. Once they find the right tools, they will see the benefits that they can bring to the teams across the organisation. The users don’t have to master SQL at a high level, maybe also do not know it at all, they can easily connect to, interact with, visualise and communicate their data with easy drag and drop interfaces, that require little training.
3. Lack of a defined BI strategy
Despite the access to a wealth of quality venture-boosting data, there is a severe lack of strategy behind these insights.
Having a BI strategy in place before implementing – or just selecting – a system lets you find the perfect match for your needs. It will also facilitate and unclutter the decision-making process, which usually is the goal number one of BI.
SMEs should develop a strategic road-map to help give the data direction, fluidity, and add value throughout the organisation. Any solid BI road-map starts with examining the existing processes as well as defining the key information stakeholders, and it ends with choosing the best tool for the job:
Last but not least, after organisational challenges there are often technical ones, like:
- Analyze data from different data sources, on cloud and not and connect them together
- Deliver mobile-based BI
- Provide self-service analytics
- Deal with poor data quality
- Query and database performance
- ETL or ELT Process
Do you need help with your first BI project or support on your actual one? Feel free to contact us for a first consultation.