It wasn't long ago that business intelligence (BI) was considered a luxury – something that only big corporations had the resources to take advantage of. It took considerable funds to invest in new BI solutions, and even beyond that, time and effort were necessary for training staff members and getting the entire organisation up to speed with BI. It was a lot to ask.
A wide range of users, from big businesses to small-time operations, are taking the plunge into BI.
We're now starting to see, however, that using BI to drive real business improvement is more of a mainstream goal than it used to be. A wide range of users, from big businesses to small-time operations, are taking that plunge.
This trend is reflected in the numbers. As the most recent research clearly shows, BI investment has continued to rise as acceptance has spread.
Billions and billions in new revenue
For evidence that business intelligence solutions are gaining traction on the market today, all you have to do is follow the money. A 2016 study from Gartner revealed that the total value of the market for BI and analytics is expected to reach $16.9 billion by the end of the year. This represents an increase of 5.2 per cent from 2015.
"The shift to the modern BI and analytics platforms has now reached a tipping point," said Ian Bertram, managing vice president at Gartner. "Organizations must transition to easy-to-use, fast and agile modern BI platforms to create business value from deeper insights into diverse data sources."
Bertram elaborated that in recent years, this acceptance of BI has become more democratised, meaning access is more widespread and more people are capable of taking advantage. Using data has become a key part of doing business for people in myriad industries, not just IT where companies might have more natural talent for it.
Making cost-effective investment choices
BI adoption might be a widespread phenomenon today, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be easy for your company to get on board. If you're going to invest in enterprise solutions to improve your business, it will require careful advance planning to ensure the transition goes smoothly.
CloudTweaks recommends beginning that initiative with a narrow focus. Know before you begin a BI implementation exactly what question you're trying to answer with data. This way, you can focus on gathering relevant information rather than waste time or money on extraneous details.
For example, if you're looking to improve your company's marketing outreach, have a specific metric in mind for measuring your success. It might be the number of sales you make, or the number of qualified leads you have contacting your business via phone or email. Either way, make sure your measurements are clear and accurate and your methods of getting up-to-date information are seamless. If you can do that, you stand a good chance of implementing BI in a cost-effective manner.
Need a little help getting started?
BI can yield enormous benefits if implemented correctly, but not every business has the talent and expertise available in house to pull this off. If your company doesn't, that's OK – you can always reach out for the help of consultants who are more experienced in the field.
At AtoBI, we have a team of experts on business consulting in Melbourne who are ready to listen to your company's challenges and develop strategies to overcome them. We believe that good consulting starts with good listening, which is why our first step is to hear you out and develop a deep understanding of where you're coming from. Once we've done that, we can get to work on carving out a better future for your business.