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Pegasus Blog

Growing your business through knowing your business

DATE

May 7, 2014

With reports that the first quarter of 2014 saw economic growth of 0.8% it seems that business confidence is returning. However with the impact of the recession still very much in the background, businesses remain cautious, investing only in areas where there is clear value.

Business intelligence (BI) has long been heralded as a valuable tool in driving business growth as it enables decision makers to access meaningful information and analysis in order to effectively monitor the business and make informed decisions. According to Gartner, BIand analytics software, consisting of BI platforms, corporate performance management (CPM) suites, analytic applications and advanced analytics, totalled $14.4 billion in 2013, an 8% increase from 2012.

While these figures are impressive, in the wake of the big data wave, many expected growth to be even higher. This perceived shortfall may in part be due to the fact that BI projects have in the past suffered bad press, with cumbersome software, lengthy implementations and systems which aren’t user friendly for all cited as barriers to success.

But in our experience, BI need not be costly, cumbersome or complex to deliver value – it’s just a question of choosing the right system for your business. SMEs, for example, rarely need the extensive functionality contained in some of the large scale solutions on the market. However they do need a system which is simple to use and quick to deliver insight in a given area – whether that is sales analysis on customer profitability; supply chain bottlenecks; or staffing costs.

The good news is that BI tools for SMEs have evolved to become incredibly user-friendly, harnessing information from a range of other applications and presenting information in easy to understand dashboards containing charts and graphs. Crucially these can be accessed at any time from a desktop or mobile device to enable MDs, managers and team leaders, for example, to be in the know, wherever they might be.

With the market forecast to reach $17.1 billion by 2016, it seems that more and more organisations are set to invest in BI as they pursue business growth plans. To ensure that you invest in the right type of BI for your organisation, take a look at our 10 step guide below.

For more information on how the right BI solution can help deliver insight from which to grow your business, take a look at our award winning reporting tools.

10 Steps to Successful Business Analysis:

    1) Establish an honest benchmark, no matter how disparate databases are, or how poor information might be.

    2) Create a project team or project leader who has a thorough understanding of what information is needed, in what format and for what purpose.

    3) Develop a plan comprised of realistic, achievable goals. Identify exactly what you need from a system, ie analytics, dashboards, reporting tools etc, and remain focused on these goals.

    4) Assess the success of these goals at each stage and revise the plan accordingly.

    5) Talk to experts - specialists in BI projects, software providers and consultants will provide invaluable advice and insight.

    6) Talk to other SMEs who have faced similar challenges and look at how they have resolved them.

    7) Select and adopt the right tools for your organisation – don’t make additional investment in extra functionality which might sound appealing but in reality would not be used.

    8) Once implemented, train all users – the greater the buy-in, the greater the benefits.

    9) Assess the improvements against the original benchmark and subsequent goals set.

    10) Maintain a focus on data quality – it is an ongoing priority and must be maintained to maximise effectiveness of any BI system.