At the beginning of this year (2014), we took a look at the future of Business Intelligence (BI). Because BI continues to explode in popularity and is becoming more necessary as other technologies develop as well, it is growing and changing rapidly. It deserves yet another look to see what the future holds for BI into 2015 and beyond. BI is essential for forecasting to be accurate and to have the data needed to make informed decisions.
When you consider your 2015 budget, consider investing in business intelligence as one of your business software solutions. It can take you from disorganized, chaotic, scattered, and large sets of data and transform them into useful information. If you are still performing tasks and reporting manually in Excel, having an inability to access and use data that you have collected, possessing a need for data visualization in real-time, or pulling from multiple data sources, then BI is for you! Because BI is certainly an investment but also a likely need, use these suggestions to make the incorporating of BI into your budget a breeze and implementation a success.
Getting Started- Establish the Scope
The extent of your BI project will depend largely on your needs and their urgency. Consider what departments would need it and if clients would need access to the generated reports. There are a variety of ways to implement. The phase approach means the BI systems are launched within your company one department at a time with gradual and growing access over time. The immediate implementation approach means your company is in need of BI immediately with no time to waste. The executive dashboard approach means the BI project is limited to just those at the C-level so they can offer a real-time look at data and how the company is doing.
Step 2- Create a Short List
Don’t just go with the least expensive BI solution. Instead, consider the true scope of your BI project and what solution will help you fully achieve your goals. This includes a broad set of processes, technologies, and stakeholders for collecting, accessing, and analyzing information that give everyone the data they need to make the best choices for the business. At the same time, the solution should also be adaptable and flexible.
Step 3- Determine a Timeline
Another vital consideration is how long it will take for your BI project to be implemented. Of course, the scope of the project will impact timelines quite a bit, but assuming you’re rolling out company-wide, it’s quite typical for implementation to take up to two quarters. This also means needing to budget for this time, resources needed for implementation, and the solution itself. Be sure there is time to do thorough evaluations and implementation.
Budgeting and Cost Factors to Consider in BI Solution Implementation
Here’s a good rule of thumb: initiating a BI project should initially cost around 1% of your annual operating budget and about a quarter of that in the years to come. With these figures in mind, you can build a budget around the cost of evaluation from project manager to implementation. You can likely base this on what it would cost you to employ a single in-house developer. If that still seems daunting, think of it this way: there are no sick days or room for human error with a BI system.
If you are leery of spending this much on a business intelligence solution, it’s important to keep the cost of not using data in mind. Direct costs include lower retention rates and diminished profits while indirect costs include things like decision delays and added staff time spent on developing alternative solutions. Even lost opportunities factor into the costs of not using data. It may be, based on these considerations, that 2015 is the year to take the leap and go for a BI solution for your company.
If your company is looking for a business intelligence solution, Mindover Software has what you need. We not only offer world-class BI tools in a variety of deployment options that are fully customizable, but our experts will also guide you through the implementation process so you can start making data-driven decisions today! Contact us to learn more and to find the best BI solution for your unique needs as a business.