What Stands in the Way of Using Business Intelligence Data?
Implementing tools such as Acumatica and Sage ERP is the first step towards harnessing the incredible power of data. Data can be used to form business decisions and predict trends. It can increase productivity, improve operational efficiencies, and boost sales.
Some companies find, however, that employees are struggling to use the data now available to them. If you’re facing this situation, you’re not alone. Here are some common challenges of using business intelligence data, reasons why these challenges occur, and tips to overcome them.
Challenges of Using Business Intelligence Data
Perhaps, after years of struggling to run reports and access business intelligence data, you now have access to a daily flow of live data that gives you more information than you’d ever thought possible. This is a big step forward for your business. Unfortunately, some things may get in the way of using your business intelligence data effectively.
- Multiple stakeholders: Now that the silos are broken down, you may find that both opportunities and problems have multiple stakeholders. It’s no longer one person’s job—many different people need to be involved in meetings and tasks related to using opportunities or fixing problems. And that’s where things get bogged down. The BI data helps people identify these areas, but it may take a while to get people to cooperate and understand that you expect them to work together rather than independently. You may wish to meet with your managers and ask about any bottlenecks, or form teams to look into opportunities together. Encourage teamwork and group participation.
- Time constraints: BI reports may show great opportunities, but teams still need to tackle their regular work first. New opportunities may be pushed to the back burner until such time as people feel they can tackle them … only to find that those times never actually come up. Try to free up time for at least a few people from each department to use the findings from BI data. Otherwise, people may not be able to use the findings in the BI data to the best of their ability.
- Confusing findings: Business intelligence data only reports the facts. The findings derived from those facts may be inaccurate or incomplete. Such findings can be confusing or contradictory to what staff expect or believe they know about your business. The result can be a stalemate simply because the employees don’t know how to handle the confusion or contradictions. In such cases, encouraging managers to discuss contradictions may uncover the source or yield new insights. Often, contradictions are between user expectations and reality, not necessarily among different data elements. Discussion and different perspectives among managers may shed light on confusing data to clarify it.
General Tips to Help Use Business Intelligence Data Effectively
Business intelligence systems such as BizNet for Acumatica, Sage 300 and Sage 100 offer powerful tools for decision making. But, like all tools, there must be some level of employee training to use them effectively. You must also offer guidelines about how it should be used.
- Provide plenty of training both on how to use BizNet with Acumatica or Sage ERP and how to read and interpret data.
- People aren’t born knowing how to use business intelligence information … they may need to learn from others at work, or even receive advanced training, to use the information effectively.
- Set aside time for discussion.
- Create problem-solving teams.
- Make sure that managers know it’s okay to work together; silos are no longer effective in the BI environment.
- Establish clear objectives for using BI data.
Using business intelligence data effectively offers your company so much. It helps make your company more competitive and profitable. With a little planning and encouragement, your team will be able to use their data easily to get the most from your BI software.
Mindover Software: Business Intelligence, Accounting, and More
At Mindover Software, we help you find the best business intelligence solutions for your needs. Products such as Acumatica, Sage 300, Sage 100, and others can help you harness data from accounting, operations, sales, and more into a powerful BI database that fuels your next round of strategic planning. Learn more on our website or contact us today.