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How Does Business Intelligence Flow in Your Organization?

Author: Tom Hoblitzell | | July 24, 2018

Big data holds a lot of opportunity for digital transformation, but many businesses struggle to make their visions a reality. According to one study, 55 percent of big data projects fail before they’re even completed.

The data challenges that most organizations face these days aren’t about collecting enough information in the first place. Rather, businesses are unsure how to mobilize the data they already have for their business objectives. The flow and spread of enterprise data and business intelligence must be as easy and smooth as possible in order to get the right insights to the right people, maximize productivity and eliminate wasted effort.

Why Do Disconnects Exist in Business Intelligence?

Today’s enterprise IT setups are more powerful and complex than ever before, sometimes even deploying dozens of tools and software at any given point in time. What’s more, “front office” applications, which interface directly with customers, need to communicate with “back office” applications, which execute the company’s internal processes.

Without a data pipeline linking these fragmented technologies, your employees need to expend valuable effort on manually gathering and reconciling this information. However, 57 percent of CFOs say that they spend too much time on data collection from multiple internal sources.

In other cases, different departments within the business aren’t even aware of the information that they’re missing out on. The much-bemoaned organizational “silos” occur when different departments intentionally or unintentionally withhold knowledge from other parts of the company. Silos bring structure and accountability to an organization, but they also encourage competition instead of collaboration and can cause employees to miss out on the data-driven insights they often depend on.

No matter why these data disconnects exist, they create greater human disconnects and conflicts as well. The IT and business teams may rush to blame each other for the “data gap,” rather than working in harmony to deliver better results.

How to Get Data Flowing for Your Business

In response to these challenges, many organizations have chosen to deploy a dedicated business intelligence system to improve data access and accuracy. The exact details of these BI implementations, however, have varied wildly.

The preferred solution of years past has been the data warehouse: a centralized repository managed by the IT department that creates a single source of truth for enterprise information. Recently, the solutions build upon this infrastructure with tools unique to each department for analyzing and visualizing data.

For best results, your business needs a solution that takes advantage of all the resources at your disposal. Employees should always have access to a trusted, up-to-date source of data when they need it, while being able to pull their own local data for department-specific analysis.

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