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Once a luxury, business intelligence (BI) technology has become increasingly accessible for organizations of all sizes. With BI, companies can translate historical and current data into accurate predictions, real-time notifications and analyses of business performance. These capabilities are essential for both short and long-term decision making.
Though BI might be more accessible, organizations still experience issues when implementing or utilizing the software. To help you maximize the value of your data, we’re going over these challenges and the BI functionality and best practices that will enable your business to overcome them.
Cost and Complexity
BI hasn’t always been for everyone. Steep hardware costs, extensive IT management and data scientists were once requirements for implementing and utilizing BI solutions, making it exclusive to large enterprises. Fortunately, the technology has been drastically simplified, giving SMBs the opportunity to gain the same deep insights as large businesses in their industry.
Modern solutions are designed with intuitive self-service features that enable anyone to enjoy 360-degree insights. Rather than wait around for IT personnel to generate reports, users without any BI experience can utilize drag-and-drop features to design dashboards and reports. These self-service BI capabilities enhance efficiency and lower the learning curve.
Today’s applications can also be implemented much faster than older reporting and analytics solutions. This is particularly true of Jet Analytics, which can be installed in just a couple hours. BI software is finally simple and affordable to implement, allowing businesses of all sizes to maximize the value of their data.
Though self-service tools simplify reporting and decrease training times, they still don’t guarantee that users will adopt your new BI solution. In some businesses, a data culture is nonexistent, or stakeholders aren’t clear how business intelligence will benefit the organization. Gaining buy-in across the company and developing strategies for utilizing the software are important for achieving widespread user adoption.
Developing use cases could help stakeholders, executives and end users understand the purpose of the solution. Use cases define how employees and applications interact with each other. Consult with stakeholders and managers across departments to create relevant use cases that address specific pain points. To put these use cases into action, provide role-based user training. Give employees hands-on experience with relevant tasks and supply them with training videos or other resources to encourage continued learning.
Additionally, be sure to define key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of user adoption and BI performance. Organizations tend to only set financial KPIs, but you should also measure critical industry-specific metrics, such as production volume or maintenance costs for manufacturers. Establishing and monitoring these KPIs will not only help you see where your business performance is behind but also give you insight into how well employees are incorporating the system into daily tasks.
Data might be lauded as one of the most important business assets, but many companies are experiencing information overload. One study found that 27.4% of businesses considered reporting and analyzing data across multiple systems as their biggest challenge. Information gets buried or lost in Excel, ERP and other disjointed applications, and users can’t organize the data collected in all these platforms into meaningful insights. Some businesses look at BI systems as just another source of data that will go to waste.
Instead, BI helps you transform disconnected datasets into a single repository for interactive reports and analytics. Leading BI solutions also serve as data warehouses, bringing together information from multiple places to create a central hub for actionable insights and interactive reports.
Jet Analytics is deeply integrated with Epicor, letting you report against large ERP databases using any reporting tool, such as Excel, Power BI or Jet’s own reporting features. These reports are then accessible in mobile devices, giving users insights at their fingertips. With a robust BI solution and data warehouse, company-wide insights will always be readily available.
Business intelligence platforms are more user-friendly and cost-effective than ever, but companies are still missing out on the benefits of their BI solutions. Make sure you seek out the right BI features and follow best practices to consolidate data, achieve full user adoption and optimize your business performance.
At Datix, we help manufacturers work smarter, not harder. Our Jet Analytics solution enables clients to quickly develop and access intuitive reports. An Epicor Gold Partner, Datix is an expert in making the most of Epicor data. Our certified consultants will work with you from start to finish to ensure you have actionable insights on hand at all times.
Conquer BI challenges and start leveraging the full power of your enterprise data. Learn more about Jet Analytics by contacting Datix today!