Automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and other emerging technologies may receive the lion’s share of industry attention, but a well-run business intelligence (BI) program can still deliver significant enterprise value. Among the benefits of a successful BI strategy are better business forecasts, improved customer experiences, more efficient data analysis, and increased competitive advantage. 

In a recent CIO article, Mary Pratt outlined important considerations for organizations hoping to achieve these and more benefits from their BI investment, including: 

  1. Consider Your Business Goals: It may sound obvious, but too many organizations fail to evaluate their business goals against potential BI tools in the selection process. Prior to purchasing any product, tech leaders should first engage with the employees who will be using the technology to understand the type of answers they’re seeking and what their key priorities are. 
  1. Cultivate a Culture of Trust: To get the most out of any BI program, it’s important to create a culture that prioritizes data-driven thinking and also build an infrastructure that supports it. It’s essential that executives lead by example and demonstrate that business users can trust company data and, from there, the insights derived from BI tools. Often this process might entail showing users where the data originated and how it was prepared for analysis.
  1. Democratize Data and Empower Users: Building off of the above, getting more data into the hands of more business users is another critical consideration for accelerating BI’s benefits. As we’ve discussed previously at the APEX of Innovation, democratizing data and building tools expressly for business users will increasingly be expected of all organizations.
  1. Include Governance in BI Strategy: Facilitating more widespread data access could introduce privacy and security concerns if the proper governance steps are not taken. In addition to addressing these challenges, governance should include regulatory compliance along with procedures for determining how well BI tools are working so that companies can make any improvements or upgrades necessary.
  1. Incorporate Change Management and Training: Including change management in BI strategies and conducting thorough user training is another best practice. This will ensure that any BI tool is being utilized to its full potential and also help companies identify new ways in which they could benefit from BI.

Head over to CIO for more on these and additional steps for maximizing your BI investment.