Every successful leader understands the importance of business intelligence and analytics management. Market conditions change constantly and business sectors grow more competitive with each passing day. But if you’re new to business intelligence and analytics management there can be a steep learning curve. And even the savviest heads of marketing or finance have questions.

Knowing the details of how to implement and use business intelligence and analytics solutions and the insights they yield is the first step in making better-informed decisions. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

Business Intelligence and Analytics Management FAQs

Q: How are business intelligence and business analytics different?

A: “Business intelligence” and “business analytics” are not interchangeable terms. Business intelligence (BI) analyzes existing business data to predict events. Business analytics (BA) extracts insights from business information from the past to create more successful business planning in the future. BI and BA both create insights that help you make smarter decisions. For example, they can help you identify new revenue opportunities, track KPIs, become more efficient, predict customer trends or raise productivity.

Q: How can BI and BA uncover the insights hidden within large numbers of datapoints?

A: When you have a lot of datapoints to wade through it can be hard to create useful insights. You can use a BI or BA solution to locate the data you’ve designated as being most important, even within big data. Then the solution can organize those insights and present them in easy to understand ways, such as through reports, charts, summaries, or dashboards.

Q: What can I do to stop multiple people within my organization from using different data?

A: When you have too many practitioners it can be hard to yield useful planning from their data sets. For example, you may have people working with old spreadsheets or having trouble with version control. Instead, try migrating to a BI or BA solution. You’ll notice right away how much simpler it is when everyone is analyzing the same data—data that can be easily accessed and automatically updated across your organization.

Q: My company currently uses Excel for all its data-interpretation needs. How can I overcome Excel’s limitations?

A: While Excel is a useful program, it’s not a great tool for data analysis. It’s a spreadsheet tool, not a BI or BA tool. Manual data entry in Excel makes it far from error-proof, especially when a document is passed around and edited within your organization. It makes it hard to sift through large volumes of data, and you certainly don’t want to try working in a spreadsheet that goes on longer than 1000 rows.

A dedicated BI and BA solution is more accurate because it self-updates data automatically. I can pull structured and unstructured data from different sources, yielding insights that are useful in all areas of your business—not just within a single department using Excel. And you can use a BI or BA solution to instantly manipulate data, uncovering patterns using interactive data discovery and visualization. Building a single detailed chart can take hours in Excel, and not even the most advanced Excel user can create the same results as a dedicated BI or BA solution can, using far less effort.

Q: When should I deploy a new BI or BA strategy?

A: It’s common to start looking into a BI or BA strategy when a business problem arises that you think has a solution hidden within your data. But you don’t have to wait for such a problem to arise. A BI or BA strategy can be adopted any time. Try using one now and make collecting, cleaning and analyzing data an ongoing process. Once you start, you’ll see how easy it is to use it to make strategic business decisions on a routine basis.

Q: What criteria should I consider when choosing a BI or BA Solution?
A: 
If your company is not using a BI or BA solution you should definitely start. But if you’re not sure what capabilities to look for, here are some to keep in mind.

  • Analytics (such as benchmarking, predictive analytics, social media and web analytics, statistic analytics, data mining)
  • Data blending support
  • Data visualization (such as storyboarding, geospatial integration, barcodes, infographics, widgets)
  • Flexibility to adjust to business changes
  • Maintenance and support
  • Purchase price
  • ROI
  • Scalability, especially regarding user growth
  • The ability to integrate with third-party applications

If You Don’t See Your Question Answered Here, Give Us a Call.

These are just some of the questions people have on their minds, and if we haven’t answered yours, give us a call. We have business intelligence and analytics experts who would be happy to talk to you any time. Our Tek Leaders teammates can walk you through all the details of intelligence or business analytics implementation and optimization. Or if you’re looking for solutions, they can help with that, too.

There’s a lot to learn about business intelligence and analytics management. And there are new solutions that can help you yield more successful insights being innovated every day. With a little know-how, your business could be using business intelligence and analytics management to beat your competitors and master the changing market. Tek Leaders is ready to help you achieve all of those goals and more.

If you’re ready to improve your business intelligence or business analytics management, contact Tek Leaders today. Our experienced IT services team will find custom solutions for your industry’s specific needs, including powerful data analytics tools and detailed business intelligence strategies. Or, if you have more questions about our process, you can reach us by email or call us at (214) 504-1600 directly.