Intense competition domestically and globally means that only the most capable can stay and thrive. Sometimes a decision can make or break a company’s future. Therefore, business leaders are under greater pressures than ever to perform well by capitalising on the best available methods and tools. Business Intelligence (BI), or Business insights, has been increasingly sought after as a platform to improve core processes that drive performance and profits. This blog looks at some of the most notable trends and findings relating to business insights adoption.
Firstly, companies are increasingly aware of the importance of data, and not just in terms of amount, but also its relevance and timeliness. A report by Aberdeen in 2010 pointed out that 45% of companies viewed “the need for faster access to relevant data as the primary driver behind a BI initiative”. Best-in-class companies are more likely to demand availability of real time, right time and actionable information as they can see speed as the differentiator in this competitive environment.
Other pressures driving organisations to adopt BI are also outlined in Aberdeen’s study in 2010 in the order to decreasing significance rated by respondents:
- Operational decisions are based on incomplete or inaccurate data (50%)
- Operational processes are inefficient (37%)
- Customers expect fast and correct responses to queries (23%)
- Operational data is under-utilised (22%)
- Access to data is too slow (21%)
That means, companies see the need to have leaner operations and high customer responsiveness without requiring time-consuming and intrusive support from the IT department. Business Intelligence after all, refers to skills, processes, technologies, applications and practices used to support decision making. And to support decision making, “data needs to be accurate at the source and tactical decision aligned as close to the data source as possible” (Aberdeen, 2010).
Therefore, it is of little surprise when most companies use BI to improve core processes that drive business performance and profits, such as financial management, sales and marketing, business performance management, operations/supply chain and customer service. A study by BeyeNETWORK Custom Research in 2010 pointed out that BI had become a mainstream tool within the managerial toolkit, with over 60% of respondents claiming to have BI initiatives in place. The report also noted 80% of companies said their BI implementation had a positive performance impact.
In sum, businesses nowadays are demanding real time visibility that can be converted into business insights, delivered to decision makers in a timely manner in order to ensure effective decisions that drive performance. However, it takes more than having a business intelligence solution in place. There needs to be a Business Intelligence strategy, which will be discussed in our next blog entry.