While there are loads of advice on how to institute a business intelligence (BI) tool into an organization’s curriculum, there is hardly any foresight on how to turn the BI tool into a part of the organization’s culture for effective usage. Scientific facts state that a smartphone is a tool that people just flash for having a sense of belonging with the crowd and use it only for limited purposes, and thereby fail to expend the smartphone’s full capabilities. Similarly, BI tools are not effectively expended and thus lose their value or fade out over time. Consequently, the critical question is: is it the smartphone’s fault or the user’s?Bill Hostmann, a vice president and renowned analyst at Gartner, stated that “Despite years of investing in BI, many IT organizations have difficulty connecting BI with the business, and to get business users fully involved and out of the ‘Excel culture’ “. Periodical surveys have indicated that the following five reasons are the root cause for the implementation of BI tools to fail:
- Using The BI Tool As A Depository :- There has to be an efficient system of data management and the tradition of transcription culture among the employees should be imbibed in their system and the business support team should aid in the process of constant result generation. Nobody used computers when they were introduced, but today the whole world of business is progressively built around computers.
- Not Allowing Free Flow Of Data :- Often employees collect data from the BI tools and transcribe them into the excel sheets or other similar formats and leave it there. This leads to stagnation, thereby leading to withholding of analysis from being circulated around the company. When crucial data is unavailable, the BI tools become ineffective to produce competent results. Instead of just collecting data, employees should have the responsibility to feed their results back into the system and allow access to other users, failing which there would be a slow motion domino collapse of the data.
- Plugging In A Third Man To Get The Answers :- When organizations hit a rock wall, they give up and bring in third-party experts to take care of their business needs. This results in business decisions being formed from an outside-source rather than an in-house expert. Only employees that are part of the organization will be able to tackle and estimate the businesses’ problems because to an outsider it’s just meaningless numbers. The individual has to take the pick at the buffet table and not eat from another’s plate.
- Play Against Strategy :- Most employees just think about the BI tool installed as a one stop shop for answer, but they need to strategically equip themselves to use the tool to their advantage. This also means that the BI tool should be up to date with the market and quality checked to ensure that the data is not being lost in transaction. Having a combined team of IT experts and business analysts dedicated towards the BI tool will ensure quality results.
- Failing To Train And Adapt :- Employees believe that they are always right and that the software is beneath them. Having a positive approach towards change and trying out a handy BI tool only makes life easier. A BI tool only provides a wider berth of data to swim in, so adapting with technology only showcases the employees potential and does not undermine them for using a resource.
In the words of James Richardson, a research director at Gartner, “Business users must take a leadership role in the BI initiative — only with their full engagement will investment in BI ever realize its potential.”
Author: Nagraj Rao
Nagraj leads the BI practice at Sigma. With over 12+ years of experience in the Services Industry, he has in-depth knowledge on many diverse technologies, Implementation Services and Practice Management. He is passionate about BI & Open Source technologies and loves sharing his views around them.