BI: What and Why
Running a business, in the age of automation, is essentially data dependant. Wider is the scope for data collection, better is the opportunity to make use of the data pool for business optimization purpose. This is why, the decision making processes in modern business emphasizes development of a foolproof Business Intelligence (BI) system. Compared to the popular belief that creation of a massive data pool gets the task of BI creation done majorly, experts have argued that business intelligence creation is a process that primarily relies on transforming data to usable, interpretable information. The ultimate goal is to receive the necessary business insight, which would simplify the decision-making process.
The Existing Limitations:
Theoretically, a BI system needs to be convenient enough for usage, even for people without sound technical knowledge. Unfortunately, this is not the case in real-life situation and more specifically in retail business environment the effort to develop a conveniently usable BI is widely missing. Generally, the entire population of BI users can be divided into three categories:
- The consumers, also identified as decision makers
- The IT personnel, also referred as the enablers, and
- The Analysts or the enablers
While analysts and IT personnel don’t face much problem using a BI from the technological front, consumers, on the other hand, tend to avoid using the same, thanks to the superior technological knowhow it demands. The modern retail stores are emphasizing on in-store automation more than ever and an integral part of materialization of the goal is encouraging self-servicing. Complicated BI operability not only defies the purpose but also introduces unwanted complication in the path of users’ requirement to find the desired information. Ultimately, it affects the entire business, not to mention the completely avoidable burden that IT professionals and analysts go through to make up the set back.
What Should be the Key Abilities of a BI:
- Usability optimizing should rest at the heart of BI and it should reflect through intuitive design and freedom to personalize
- Delivering users with the ability to create their personal dashboard that they can manage and modify whenever required with reference to key performance indicators, statistics, customizable alerts and reports
- Ability to convince consumers to increase it increasingly
In this context, it needs mentioning that only 5 to 15% of all consumers (decision makers) currently opt for using retail BI, while the ideal situation should be participation from at least 70 to 90% of them.
What are the Essential Features of a Successful BI?
- Easy Management of Dashboard: BI with self-serviceability should let decision makers personalize the dashboard, KPIs, performance metrics and other alerts without assistance from analysts.
- Convenience with Analytics: Retail BI should provide customers with convenience to personalize the analytics, even on-the-move. Adding additional features, like newer measures, filters, should not drag them to ask for assistance from IT personnel.
- Ability to Create KPIs by themselves: Setting up KPIs can be done by users all by themselves, even without thorough technical knowhow.
- Simplicity with Interface: Let users feel relaxed while setting up the right features, concerning their requirement, on profile interface. It is also important that accessing the necessary segments is complication free.
- Convenience with Creation of Graphic Visualization: BI should make it simple for users in creating graphic visualization on-the-go. Having an exclusive graph library helps with materialization of such efforts as it helps users with creating intuitive visualization.
- Subscription Management and Report Accessibility: BI should allow users with easy subscription of reports and personalization with determining periodicity of receiving reports, frequency of delivery and in which format it should be delivered. The report accessibility feature of BI should also allow users to access detailed report of their recent activity quickly.
Be Different to Create the Difference:
Only a limited numbers of businesses have taken the issue of user convenience while using BI, seriously. It is important that you, unlike your competitors, should focus on making things easy for 70 to 90% of users while developing BI. This will not only simplify the rigorous process of data pool creation but also processing raw data in favor of your business will receive a righteous and transparent decision. In turn, analysts and IT professionals will also find the improvement benefitting for them and will be using their time more productively, for overall infrastructural improvement.