New Business Intelligence (BI) technologies are making it easier to access important information about your operations, performance and most importantly, your customers. With these solutions now accessible for small and medium organisations, choosing the 'right' Business Intelligence solution for your company may feel overwhelming.
The Diamond IT Team frequently receive questions around the implementation, cost and security of BI solutions. From our experience, here are 5 of the most frequently asked questions that we receive about Business Intelligence Solutions.
1. I am a small to medium sized business. Can I even afford a Business Intelligence solution?
Until a few years ago, accessing, modelling, visualising and reporting the information required by businesses would have been out of the reach of all but the large corporates.
Today, cloud technologies have driven down the costs of implementing BI solutions making them much more accessible for small to medium sized businesses. Specifically, Microsoft’s powerful self-service BI tool, Power BI, allows every business to explore enterprise-grade analytics and decision support for zero upfront cost.
Of course, implementation will vary based on deployment choices, audience mix and visualisation requirements. While some vendors provide transparent pricing, others don’t, so you’ll need to take that into consideration. Before you research vendors, it is key to know what your specific budget and requirements are for BI software.
Consider this: On average, the ROI for organisations who leverage Dynamics 365, for every dollar spent is $16.97 in returns.*
2. Will my business data be secure?
Data security and availability are key requirements for any IT system. A BI solution should match the same high levels of performance, reliability, and security that you expect of the other systems in your organisation. Reputable BI solutions leverage existing security infrastructures to keep data safe.
As an example, the Power BI service is built on Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing infrastructure and platform. Power BI uses Azure Active Directory (AAD) to manage user identity and permissions, and supports Row-Level Security to automatically restrict data access for given users based on role.
3. Our business already heavily invests in CRM, Accounting, and Marketing Software. Why should I also invest in other software for Business Intelligence?
While you may have multiple line-of-business systems that you use to manage your business, BI is about combining data from these sources in a structured manner to visually present information in a meaningful way. This is not possible from conventional standalone reporting tools.
A truly useful BI solution should easily connect to your day to day business applications.
Having the right information to make the right decisions at the right time is a simple concept, but making it happen can be a challenge. There’s a substantial amount of data to be mined in every business situation, whether directly from an application, from spreadsheets or even document-based.
A BI solution can aggregate data from all of these sources and more, and provide insights and meaningful information in a single dashboard. Think of a BI Solution as complementary to your existing reporting investments.
4. What is the difference between Business Intelligence Software and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)?
BI solutions drive high-level discussions to make meaningful strategic decisions. These solutions can access all of your data, both strategic (revenue, profit and growth), and operational (daily sales performance). This enables business leaders to analyse information to make decisions that support business objectives.
An ERP however, is a system used to generate an exact operational view of your organisation, often without trend analysis, data comparison, or insights generation. While BI solutions provide strategic analytics, an ERP solution provides transactional, operational analytics.
5. What is the process of implementing Business Intelligence software?
A good BI solution should support your organisation through a structured process. From an implementation perspective, Business Intelligence is a set of processes, architectures and technologies used to convert raw data into meaningful information to drive profitable business actions. This consists of the following phases:
It should be noted that the implementation of Business Intelligence solutions is non-linear. Successful implementations use a circular approach – starting simple, challenging assumptions, refining outcomes, rinse and repeat...
The end goal, however, is a series of reports and dashboards that deliver meaningful data in a way that is accessible and attractive.
How can Diamond IT help?
Our software development team uses world-class Microsoft technologies to deliver Power BI solutions through SQL, SharePoint and even Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. Through our approach to BI, we can help to focus on capturing accurate and timely information that allows you to make informed decisions.
If you would like our assistance on harnessing the benefits of Business Intelligence, call us on 1300 307 907 or contact us via the "Let's Talk" button below to contact us online.