How to Create a Business Intelligence Strategy That Works 

A business intelligence plan is your road map for determining how you will use data in your business. A project is required since selecting the right technology and executing a software platform is insufficient to realise a return on investment. You must determine three things before developing a strategy. 

  • How will you put the software platform into work? 
  • How are you going to organise the data for analysis? 
  • And how will you empower your employees to make data-driven decisions? 

A business intelligence strategy will assist your company is reaping the benefits of actionable insights. Examples are access to sales performance goals, human resource compensation estimates, and ensuring your shipping department knows what to ship each day. Success is achieved by addressing the project methodically with a defined BI strategy that includes discovery, planning, and systematic execution. Examples are access to sales performance goals, human resource compensation estimates, and ensuring your shipping department knows what to ship each day. Success is achieved by addressing the project methodically with a defined BI strategy that includes discovery, planning, and measured execution.

Why Do You Need a BI Strategy?

An effective business intelligence plan can assist you in resolving data-related difficulties, developing a comprehensive system, and maintaining it. So, what happens if you begin BI implementation without a plan? Essentially, when creating a BI solution (or any other solution), you need a clear and concise explanation of what you’re attempting to achieve. This is crucial because everyone on your BI team (and throughout the firm) understands your BI strategy’s goal. However, without a plan, all you have is raw data and difficult-to-understand concepts.

A well-coordinated and well-defined BI strategy and roadmap enable businesses to get new insights into data more quickly, resulting in better management decisions. But, of course, this is only achievable if organisations can execute their BI strategy flawlessly and complete all the duties they set for themselves.

BI’s primary responsibilities include the following:

  • Delivering trustworthy information for management decision-making; evaluating the present level of efficiency of business processes
  • Assessment of business needs, current and strategic requirements of the enterprise for successful business process organisation;
  • Formulation of the company’s overall or individual divisions’ development strategy;
  • Determining how to obtain the desired results;
  • Examination of the necessity for changes in the company’s internal and external processes; appraisal and control of development risks
  • Ensuring that all departments of the firm work together

Do you know the answers to all of these queries? If yes, excellent; if no, don’t worry. During the BI development process, you can find the appropriate answer to each of these queries. So don’t wait any longer and begin developing your BI strategy right away.

Steps to Create a BI Strategy that Works Well

Your BI strategy must first be in line with your company’s goals and vision. Data, in the form of business intelligence, can drive transformation in your firm. This programme will put trusted, relevant data in the hands of employees, allowing them to make educated decisions daily. By following our Blueprint, you may begin this transformation right away.

1. Select a Sponsor

Ideally, it would help choose an executive-level leader to sponsor the initiative and buy-in from additional high-level staff. Before you begin, you must have involvement and alignment on the company’s BI vision. Organisations that place high importance on data in all departments employ a Chief Data Officer to spearhead the BI strategy. The CDO or other senior sponsor must examine the deployment support and training requirements and grow this platform throughout the entire business. Keep your sponsor informed of your progress. When your BI platform has been released and is performing as planned, develop some important, visible reports to present with your sponsor. Demonstrate to your sponsor, and hence the organisation, that your plan is effective. For further information, read Tableau Blueprint’s Executive Sponsor Roles and Responsibilities.

2. Select your BI platform

A BI software platform can do a great deal, but it is not your complete BI approach. You can now analyse BI systems to identify a good fit for your plan now that you’ve chosen a sponsor for this endeavour. Many platforms share standard functionality, and you should prioritise the following aspects on a scale of importance:

  • Access to data and viewing relevant stuff
  • Data interactivity inside a visual interface
  • ability to delve deeper into data on your own and discover new insights
  • Bottom-up promotion of new insight discoveries in a regulated environment
  • Collaborate with others on data analysis and visualisation.

See Evaluating a Modern BI Platform for more details. Once you’ve determined your BI sponsor and which platform will be used for analysis, the following step is to discover and involve your key stakeholders.

3. Identify and involve the important stakeholders.

Although business intelligence may contain software, it is not solely an IT endeavour. BI necessitates financial data. However, this is not just the responsibility of the finance department. Bring in a representative from each team that your BI plan will impact. Involve them early on and interview them. Inquire about how they use data in their job, what works for them, and what doesn’t. Use this information to modify the scope of your BI.

4. Form Your BI Team.

Your BI team will be in charge of putting your strategy into action. If your organisation is tiny, you can hire new people or have workers perform numerous roles. In addition, non-analysts may view and interact with reports and dashboards thanks to BI systems (known as self-service business intelligence). However, you will need this cross-functional team to implement the BI plan to get the platform up and running correctly. The following are some of the BI project team’s roles and responsibilities:

  • The software platform will be managed by an IT service owner or an analytics director.
  • An enterprise architect is responsible for integrating the platform into the existing data architecture.
  • A site administrator is in charge of organising the content and creating user groups and permissions.
  • A data steward who will contextualise the data and describe the platform’s operations and policies.

However, these are not the only ones working on the project. To ensure that the project meets its deadlines, you will also require a steering committee and an executive sponsor.

5. Specify the scope of BI.

Before you make business intelligence tools, you must first determine what BI means to your organisation. The use of data to make use of business choices is referred to as business intelligence. However, it would be best to define how this will function in your company’s day-to-day operations and which departments will use BI. Coca-Cola, for example, designed customised dashboards for customer service representatives. 

Next, determine how you want to incorporate BI to support your company’s goals. After you’ve defined your operational definition of business intelligence, you should first prioritise which divisions of your organisation to include. For example, are you utilising business intelligence to comprehend and forecast financial performance, human resources, supply chain, or inventory changes? Will you be looking at a combination of these or something altogether different? Before moving on to the following steps, you must define the scope of the analysis inside the business. Once you’ve determined the scope of your study, you must decide what you want to measure inside that data. 

Next, determine which measurements and reports are the most important to your company’s leadership. These reports should include KPIs (key performance indicators) that match overarching company goals to measure success. For example, internal measures compared to previous performance benchmarks and external metrics might be used. What key performance indicators (KPIs) signify success in your industry? Competitive analysis is quickly becoming an essential component of corporate intelligence. Organisations can use BI systems to monitor competitors’ performance, market changes, and changes in customer behaviour. You can accomplish this by reviewing rivals’ case studies, blogs, articles, videos, and so on. 

After defining your scope of business intelligence, you will probably realise just how big of a project it will be to implement BI. Now you must identify your people resources to implement your strategy.

6. Construct your data infrastructure

To perform accurate analysis, business intelligence must have transparent data sources. BI applications have traditionally imported data from a data warehouse. Nevertheless, modern BI enables you to analyse data from numerous sources. We distinguish between two kinds of data: trusted and untrusted. Data that can be trusted is saved in databases or easily imported into databases, such as spreadsheets, CRM (customer relationship management) data, financial data, and so on. This is the data that you have most likely utilised in past business analytics. Untrusted data includes information such as emails, customer discussions, corporate processes, photos, news items, trade magazines, and so on. With contemporary BI, you can analyse untrusted data in a regulated and safe environment. Before installing the BI platform, the BI team should survey stakeholders and information consumers to determine which data sources would be required for analysis.

7. Create a roadmap for business intelligence.

The BI team should create a plan for implementing your strategy. When developing a BI roadmap, keep the following points in mind:

  • Keep track of deadlines and mandates, such as when your data warehouse will be completed.
  • Keep an eye on the future and adjust your plan as needed.
  • Be proactive rather than reactive.

Choose a launch date for your platform and your data warehouse to be ready for your BI initiative. Prepare to modify your BI roadmap as needed. When business intelligence is proactive, it is precious. If your BI strategy is focused on responding to ad hoc reporting requirements, you will not fully utilise business intelligence. Mark new events on your roadmap, such as new business, new projects, market developments, or changes in customer behaviour.

Implementing an effective BI strategy

The BI software platform’s implementation will be a project inside the broader plan. Your IT department will be significantly involved in this element, and they may have their ideas on how to deploy the BI tool. They should, however, frequently communicate with the BI team on their progress, whether utilising an agile or classic project management plan with a built-in feedback loop. Establish the reporting framework for the BI team before deploying. Where do they fit into the larger organisational structure? Determine to whom the BI team will report and the format in which these reports will be delivered. Finally, collaborate with IT to determine security permissions for BI stakeholders. You want stakeholders to access and work with the data, but you also want to ensure that the data is secure. Divide your implementation into phases and include a feedback loop in your plan. Allow your stakeholders, BI team, and IT to provide input to one another as the project advances.