Most companies would agree that enterprise data is complex:
- Growth at an exponential rate.
- Dispersal across multiple business applications, departments, and even geographical units.
- Discrepancies across the enterprise and its size, structure, and type increase the complexity.
- In many cases, data quality is lacking and many data types suffer from duplicated data and inconsistent details.
With this landscape, it’s not surprising that business leaders are desperate for changes. Marketing, operations, HR, and executive teams are turning to business intelligence and analytics platforms at an increasing rate. In fact, The market for business analytics is growing rapidly and is expected to reach $71.1 billion by 2022 growing at a CAGR of 6.9% from 2015 to 2022, according to Stratistics MRC. The promise that business analytics makes is to slice through the complexity. It offers a platform to access meaningful, actionable data from reports and dashboards. The benefits of successfully implementing a business intelligence program are obvious. Those benefits drive the objectives that most business leaders point to for their analytics initiatives:
There Is a Paradox in the Business Intelligence Market
Despite the benefits offered by BI and the growth of the market, adoption rates of BI tools are decreasing. Gartner estimates that employees of companies that have implemented a BI platform are using the tools at only a rate of about 30%, while G2 Crowd estimates are slightly more optimistic at 51%. Rob Light, an analyst at G2 Crowd shares a few recommendations for increasing user adoption on the blog of our BI partner Sisense:
- Make business intelligence a necessity, not a luxury: “Employees should be required to dive into data before making any impactful decision Whether it be forecasting hiring numbers or adjusting a product’s pricing, business leaders need to require that there is substantial proof from data that these choices will positively change the business.”
- Promote business intelligence wins from the top down: “A powerful way to encourage the need for business intelligence adoption is to highlight success stories. It can make a strong impression on employees if company leaders call out projects that have made significant impacts on key performance indicators because they used business intelligence tools to help inform the project.
- Continuous training: “If employees have a deeper understanding of the tools they are much more likely to use them. Not only that, but if employees have an understanding of how to filter data and perform deeper drill-downs, and manipulate the data to discover insights that they find useful, they can lean into becoming a data-driven organization.”
(For more advice on how to increase the adoption of BI within your organization, watch this informative webinar from Sisense.)
Identifying Market Trends Can Be Insightful
A recent survey from the Business Application Research Center revealed the top objectives of BI leaders for 2019, many of which might help solve the paradox of user adoption. The obvious candidates of data visualization and self-service BI are represented near the top of responses. Yet, so were 3 that might be somewhat surprising:
- MD / DQ Management – As the old saying goes, “Garbage in, garbage out.” The quality of data being analyzed by BI tools can dramatically influence the insights being generated by the tools, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that analytics leaders reported that data quality and Master Data Management are their top priorities right now. So, what is Master Data? And, which MDM technology is right for your business?
- Data Governance – As we have discussed previously, more and more companies are recognizing the need to enact manageable policies and procedures allowing teams to enforce change and access policies surrounding their data. Certainly, the implications of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that was enacted in 2018 heightened the awareness for many companies, including American based companies. But, the demand for meaningful insights from business intelligence tools is driving the priority for effective data governance. Read some advice we have for companies looking to implement a data governance program and download this eBook we created with our partner EnterWorks.
- Establishing a data-driven culture – There are, of course, 3 standard components to most technical projects: people, processes, and technology. Too often companies jump straight to technology as the solution to a problem when concentrating on people and processes may be the most beneficial place to begin. Gaining executive buy-in and establishing a clear communication strategy for an initiative can go a long way towards achieving technical success. And, of course, as with any new project, managing the impact that the change to an organization and its processes brings is vital to fostering a data-driven culture.