The Death of Business Intelligence

How to use BI for a better return

Posted in Business, Business Intelligence by neilwilson1984 on January 8, 2014

Across the globe, companies are always looking for ways to make sure they are as effective as they can possibly be, making the best decisions and giving themselves the greatest opportunity to get things right, and crucially, more right than their competitors.

This has meant that more and more has been spent in the last few years on business intelligence (BI) software that gives an insight into companies’ data and allows them to make the most measured decisions to get ahead of the competition.

However, according to one expert, investing in this will be pointless if companies are not also ensuring that they are exercising correct working practices. Vijay Govindarajan of Harvard Business Review said there are a number of stages that companies should undertake to ensure that their business is operating as a well oiled machine and that BI delivers the results and returns they are after.

Starting point

Companies should always have a clear understanding of their business at its starting point before they use BI.

Before they go anywhere, they need to know the reality of the here and now so they can see where they want to go. It is impossible to build a strategy and set final goals in any way if you haven’t an idea where you are starting from.


Next thing that needs to be laid out is the destination. Before employing BI, you need to know what you want from it. What is the final goal in terms of revenue. This should always be laid out so that you have something to aim for in the long run. Without an idea of where a company should be headed, any new IT strategy such as the use of BI can seem a little aimless.


Once you know where you are and what you want to achieve as a business, you need to work out how you are going to get from one reality to the other. Set up quarter by quarter sales targets, and look at how you will achieve these to hit overall goals. To set a target without ever looking at how you will get there can be a disastrous strategy that ends in rash decisions and money lost in the long run.


Expect the plan to have some variants throughout the time you are making use of it. No plan will ever go exactly as you thought it would, no matter how well thought out and reasoned it may be. The important thing is to be ready for this. If you have to work off plan, don’t panic when it happens. Simply take a step back and make a new route after assessing the new situation.

Act early

This ties in with the idea of variation. If you do find yourself off plan as a business, it’s important to make sure you deal with it and get back on track as soon as possible. If you take a wait and see approach, it can often mean the problem is exacerbated and takes far longer to rectify. Instead, you should tackle issues head on from the earliest possible opportunity.

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