Primary tabs

Author: David Haesaert, Technical Business Analyst

Business intelligence (BI) is beneficial for any company that wants to excel and grow. In a nutshell, BI helps convert raw data into meaningful information that can be used to make strategic business decisions.

A successful BI strategy has the potential to affect everyone in your organisation. As such, it’s not just up to your board or your executives to dictate your organisation’s BI strategy. It’s critical to consult with your teams in their various roles and make them part of the BI decision-making process.

Business intelligence in action

The right business intelligence can be a deciding factor for success in many industries. A good example can be seen in the clinical industry, where clinics and medical staff can use patterns based on huge amounts of data to give insights into what treatments provide patients with the best outcomes.

The ability to use real-time and combined data from various clinical and non-clinical devices provides the opportunity to give an immediate response when required. This insight can further be used to optimise any business processes, improve procedures, create new operational guidelines and even reduce R&D costs.

This is where business intelligence provides tremendous value: driving faster, more accurate decisions with actionable insights. Applying business intelligence also helps to reduce the occurrence of inaccuracies and misjudgements, which can have significant consequences in any industry.

Empowering your team through BI

A successful BI strategy has the potential to affect everyone in your organisation. As such, it’s not just up to your board or your executives to dictate your organisation’s BI strategy. It’s critical to consult with your teams in their various roles and make them part of the BI decision-making process.

Employees must be able to influence your organisation’s BI strategy – not only to recognise and leverage the diverse skill set of your team but also to boost employee empowerment, morale and job satisfaction.

  1. Engage, engage, engage!

    You need to consult with your stakeholders and develop a BI strategy that meets their requirements and objectives. Understand what your stakeholders do, their ways of working, the data they need to use and how they make decisions. Involving them in the validation and evaluation of the provided solutions is key!

    A strategic method I use to engage with my stakeholders is to assign several champions within the business and empower them to drive change. They will help you to ensure the correct business needs are met and advocate the provided solutions within their teams. Ensure you have continuous improvement processes in place and let your teams suggest ideas for consideration.

  2. Garbage in, garbage out

    When implementing BI into your company's systems and operations, ensure you have proper data quality processes in place. It is true what they say: ‘garbage in, garbage out’. In other words, if you collect data of poor quality, you will not achieve the required outputs to achieve your BI goals. Your organisation needs to ensure the gathered data is of good quality and corrections at the sources can be made under your control.

    It is also critical to ensure there is a single source of truth for your data. Ambiguous data can cause confusion and give inaccurate results, and a lot of time can be lost troubleshooting when it is not clear what data should be trusted to represent the latest facts.

  3. Choose the right tools

    BI tools should be able to speed up decision-making. With that in mind, the BI tools you choose need to be designed with good user experience and allow you to gather insights from various angles.

    I find tools like Power BI very helpful in retrieving insights quickly and easily. I have my own dashboards that show me all the information I need on a single page. When I need to investigate further, it also allows me to drill down. As a tech-savvy person, it even allows me to create data models myself – nothing beats self-service when I need it most!

Business intelligence at CGI

Business intelligence plays a key role in the work I do at CGI. It allows me to analyse our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and drill down to the underlying data for further investigations and trend analysis over time. The quick insights I get from my BI tools save me a significant amount of time – time I’m glad to have back in my day!

I’m interested in hearing more about how others use BI in their day-to-day work. What are your favourite tools and how do they help you achieve better outcomes?