For the past several years, BI adoption rates have been stuck stubbornly at around 20%. So, what can we do to increase adoption rates to ensure more of our business people have access to correct, up-to-date, information to help them do their jobs more effectively?
Take store and depot managers, for example. What information do they need to make them more effective – visibility into stock levels, lead times, on-time delivery rates?
In many organisations, store and depot managers spend countless hours sorting through a multitude of reports generated by a raft of different systems to collate the information they need to understand how their part of the business is performing, which means they’re wasting valuable time.
In this situation, because they lack easy access to up-to-date information about sales trends, staff performance, stock availability, lead times and perfect order rates, store and depot managers often become frustrated and find it hard to perform at the level their organization needs and expects from them.
When store and depot managers are spending a big chunk of their day collating information it takes them away from the shop floor and from managing their team. For their organization, because each manager is responsible for pulling together their own information, there is no consistency in how decisions are made across stores or depots. This makes it hard to benchmark performance, and it can lead to confusion and inconsistency in the decision-making process. It also means these managers tend to over-rely on head office, having to go back there to request answers to their follow-up questions, which creates a time lag and breeds further frustration.
To eliminate these evils, store and depot managers need three things:
- Fast access to information that answers their key questions so they can get on with their day job.
- A consistent view of information across the whole business, so each manager sees critical information about their part of the business and how they are performing relative to their peers.
- Access to information that provides answers to immediate and follow-up questions – without requiring training.
These three key things all come together in a new breed of business intelligence – the information app, which is an evolution of the interactive dashboard.
The information app is as easy to use as a smart phone app – it’s mobile, you don’t need training to use it and it’s quick and easy to access and use. With an information app you can:
- Turn business data into actionable insight so store and depot managers can have their finger on the pulse of the business, whether they’re sat with a supplier, in the back office, or out on the road. Information apps work in places with limited or no Internet access, ensuring store and depot managers have offline access to their dashboards without loss of functionality.
- Provide store and depot managers with the big picture so they can understand and see how their actions contribute towards the company’s success. You can also personalize information apps based on people’s roles to ensure they have access to the specific information they need to keep them focused on what matters most to them.
- Adapt quickly to changing business needs by creating and updating information apps fast and without coding. The information apps present your store and depot managers with a simple interface they can just pick up and use without needing any training – just like a smart phone app – which is important when you’re relaying information to a large workforce.
- Ensure answers to follow-up questions are close at hand, enabling store and depot managers to investigate further if they spot an issue with an upsell target or are concerned that their cost per order is increasing. Information apps ensure store and depot managers get rapid answers to their second and third level questions, so they can feel confident they are making the right decisions.
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