10 BI Mistakes That Could Be Killing Your Analytics Projects
Avoiding common business intelligence pitfalls can help companies create a successful data-driven environment to inform faster, more efficient decision making.
You Don't Prime the Pump
Business intelligence is meant to improve workflows, but with any new addition to office life, there may be some bumps along the way. This is natural in a progressive BI adoption strategy. New habits can be hard to adopt, no matter how enticing the carrot at the end of the stick. The best way to keep employees focused on the end goal, though, is to prime the pump for the ultimate reward. Appeal to employees' rational sides.
There's No Clear Road Map
Every BI implementation should start with a BI road map of stages that ultimately end at the goal of a fully data-driven organization. Gather input from each department that would benefit from BI—which, executed properly, could be every department within the organization. Map out a step-by-step process that clearly lays out how each department will incorporate BI into their daily workflows from a practical standpoint, balancing both centralized and decentralized BI.
Slick Roads Ahead; It's Raining KPIs
One of the most common pitfalls many companies fall into when starting off with BI is attempting to measure too many metrics. With so much information suddenly at decision-makers' fingertips, BI users fall into the slippery slope of trying to monitor everything simply because they can. Establish the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) and create dashboards and analyses that reflect those, and only those. The right BI tool allows further drilling, digging and experimentation.
You Don't Consider Your Fellow Drivers
BI will never reach critical adoption across the company if end-users are not carefully considered. Analytics is not one-size-fits-all. Users across departments and roles will consume BI differently both in form and functionality. Some technically minded users will need access to the tools to create reports and analyses from scratch and access to data both inside and out of the organizations. But not every user needs advanced analytic functionality—and many shouldn't even have access to those tools.
Departments Are Highway Islands
One of the primary benefits of a business intelligence and analytics strategy is to break down the silos that naturally exist in companies. But when working in isolation is ingrained within a company culture, it can be hard to break old habits. Some companies make great strides with their BI and analytics implementation and adoption, only to let that information live solely within departments. This is not how a data-driven environment is cultivated.