A lot has changed in the last 15 plus years in the security industry, including the ability to process and analyze Big Data. The growth rate of data has reached an astounding pace. Today, best estimates are that about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced every day—that’s 2.5 followed by a staggering 18 zeros! The volume of data feeding into businesses is so vast, the only means available to leverage this data to drive decision making is to harness the power of a Business Intelligence tool focused on the unique set of data relevant to the user’s specific market.
Top Business Intelligence (BI) software tools are no longer just for Fortune 500 companies. A good BI tool can enable any size business to plumb the depths of their “dark data” to identify business improvements, operational efficiencies, marketing opportunities and reductions in loss. What do the best BI tools look like, how do they function, and how best to implement one for your business? With over 18 years of experience in this field, we’ve distilled our successful implementation knowledge into the following 10 Golden Rules for your consideration.
1. Fail To Plan And You Plan To Fail
Effective use of Business Intelligence demands that you know your goals, requirements and limitations as well as your definition of success. What information is important to the flow of the business? What technology do you have access to today, and what technology will be added in the future? What human resources will be involved? Such understanding will be crucial for staffing, controlling loss, and optimising store layout. Creating an accurate, complete scope of work will prove to be as important to the user as it will be for the integrator.
Clearly define your key stakeholders and your day-to-day users. Early involvement of key stakeholders ensures proper alignment between project requirements and operational realities. Remember: Big Data isn’t just for loss prevention anymore—a significant and growing number of marketing, operations, human resources and other personnel use such data to make their company’s stores more efficient, safer, and profitable.
3. Leave IT Out At Your Peril
IT must be at the table early and invested. Communication with IT from project inception will better ensure a long-term successful deployment. IT will absolutely be concerned with any hardware or software installation, and demands on “their” network. However, with advancements in video compression algorithms, the impact on existing network infrastructure can be controlled to enable full utilisation of multi-megapixel camera technology, which is key to achieving superior results.
What processes are currently being used? What are the pros and cons of those processes? Learn about the systems currently in place that collect all that rich data. i.e. Point of Sale, Intrusion, Video, EAC, HVAC, and others. How can this data be shared into the BI platform?