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Cloud BI - The BIG Challenges

Cloud Business Intelligence: The Biggest Challenges, and how to Get Over Them

A recent survey by Matillion quizzed 10,000 senior executives and decision-makers, posing a single question: What is your biggest management information challenge?

From 10,857 respondents across 150+ different countries representing 18 different industries including manufacturing, logistics, retail, telecoms, construction and healthcare came some very interesting results. Let’s take a look.

Self-service data analysis and reporting tools

The survey revealed the greatest business intelligence challenge is being able to deliver self-service reporting and analysis company-wide. 35 per cent of respondents cited this as their most significant concern. Why is this?

Traditionally, bringing the data together that’s required to deliver quality business intelligence has been something of an arduous task. In a lot of organisations, different departments use all sorts of different applications to collect data. The method of bringing all this information together is usually owned by a limited number of key personnel. Bottlenecks result so, when someone somewhere else in the organisation needs to know something, it can take serious time to get that information funnelled through. By which time it’s likely to have expired and become completely irrelevant.

User friendly self-service data tools allow everyone who needs information right now to get their hands on it in seconds. According to research, companies that employ such tools and make them universally available across the organisation are able to achieve a considerably greater return on investment than those that place data analysis and reporting on the shoulders of single individuals.

Gleaning data from multiple applications

The second greatest challenge around business intelligence with 27 per cent of respondents citing it as an issue is the task of trying to prepare reports using data from multiple systems.

Data comes into an organisation at warp speed and via many, many channels. This makes it incredibly difficult to bring together. Spreadsheets, CRM and ERP systems, legacy software: gleaning the information that truly matters from all these sources is yet another one of those arduous tasks. What’s needed is a intelligent funnel-in system that crunches all the data and presents it cohesively.

Digging up buried data

The next biggest challenge was revealed as data accessibility. Respondents said that even when it is clear where the data they need is, that doesn’t mean they can easily get their hands on it. This is usually because it is buried in complex platforms, various forms of software and outdated legacy systems.

Bringing buried data to the surface needs a system that’s tailored to work with your internal systems and that incorporates all your unique business rules. Leaving it where it is, is the equivalent of leaving your yacht permanently in dry dock.

Data reporting costs

Costs always come into play at some point, and this was the next greatest challenge around business intelligence. Managing multiple software licences, maintenance and support is one cost of traditional data processing. Another is the high level management time required to analyse data and produce reports.

A flexible, scalable platform that comes without excessive capital investment and rolls all ongoing costs up into an affordable monthly subscription has to be a wiser option.

Business intelligence on the go

Ranking at number five in the greatest business intelligence challenge race is the ability to access data on the go.

The static, office-based workforce is on the demise, and with time at a premium, it is no wonder so many business leaders are demanding access to mobile business intelligence and data analytics. In other words, the information you need, how you need it, when you need it. So you can make informed decisions wherever you are.

Summing up

Research reveals the biggest challenges surrounding business intelligence. But access to business intelligence is a total game changer and vital for business success, so these challenges MUST be resolved.

First published: 22nd March 2010 | Author: Anthony Kirrane.
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