/ Why BI Leverage Matters—and How Businesses Can Get It

Twenty years. That’s how long I’ve been working with data now. While it’s hard for me to believe that at times, it’s the truth.

And so is this: While much has changed since I first learned to write some SQL on an InterBase database, much has also stayed the same. Indeed, just as in years’ past, even the people and organizations that have the most current tech stack are constantly trying to modernize their data and analytics function.

“Trying” is the operative word there, because it makes for the actual lesson here. Modernizing is not just about buying the latest technology; it is about how all your tools fit together and how you can adopt new technology into your ecosystem.

I know from experience that the traditional way of “doing” BI isn’t working anymore. It has become demoralizing and emotionally draining—and yet the need for effective BI has never been greater.

Dresner Advisory Services’ 2019 Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study testifies to all of this. Of the thousands of organizations that participated in the study, more than half (55%) said they plan to increase BI investment. Yet, regardless of how many BI tools the companies surveyed use, only 28% of them categorize their BI efforts as “completely successful.”

The good news is there is a pathway to BI success. It involves having what we at Domo call BI leverage. How do you get it? By taking a good look at two important components of any business, for a start.

1 – Your Tools

Many business leaders have invested in multiple data tools and platforms. Each may have been carefully selected, and each may have been chosen to meet a specific business or data problem. But taken as a whole, they could actually add up to less than the sum of their parts. BI leverage is about connecting these investments and amplifying their power.

Here are three strategies BI professionals could employ to address this:

  • Leverage API to integrate systems so they can talk to each other and remain consistent. This can mean pulling data, or pushing data between systems.
  • Ensure you have a mix of low- and high-code tools so that many people can contribute. But the low and high code need to be able to talk to each other and build on each other.
  • Thoughtfully acknowledge when it is time to “sunset” a tool. Be empathetic to the impact it may have on your workforce, and make sure you address the pain that sometimes comes with losing a tool.

2 – Your People

While companies invest a lot in tools, they also invest a lot in people. Hiring data scientists, data engineers, and analysts is a big but necessary expenditure. Brilliant resources can be wasted though if they aren’t leveraged correctly—like when they are working on the wrong projects or focusing on initiatives that are not a priority. BI leverage involves making the most of your investment in people.

Here are three strategies BI professionals could employ to address this:

  • Empower the business user to make the small changes. There is no need for someone with a PhD to be adding columns to a report or changing the color of a chart. These are things that can be quickly handled in the business. And by empowering the business, it can more quickly respond to the changing business landscape.
  • Have tools that can bring data science to life in a meaningful way. Data science cannot be a black hole. Empower the business at scale with the power of data science; don’t keep it locked up in a silo.
  • Set up ways for small questions to be answered by a triage team instead of by the folks who could easily be adding value in other areas. Small questions are important, but they should be funneled to those who are trained to answer them.

Traditional BI doesn’t work in an era when the world is moving at breakneck speed. So, the faster BI professionals can examine how their tools and people are working—and begin implementing steps to address the inefficiencies—the better off they’ll be, and the better off the business will be.

To learn how Domo gives companies BI leverage—at cloud scale and in record time, no less—click here.

Tags: BI leverage

Try Domo now.

Watch a demo.