3 Stages of Business Intelligence Maturity

DashboardFox - Self-Service Business Intelligence

Take a moment and count how many cloud-based software platforms you rely on to run your business.

Do you use HubSpot, Google Analytics, Salesforce, Netsuite or ServiceNow? How about social media? How many data points do these services give you daily, weekly, annually? What do you do with that information?

Management guru Peter Drucker is often quoted saying, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” This is clearly a pre-cloud storage and pre-Big Data quote, because we know there’s a necessary step beyond measuring.

Nowadays we have metrics for nearly everything, but what really matters is what you do with that data.

These figures are only useful if you have business intelligence (BI) solutions that can help you analyze the data to inform actionable, long-term growth strategies.

Business Intelligence Level I: Data Silos

It’s hard to imagine what business looked like before we had all these cloud-based tools. It’s undeniable that these software offerings have improved productivity, lowered costs and helped businesses. The data that is tracked in these tools in invaluable in monitoring growth and identifying issues, but there is a huge limiting issue with all of these tools.

Each third party vendor keeps your information stored in their databases, and each database exists in its own silo. While you still have access to the data, the reporting is often limited in functionality. If anything, you’re likely to find yourself exporting large files of data to MS Excel and attempting to do complex analysis and reporting yourself.

At this initial stage, businesses likely use several different software tools for various functions, ranging from sales and marketing to finance and operations. These systems are typically standalone and not interconnected, leading to data silos.

Impact on Decision Making

One of the main limitations of operating with data silos is the disjointed view it gives of the company’s information landscape. Each department might have access to their relevant data, but the big picture, which comes from integrating all this data, may be lacking.

This lack of a unified view of the company’s operations could lead to information asymmetry. For example, the marketing team’s data on customer behaviour might be relevant to the product development team. Still, if these data sets are siloed, the product development team might miss out on key insights which could impact the development of new products.

Inefficiencies and Duplication

Another issue arising from data silos is inefficiencies and potential duplication of effort. If data isn’t shared across departments, different teams might end up spending time and resources gathering the same information. This not only leads to inefficiency but can also create conflicting data sets if different methods are used to collect or interpret the data.

Data Quality

Data silos often lead to issues with data quality. Each department using their own software tools might have varying degrees of data quality control. Some might have rigorous cleaning processes, while others might have none, leading to inconsistent data quality across the organization. This could hinder high-level reporting and analytics, which often require clean, consistent data.

Despite these limitations, Level I is an essential stepping-stone to more mature stages of data analysis. Businesses often need to start here to understand the value of their data and the potential insights that can be derived before investing in more integrated, sophisticated BI solutions.

Business Intelligence Level II: Eye Candy

Some companies, recognizing the limitations of data silos, developed BI tools that provide out of the box reporting or even integrate multiple software services. In general, these systems provide limited functionality and insights as well.

The out of the box reports are often not much different than what is available in the software itself, and it’s usually limited in the amount of customization and analysis you can do with it.

The BI solutions that claim to integrate different software systems’ data simply combine all of your cloud metrics into one view or dashboard. These solutions are essentially eye candy – reports that look nice but don’t give you a lot of useful information.

At level II, companies have recognized the limitations of data silos and have implemented out-of-the-box BI tools with enhanced reporting capabilities and some level of integration between different software services. However, these solutions often have their own limitations.

Limited Customization and Personalization

One of the primary limitations of these BI tools is their lack of customization. Out-of-the-box solutions are built to cater to a wide range of businesses, thus they tend to offer more generic features. While these features might be adequate for some businesses, they often fall short for those that require specialized reports or analytics. The inability to customize these tools according to the unique needs of the business can hinder the development of effective strategies.

Superficial Insights

While these tools might provide a unified view of the data from different sources, the insights derived from them are often superficial. These ‘eye candy’ solutions tend to focus on the aesthetics of the reports and dashboards, rather than the depth and usefulness of the insights. The data may look good, but it may not provide the necessary depth of analysis to truly inform decision-making.

Limited Integration

Although these BI tools often promise data integration, the reality can be quite different. Integration might be limited to a select few software systems, which means some data silos may still exist. Moreover, integration is often superficial, merely pulling the data from different sources into one view without resolving inconsistencies or conflicts that might exist between different data sets.

Despite these limitations, Level II is an important stage in the BI maturity model. The enhanced reporting capabilities and the initial level of integration offered by these tools can provide businesses with a taste of what a more sophisticated, fully-integrated BI solution can deliver.

Business Intelligence Level III: Actionable Insights and Real Value Add

In order for the data to be useful, you need more dynamic reporting and analysis functionality. Every business is different and only with customizable reports that integrate all of your data sources will you be able to develop the metrics and key performance indicators to track, evaluate and target.

DashboardFox “Done For You” Business Intelligence Services offers what its title promises – we do the analysis, reporting and dashboard technical stuff for you so you can focus on growing you business.

Our services include detailed data analysis, ad-hoc report building, historical analysis, data mining and dynamic reporting.

We do this by building the necessary connectors to fetch your data from your cloud-based services and store it in a local database. This gives you back control of your data and allows us to develop reports that can actually help drive growth in your business.

When it comes to BI, there are many companies that claim to be the solution you need. They’ll share a flashy sample report or try to sell you on buzzwords like clean user interface and integrated solutions.

After a little digging and research, you’ll realize that what your business really needs is a customizable solution that allows you to regain control of your data, pass off the analytical and reporting responsibilities to a team of experts and create dynamic, ad-hoc reports that inform strategic growth decisions.

To truly harness the power of data, businesses need dynamic reporting and analysis. No two businesses are the same, and it is with customizable reports – integrating all data sources – that enterprises can develop crucial metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track, evaluate, and target.

Customization and Integration with DashboardFox

At this stage, services such as DashboardFox’s Business Intelligence solution come into play. Unlike conventional BI tools, DashboardFox offers deep customization and integration capabilities, providing comprehensive data analysis, ad-hoc report building, historical analysis, data mining, and dynamic reporting. This attention to business specificity helps deliver more precise, actionable insights.

Regaining Control of Data

DashboardFox not only offers advanced analytics but also allows businesses to regain control over their data. By establishing connectors to fetch data from cloud-based services and storing it locally, businesses are empowered to manipulate their data according to their unique needs. This flexible data management opens doors to more in-depth and insightful reports in driving business growth.

Real Value Add

In the world of BI, many companies claim to provide the all-in-one solution businesses need with glossy reports and buzzwords like ‘integrated solutions’.

As businesses dig deeper, they realize that what they truly require is a solution that enables them to regain control over their data, assign the analytical and reporting responsibilities to a team of experts, and create dynamic, ad-hoc reports that truly inform strategic growth decisions.

With DashboardFox, organizations get more than a ‘clean user interface’; they acquire a service that changes raw data into actionable insights and delivers tangible value.

Level III of BI maturity means transitioning from mere data collection to leveraging data as a strategic asset for business growth. With DashboardFox, businesses unlock data potential, opening up new opportunities for informed decision-making and strategic planning.

Let DashboardFox Help You

Reaching Level III of BI maturity is a transformative step for any business. It’s a shift from mere data collection to strategically utilizing data for insightful, business-driven decision making. With tools like DashboardFox, businesses are well-equipped to turn their data into meaningful insights and informed strategies.

Are you ready to unlock the full potential of your data and elevate your business intelligence to the next level? Don’t hesitate to take the next step. Book a meeting with one of our BI experts or avail a free live demo session with DashboardFox today. Let us help you turn your data into a strategic asset for your business.

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