The world of BI has evolved much in recent years towards more intuitive tools, with greater flexibility and scalability, thanks to the introduction of the “Cloud” environments in many technological areas of companies.
The possibility of creating reports in a much simpler and faster way, avoiding the usual need to have to turn to the IT teams, and the improvement of the collaborative aspect in the transfer of information among the different members of the organisation have made this “the golden era” of BI technology.
Nonetheless, there is a series of factors which are impeding many companies from achieving these sensational results that the modern BI tools are ready to offer us.
These obstacles are what I propose to analyse below. It can be said that these challenges of Business Intelligence are not insurmountable, many companies are already confronting them and they will surely continue doing so in upcoming years.
Outdated database architecture
The information storage environments of many companies have remained stagnant for many years. Even though they have been useful for the collection and storage of large volumes of data, currently they are not prepared to support the complex reports that the new BI technologies allow generating. Therefore, what is difficult here is to try to combine this obsolete architecture which is difficult to handle with the new BI tools.
And, although it may seem somewhat trivial, this means a real headache for the IT experts.
The consequences of the use of these obsolete databases in combination with a modern business intelligence tool are going to affect the latter in reference to:
- The response speed. Due to the complex architecture of these database environments, the filtering of data for their analyses is done more slowly and with a greater margin of error.
- Scalability limits. The increasing growth of the volume of data and of the number of users of these storage environments slow the performance and the precision of the reports generated in this way.
- Higher costs. The limited scalability of these tools require the companies to increase their storage environments, acquiring new servers. To this one must add the high costs of maintenance of the hardware/software in order to maintain the growing volume of data to store.
Traditional methods of preparing the data
In order to be able to make reports using the powerful BI tools existing in the market, first one has to ensure an appropriate prior processing of the data with the objective of preparing them for their extraction and analysis.
The traditional methods of data cleansing consume much time in preparing the information and generally require IT experts for their processing (which limits self-management). As a consequence, they make this process slower and more rigid.
The data have to be cleansed, avoiding duplicates and erroneous fields, associating fields with related information. All this, with the objective of the BI tools being able to analyse and generate reports as precise as possible without the typical errors and inconsistencies generated by the use of these traditional data cleansing techniques.
Poor quality of the data
The enormous variety of documents of all types (spreadsheets, text documents…), along with the existence of unknown formats, obsolete data and deficient and disperse data storage, often causes the generated reports and displays to not be as precise and they should be. In this way it is easy for errors to occur, which leads to erroneous conclusions.
This is extremely serious, taking into account the growing volume of information that has to be analysed and the necessary accuracy of the reports in view of guaranteeing correct decision making based on the data provided by the Business Intelligence tool.
Lack of self-management and dependence on the IT department
The possibility of defining and creating reports autonomously is one of the current trends in the BI world.
The old data architectures make this management difficult, due to the need to involve complex data cleansing processes, being slow, tending to produce errors hard to overcome and also requiring need for the intervention of the IT experts for the maintenance of the infrastructure and the processing of the information.
On the contrary, with the new BI technologies, the users feel more secure and confident when making their own reports without the need of turning to the IT department.
In addition, these new tools also allow carrying out an adequate monitoring of all the employees who have used the data and of the changes made during a certain period thanks to the Cloud technology.
These are the principal challenges that, in our opinion, the current BI technologies have to overcome in order to achieve the maximum performance of these tools that still have an enormous potential to show us.
If you want to know more about combating the challenges of Business Intelligence and the new technologies that help to resolve them, get to know Tableau Software: the business Intelligence tool that is the most committed to self-management, flexibility and scalability in the market.
Patricia González Duque
CRM & BI Sales Representative
Tel.608799538 /Book a Meeting