From traditional to modern Business Intelligence: the evolution of business information
Adding value to business information and making it the true spearhead of success is one of the main challenges for today’s businesses. In this context, business intelligence tools are your best friend. To take advantage of their full potential, organisations need to take an important step away from the traditional vision of Business Intelligence towards what we call modern Business Intelligence. In this post, we attempt to shed a little bit of light on these concepts and the transition process that businesses go through.
What do we understand by traditional Business Intelligence and modern Business Intelligence?
Before the emergence of management systems, business managers took decisions based on their intuition and experience. With the arrival of ERP and CRM, businesses began to generate and control an enormous volume of data based on their daily activities, but they did not make the most of it.
With the emergence of the first Business Intelligence tools (what we call traditional Business Intelligence), organisations began to make use of this information to make business decisions and to discover new opportunities in a very visual way. This environment presents two important handicaps:
- Significant dependence on Systems teams, who are responsible for preparing the reports and enquiry templates that are used by the users.
- A reduced group of users, normally limited to the executive board and middle-management.
The new BI tools (which we will call modern Business Intelligence) allow businesses to overcome these obstacles with ease. Current solutions, such as Tableau, offer the following advantages:
- Increased number of users at all levels of the organisation, which will increase the possibility for improving the processes.
- Ability for users to create their own reports and enquiries without having to depend on the Systems Department.
- Contribution of relevant information that the users did not initially seek, through the application of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.
- Greater security mechanisms and information management.
How do you evolve from traditional BI to modern BI? The Tableau proposal
As we have seen above, the benefits of modern Business Intelligence tools are powerful enough for businesses can make the jump from one model to another as soon as possible. Nonetheless, there are still organisations that are quite reticent about leaving traditional Business Intelligence behind.
In a recent report, Tableau analysed 6 of the main objections given by these types of businesses to evolving modern BI, and at the same time, Tableau refutes these with solid arguments:
1. Myth 1: traditional BI already has a solution for visual analysis and data searching. An attractive dashboard does not mean that the processes for data analysis are 100% agile and efficient. Remaining on the surface of the analysis could imply that many other capabilities of the Business Intelligence solution may be lost. With a modern BI solution such as Tableau, the visual analysis is complemented by its significant self-service capacity, so that users can design their own dashboards. This is the direction in which the process should be heading.
2. Myth 2: modern BI can be evaluated just like traditional BI platforms. The philosophy of a modern BI solution does not allow for comparison with a traditional solution, and it should be evaluated with the appropriate evaluation criteria. Equally, the processes that worked for traditional solutions may become obsolete. Therefore, it is necessary to analyse the features of the new solution thoroughly so as to update or redesign these processes, and so they are 100% adapted to a new environment.
3. Myth 3: the cost involved in changing to modern BI is unjustifiable. At Tableau, they are crystal clear: the implementation of a modern Business Intelligence solution does not mean a rejection of everything that existed before. Furthermore, with a well-planned implementation procedure, carried out with an associate like Intelligence Partner, the savings could be spectacular. After installation, day-to-day use of data offers big savings on time and money, as well as new perspectives and a more global vision.
4. Myth 4: to take advantage of the benefits of modern BI all you need to do is update the right technology. The change to modern BI is not limited to a change of technology. It goes much deeper than that. It affects the business’ culture, which should include in its DNA the importance of data for the business, and this principle should be adopted by all users. The Tableau report points out that both the IT teams and the business should collaborate, with clearly-defined roles and new processes that help employees to redirect the focus of their work development and, in so doing, to follow the same path that is marked out by the digital conversion.
5. Myth 5: modern BI means unmanageable chaos and self-service. The fact that data can be analysed by users from all levels of the business does not imply that there will be anarchy. On the contrary, advances in security, in access to information, users and files will allow you to reduce this to the minimum, if not eliminate the risk of confidential information being accessible to unauthorised persons. For example, each user will see, manage and analyse only the information that corresponds to them. In addition, a culture of collaboration among all users is encouraged so that the data is always maintained up to date.
6. Myth 6: the transition to a modern BI is too complicated. As Tableau demonstrates, this is one of the easiest fears to refute. Carrying out an implementation in tandem with the daily work is a task that needs to be performed correctly. To do this, it is necessary to have a professional implementation methodology and an associate with a significant technical and functional background (such as Intelligence Partner). With just these two elements, you will remove many potential complications from the implementation process.
At Intelligence Partner, we have an extensive level of knowledge and experience, both in Business Intelligence and in the Tableau solution. For this reason, we can guide you through your implementation process from a traditional Business Intelligence solution to a modern one, from the most technical aspects to those of a business nature, and can help you to drive the cultural change and make the most from your data at all levels.
We are at your disposal to respond to your questions and comments. Request information without obligation and we will tell you how your business can evolve to a modern Business Intelligence environment in less time than you can imagine. Shall we take the step together?