The tech and business worlds are raving about the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT), and the need to invest in tools that can handle the surge of Big Data. However, for a relatively small business that’s just getting started, you may feel like the amount of data you acquire doesn’t warrant such an upgrade. Before making a decision, it would be a good idea to consider a few things.
How these tools help
BI (Business Intelligence) tools can help you perform a number of data-related tasks in a much more efficient manner. They assist you in collecting, storing, and analyzing it. BI software is absolutely vital as the amount of data that comes in and from your company increases. According to some estimates, by 2020, the volume of big data will increase to approximately 44 zettabytes. There may come a point when all of this information will be wasted since you will no longer have the means to make it usable. That’s either because you can’t analyze it in a timely manner or simply because the sheer volume makes it too much to handle.
For larger companies, BI software can be extremely useful when it comes to streamlining communication between multiple departments. The information can be easily accessed by users who need it, providing flexibility.
In the long run, BI software can help a company save money, and increase productivity. Because of all of your information will be stored in one accessible place, it’s going to make it easier for you to keep track of your daily expenditures, see which departments are hemorrhaging money, and where you should invest more. It takes the guesswork out of figuring out how to optimize your business and makes room for growth.
There a lot of offers and options when it comes to BI software. Before deciding whether or not you should invest in these tools, you find out what options you have, and how these business management tools can benefit you in the long run.
Common mistakes when implementing intelligence software
BI software is just the means to an end. As such, investing in business intelligence tools doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to start reaping the benefits immediately.
Frequently, companies invest in them without having a clear set of goals in mind. Much of what these programs do will go unused since nobody thinks out a plan of how to get the most out of them. Companies should consider their needs carefully, and see how they can use BI tools to address these problems specifically.
Other times, in their rush to upgrade, businesses neglect certain key infrastructure aspects. They do not take into consideration whether or not their current systems are compatible with the upgrades, or they don’t factor in the time it’s going to take to make the switch. Rushing this process may end up costing them more time in the long run, as they will have to not only restart the implementation process, but also undo the possible damages they have done by rushing.
Lastly, one of the most common mistakes businesses make when they decide to invest in intelligence software is that they don’t take into consideration their employees proficiency in using these tools. A few years back, analysists were predicting that one of the biggest problems faced by Big Data was going to be the lack of talent. While the situation is not truly that dire, as more companies start investing in BI tools, finding professionals who are able to set up, maintain and operate them efficiently is going to be increasingly difficult.
Benefits of investing early
Some of the issues mentioned earlier can be avoided if you decide to invest early in BI solutions. The process of transitioning to these systems is going to be much smoother since you will not yet have a very firm infrastructure in place.
Bringing BI tools in your company early on, step by step is also going to give your employees a chance to familiarize themselves with the system as it is being developed. This way, you can bypass some of the knowledge gap problems, though you should have at least one expert to advise you at first.
You can also develop your business plan and BI solutions in parallel. That means, it will be easier for you to align your solutions with your projects, and you won’t need to allocate time and resources just to figure out how to implement them. And getting used to handling Big Data early on can help you stay on top of things, even in the fast-paced, ever-changing landscape of Big Data trends.
On the other hand, though BI tools can help you make more money in the long run, during the first two years of your business, it may take a while before you’re going to see real results. The costs of implementing this system, both in terms of acquiring the software and hiring the right experts, and training your current employees will take a while to offset. And you may find you’re not getting the most out of these tools.
These solutions work best when they have a lot of data to handle, and when there a lot of people involved. For smaller companies, investing in these tools might not be the most efficient option for handling all their information.
Though everyone probably wants a quick and easy answer to every question, unfortunately, most of the times it doesn’t work that way. Each business is different, and the requirements for growth are going to differ accordingly.
Like any tool, BI solutions work only if you use them right. Otherwise, they’re not going to do much of anything. Don’t expect too much out of them because, ultimately, you are the one who’s in charge. You must decide what to do with them and how you’re going to make the most of the benefits they offer.
Take these factors into consideration when you’re deciding whether or not to invest in BI solutions for your business, but also bring on a specialist to take a look at your business plan and make informed suggestions.
You should also speak to your employees and ask them what they need, and what problems they foresee in their respective departments. Ultimately, they are going to be the ones who are going to work with these tools, and they should have a say in the matter as well.