May 26, 2015

Is Your Business Intelligence TOO Complex?

A major part of maximizing your business intelligence solution is the ease in which you’re able to use it yourself. Of course, if you have an independent BI team that is managing all of your tools, then the need to understanding the inner workings of it decreases in importance. 

However, for those of you who are taking on the responsibility, we understand how difficult it can be to learn on the job. New tools bring new stresses — and new terms bring on new confusions. And with constant changes coming in the industry, it raises the questions:

– Can BI become too complex in nature?
– How much is too much business intelligence?
– When do you know it’s time to simplify your tools?

In this post, we’ll highlight the tell-tale signs of an overcomplicated BI structure within your organization and offer ways to make sure your data collections efforts remain simple, intuitive and effective.

Simplifying your business intelligence tools should be a top priorityThe Importance of Simplicity

“For BI to be actionable, it must be accessible,” says steven Schneider, Chief of Products at Logi Analtics.

And this couldn’t be more true. Not every business is large or fortunate enough to have the ability to train employees on how to use the several BI tools that are available. And while the technology may be affordable for an organization, the training and/or hiring of an in-house analytical team can cost more than organizations can handle.

After all, it’s important to note that the true value of business intelligence is NOT in having the tools — but in having the know-how to make smart decisions with the data gathered from these tools.

Simplification is Becoming a Trend

While some BI manufacturers are still creating tools that are geared towards highly-qualified data scientists, there is also an influx of data tools that cater to those who aren’t as well versed.

For business functions that are more widely used, such as modeling, profiling and algorithm blending, simpler versions are now becoming more commonplace in new BI solutions. Making these functions easier to use not only benefits the end-user, but also helps the BI provider’s sales by creating a wider audience for their product.

When Complexity Becomes an Issue

For a newcomer, dealing with company statistics is bound to be a challenge. One must deal with many graphs, statistics, charts, algorithms and more — and be able to interpret all of their meanings.

With that said, BI tools are supposed to lessen the gravity of this task by doing most of the grunt work for you. However, sometimes you may find yourself doing more work than you anticipated if your BI infrastructure is overly complicated.

Here are some signs that your BI solution is actually becoming more of a limitation rather than an asset to your organization.

The future of business intelligence is looking brighter with simpler tools becoming more commonplace– You find yourself asking more questions than solving issues
– More time is spent figuring out HOW, than actual work
– No progress is being made in speed of decision-making
– Analysis takes longer than pre-BI implementation

Looking Towards the Future

Besides the inevitable fact that business intelligence will become democratized even further as the years go by, one thing is true: more employees will be able to make use of BI tools as the technology becomes easier to use.

The need for highly-educated data scientists will also decrease. More organizations will be able to take full advantage of the many years of BI development to make better, faster and more long-lasting decisions as long as business intelligence continues to simplify.

And with all of these changes happening concurrently, the ones who adapt to these changes earlier, will also be the ones to first take advantage of the business profits that come with the industry’s developing tools. 

As the industry of BI continues to progress, businesses will also be able to reap the benefits in their sales and decision-making skills and by cutting analysts from their team — creating a more lean organization and a more profitable business. It all starts with simplification and the industry is already well on its way.