Many CFOs and CIOs have jumped into the Business Intelligence (BI) bandwagon because in this day and age, every decision maker feels as though it is something that a company needs in order to succeed.
Gartner even mentioned that for the year 2017, finding a BI software remains a top focus of many CFOs and CIOs with companies now willing to spend significant monetary investment on BI software or cloud BI solutions.
In comparison to the early 90´s when there were only a few vendors, 2017 saw a continuously growing number of available BI solutions in the market. With this exponential growth of available solutions came the exponential increase in implementation failures as well.
The Performance Canvas team in the many years it has worked in the Business Intelligence arena has come up with a compact list of 5 common BI mistakes or more specifically 5 mistakes that people make when buying a BI software. The team hopes that this list below can help you avoid the same costly mistakes as you invest in a new BI software.
- Buying for the sake of buying
One of the biggest mistakes many CFOs and CIOs make is buying because everyone else is buying. This could mean that your vendor says your competitors have bought their solution, you´ve read up several articles saying all best-in-class companies make this monetary and time investment in order to perform better and outperform competition or you buy a BI software because of its general capability.
The reason we are saying this is a mistake is because before deciding that you need a BI software, you must clearly define first the problems you wish to solve and what it is your company is specifically trying to accomplish rather than a sweeping generalization of outperforming competition.
Start by defining the problems you want solved and then understand what software capabilities are needed in order to solve these problems.
- Buying a software that lacks Executive and End user Buy-in
Some decision makers become so convinced of the capabilities of a specific BI software that they have the tendency to choose it even before running it by the people that are expected to ultimately use them. It then becomes more like an imposition hidden under the guise of corporate standardization.
It is important to remember that a successful BI implementation regardless of how capable your chosen BI solution is starts with executive and end user buy-in. Executive buy-in because you need people that can effect change and influence others; end user buy-in because you need to make people feel that this new BI solution benefits them personally for them to adopt it. The rule of thumb here is – imposition often leads to rejection; open discussion leads to successful adoption.
- Forgetting about Systems Integration
All companies have existing ERP or business application systems in place so before soaking in too much in the details about your chosen BI software’s features, look into one of the most important aspect of implementation – systems integration.
While features are important, it is also very critical that the new BI software has the ability to read/pull up data/integrate with your ERP system or any legacy system in order to get more value out of the BI software.
- Underestimating the Importance of Relationship with Implementation Consultants
This is a very common newbie mistake when purchasing a software – underestimating the importance of the relationship one has with the implementation consultants. In fact, this perhaps spells the difference between a successful and failed implementation.
It is important that you are confident in the skills of your consultants when it comes to understanding your business needs and complexities. It is also important that you are confident in the technical skills of your consultants when it comes to implementation and that you can talk to them openly so that the implementation of the tool is as how you envisioned it to be. No matter how good the solution is, if the consultants are not skilled enough and do not understand the complexity of your business, the implementation of your BI software will still fail or you will never really get the real return of your investment.
- Choosing a Solution that cannot Scale and Adapt
Majority (if not all companies) have plans to grow and expand either organically or through acquisitions. It is important that you choose a BI software that isn’t just good based on how your business is setup currently. It must be a solution that can grow with your business. A BI software that can scale as your business grows both in terms of revenue and in terms of complexity.
Make sure that the BI software you have isn´t something that works in the short-term. Aim for long-term investment which means your BI software might need updates every now and then but that it must still be a software that can keep up as your business expands. Do not go for products that are easily installed now but have difficulty scaling later. Instead, get over the chunkiness of certain solutions upon installation and be guaranteed of its usefulness and sustainability.
Does your company have BI challenges today? Are you still looking for a suitable BI software that can help your business solve specific business problems? Have you made mistakes in the past that you´d like to correct now? Visit www.performancecanvas.com to learn more about our unified BI and CPM solution or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see a free online demo of our product.
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