The most common mistakes in the use of BI software
The most common mistakes in the use of BI software
Business intelligence enables companies to collect, analyse and use valuable data to make better decisions and improve business processes. However, there are some mistakes in the application of BI software that can impair effectiveness and usability. We present the most common issues and explain how to avoid them.
1. Insufficient data quality
If the data fed into BI software is incomplete, inconsistent or flawed, the analysis results will also be flawed. This can lead to decisions being based on false assumptions. In this scenario, the BI solution could be seen to be a unreliable source to make business decisions.
Solution: To ensure high data quality, data quality management should be implemented. This involves checking the data for inconsistencies and making any necessary corrections before it is entered into your BI software. This can be achieved through the use of automated data checking tools, manual checks and continuous monitoring of data quality.
2. Lack of user participation
Often the decision about a new BI system is only made between management and the IT department. But in this way, those who will later use the software are bypassed. If the users within a company are not involved in the process of introducing a BI system from the beginning, there is a risk that the solution will not meet their requirements. That being said, it is the users who should be convinced of the many advantages and benefits of the new software at an early stage, so that they will use it regularly after its introduction.
Solution: Involve everyone who will later use the BI software from the beginning to ensure that the solution meets their requirements and can deliver the results that are needed. For example, conduct workshops, surveys or feedback sessions with all users.
3. Inadequate infrastructure
Without sufficient hardware and software resources, BI software will not function optimally. For example, if data is loaded and processed very slowly, this can lead to frustration among your employees and make them not want to work with the solution anymore.
Solution: Before introducing a BI system, find out exactly what infrastructure you need and make sure to provide it so that the software can work quickly and reliably at all times. This may mean investing in powerful servers, storage solutions or networks. Alternatively, you can rely on a cloud-based solution. By running the software in a cloud, companies do not need to deploy and maintain expensive hardware and software resources. Instead, they use the resources of the cloud provider, which makes it easier to work quickly and reliably, as well as to load and process the data quickly. Using a cloud also allows companies to respond quickly to the growing needs of their business by simply adding or removing resources from their cloud provider.
Another advantage of cloud-based BI solutions is the flexibility it gives users. Businesses can access their data and analytics from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection and they are not tied to a specific location or time. However, there are also some disadvantages, such as dependence on a stable and secure internet connection, as well as the costs, which can add up over time. In addition, with an external BI cloud solution, it is often not possible to calculate evaluations in real time (online). It is important to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages thoroughly in order to choose the best solution for a company in each case. The myPARM BIact business intelligence software, for example, can be operated both in a cloud and hosted locally on your premises. This gives you the flexibility to decide which variant is better suited to your needs.
4. Lack of control of data security
If data security is not given sufficient attention, there is a risk that confidential data, such as customer or personnel data, will fall into the wrong hands. Therefore, it is important that security measures are taken to protect the data.
Solution: Implement encryption technologies, access controls and data security policies. Also, ensure that only authorised persons have access to the data and the system.
5. Unclear goals and requirements
If the goals and expectations of BI software are not clearly defined, it will be difficult to select a suitable solution as it will not be clear what requirements it must meet in order to deliver the greatest possible value. Furthermore, it will be difficult to measure the success of the solution.
Solution: Companies that want to purchase or develop a BI solution should therefore create a precise catalogue of goals and requirements in advance as well as define specific application scenarios. On this basis, suitable software can be selected or developed. In the course of time, new fields of application often arise or the requirements for the software change. So to ensure that your BI solution continues to meet all the requirements placed on it in the future, you should regularly review its performance as well as adapt the software to changed requirements and goals if necessary.
6. No uniform definitions of terms
Often there are discussions between different departments in a company about the correctness of key figures relevant to the company. This can be due to the fact that individual departments have a different understanding or their own definitions of the key figures. If the key figures are not precisely defined, this can lead to misinterpretations or misunderstandings. In addition, data with the same key figure from different areas may not be comparable.
Solution: It is important to ensure that all users speak the same language so that data can be interpreted correctly at all times. Therefore, you should define important key figures or terms at an early stage and communicate them throughout the company. Also make sure to use only these uniform terms for reporting. In order to ensure that all employees in your company understand the key figures correctly, you can conduct training and, for example, create a glossary of terms that is made available to all users. It is also important to regularly review and update the definitions of metrics and terms to ensure they are still relevant and correct.
7. Rushed introduction
Companies should allow sufficient time for the selection and implementation of new BI software. Yet many companies want to benefit from the many advantages of a BI solution as soon as possible and therefore do not plan enough time to analyse the current state and create requirements, research and test possible solutions as well as thoroughly train their employees. However, BI software can only be used effectively if all these steps have been carried out carefully.
Solution: Allow sufficient time for the selection and introduction of BI software and bear in mind that it will take some time before the software starts to deliver results. Furthermore, it can help to introduce the software gradually and to limit yourself to the most important departments and requirements at first.
A BI solution can offer a company many advantages. However, mistakes in its application can affect its success and even lead to erroneous decisions. If you are aware of these mistakes, you can act prudently and take sensible measures to avoid them.
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