Every day, you make decisions that help your business grow. Those decisions are likely backed up by real data (and a healthy dose of gut feelings). Relying on good data is an option made more accessible by the continued development of Business Intelligence (BI) software that aggregates, analyzes, and visualizes the information essential to your organization, even helping you predict future trends. By leveraging BI programs, executives worldwide are increasing profits while streamlining processes. But when you take a deeper look at how these companies are using BI, you’ll find that the greatest success comes from democratizing the data, putting business intelligence in the hands of every employee.
WHAT DO PEOPLE WANT FROM BI SOFTWARE?
A 2015 study conducted by Forbes Insights asked over 300 executives from a wide range of industries across North America about their opinions on data analytics software and best practices. The survey found that, for a majority of businesses, achieving success with BI software comes down to two factors: “effective technology choices (63%) and organizational support (57%).”
Choosing the right software makes for an obvious number one concern. After all, your insights are only as good as the program generating them. But with solutions like Dyntell Bi, which was created from an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software specifically to meet the needs of growing businesses, it’s equally obvious that great options exist.
Organizational support coming in at a close second is a bit harder to pin down, but makes perfect sense once you think about it. After all, it’s not just executives that make decisions — every day, employees at all levels of any given organization are making choices that also impact the successes of their businesses. And it would be impractical, if not downright impossible, for managers to be following up on every single one of these choices. But what if, instead of micromanaging, leaders could empower their teams with data-driven, visually compelling information that would help ensure that everything they do is based on hard facts?
GOVERNANCE: WHO SEES WHAT?
One of the biggest hurdles to providing all employees with helpful data is parsing out who gets to see what and, perhaps equally importantly, how they see it. Sorting through these issues can be challenging since the amount of data produced by your business can be overwhelming to organize. Here are four easy steps to help you divide up your data into different reports and views:
Step 1: Break it Down by Department
In an ideal world, every employee would be informed about all aspects of their place of work. But practically speaking, people only have so much time in their day, and helping them find the information they need quickly and easily is paramount. So, you can dig through the data available to you and start identifying which departments need to see what. For example, your sales and marketing teams would benefit from a dashboard depicting real-time sales data, while your human resource team could make use of a chart showing the biggest areas of growth within the company to help direct recruiting efforts.
A tech support team would probably love a dashboard that collected data on peak times when customers needed help to predict future surges in need, and a shipping department could use the same strategy for product demand rises. By sorting through your available data and determining who could use what, you can begin to organize your dashboards in ways that benefit everyone.
Step 2: Break it Down by Management Level
Once you know what department needs what data, you can designate levels of detail. Building on an earlier example, when it comes to sales data, it could be helpful for your sales managers to view how much profit each employee is contributing to the bottom line in a given day, week, or month. Meanwhile, the employees themselves only need to see the overall goals. Similarly, while a tech support team can benefit as a whole by understanding surges in customer needs, a manager would benefit from a breakdown of the reasons for each call, which would help them make informed decisions about what issues customers are facing and how that should impact future development. By scaling inward and outward with the data available through the dashboards, you can ensure that each member of your team is seeing exactly what they need to in order to make effective decisions.
Step 3: Enable Customization
Even when it comes to the same information, not everybody wants to see it in the same way. Some teams may want their data displayed as a bar graph, while others may want a line chart. Some teams may want something more numerically based and others something more visual. One manager may want all of their main visualizations on the same dashboard and others want separate reports.
Whatever you decide, customization is key. Enabling every team member to not only have access to the information they need when they need it, but also to process that information in the way that helps them to efficiently make decisions can only help your business thrive. So, once you determine who needs to see what information, explore these different options and discover the best course of action. BI programs like Dyntell Bi allow for a wide range of options for displaying data in reports and dashboards, so you can make your data work for you, not the other way around.
Step 4: Refine and Repeat
Remember, optimizing your business practices with data analytics is not a one-off project. There are countless ways to improve the breadth, depth, and reliability of the data you collect, as well as refine the way the data is analyzed, visualized, and reported. As you continue to turn your data into an investment, keep trying new things and exploring new techniques so that you can discover surprising insights. The best way to do this is to regularly interface with the people using this data every day. Ask them for their opinions on what is truly valuable and what just adds clutter. For everyone to make use of the data, everyone should be involved in its optimization.