The Cost of Business Intelligence: It Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
the cost of bi

Written by: Jon Stafford

I have over 13 years experience in creating effective BI that turns data into insight and value. I’ve worked in many industries, combining my extensive business knowledge and background in solution development to deliver successful BI strategies, solutions, training and coaching.
The Cost of BI: It Does Not Have to Be Expensive

If you’re new to the world of business intelligence (BI), a quick Google search is likely to lead you to two common opinions: it’s too expensive and it usually goes wrong.

I’m not going to pretend that this is never the case. If you’re not doing BI correctly, then it won’t deliver the value you that expect…or, even worse, it won’t deliver anything at all. Spending out on technology upgrades, or software you don’t know how to use can also be a costly mistake.

If you approach BI in the wrong way then it can be expensive and unhelpful. Yet, in today’s ever-competitive marketplace, investing in a good BI solution is a good investment to make. Without it, you could even lose money and market share.

Myth: Business Intelligence is Too Expensive

When BI isn’t delivering value, organisations typically focus on the technology first. After all, it’s the most obvious place to start and must be the root of the problem, right?

An organisation may look at their current software, attempting to ‘fix’ it by adding more and more pricy features. Or, instead of looking at why their tools aren’t generating the right information, they simply go ahead and splash out on new BI technology which promises to deliver value at the click of a button. It can be very expensive to cover new software and hardware costs and migrate your data and reporting to a new tool, not forgetting the expense of a full-time support team and ongoing licensing too.

However, the cost of BI doesn’t have to put a huge dent in your company bank account. Business intelligence isn’t defined by technology. It’s defined by the way that an organisation works with that technology. It’s crucial to be open-minded regarding technology choices, and consider ways in which you get the most out of your current BI solution before buying another. Start with your organisation’s goals, then focus on what your people need to do to achieve them, what the right processes are to support them, and then determine what information is required. Only then should you look at your BI technology, which helps to ensure that you only spend what you need to on BI tools.

Myth: BI Doesn’t Deliver Real Value

Even when you have the right BI technology, it doesn’t mean that you’re automatically going to get real business value. It’s no truer than believing buying a supercar instantly makes you a world-class driver.

One of the most common reasons BI projects fail is because there isn’t a skilled team in place that’s implementing BI strategically in the right way. Research by Forrester has found 64% of business and technology decision-makers have difficulty getting answers from their dashboard metrics. The right people need to be connected to the right information. So, before you invest in new technology, invest in training and coaching to ensure that you’re going about things correctly. Develop in-house experts that can confidently get the data you need by using your technology properly.

If you don’t develop your BI solution in the right way, it doesn’t matter how good the technology is. The consequence of building a BI solution the wrong way is, of course, achieving far less value than you anticipated. When developing a BI strategy, your people and processes need to be aligned and at the forefront to meet your objectives. Start with your goals – the driver for your BI – and over time, your business will evolve a whole range of the right BI capabilities. Built-in the right way, business intelligence not only delivers value but is a key factor in achieving your goals and outdoing your competitors.

The 4dDX Method Can Help

Truly Intelligent Business’s 4dDX method combines the four vital dimensions of your business: your goals, processes, people and technology. By following the 4dDX framework, you can develop a BI solution driven by your business goals, not by your BI technology. You’ll create a bespoke BI strategy that starts with your objectives and puts you firmly on the path to achieving them.

By focusing on the four dimensions in the right way, you’ll establish an agile delivery cycle that involves your organisation throughout, adapting to its constantly changing needs, and helping you to realise the value you need from your business intelligence at the right cost.

If you would like to discuss more about our data strategy framework – 4dDX you can contact us here!

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