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Is One Person the Key Holder to your Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence is a suite of software and analysis tools that transforms raw data into tremendous information and insights for any business. But for it to work effectively, it requires a culture of data-empowerment where data ownership is centralised and everybody is able to make use of the insights BI has to offer.

Traditionally, many organisations have placed data ownership into the hands of a single person or team, which can be a huge risk for data security and may even have wide-spread consequences for the business as a whole. For example, if the single BI keyholder happens to leave the business, certain data may not be able to be amended or added to, or worse, may not be able to be accessed at all. At worst this could lead to a huge security breach, but even if not, it majorly slows down processes and employee productivity.

Let’s take a deeper look at why creating a data-empowered workforce is so essential in getting the most from your business intelligence.

Business intelligence is for everybody

First of all, it’s important to remember that BI can and may be utilised by several teams and individuals throughout the business.

This means making sure that BI is accessible not just for different departments, but also customised for the different levels of users across the organisation.

How different departments might use BI

The 4 users of business intelligence

The below are four typical examples of business intelligence users. Bear in mind  that this list is in no way exhaustive, as users of BI can come in all types and forms.

1. Data Analyst

The data analyst is typically the one who drills deep down into the data. A robust BI platform enables them to do just this, so they can gather new insights and expand on business techniques.

2. IT user
The IT user plays a prominent role in maintaining and strengthening the BI platform’s infrastructure. In some organisations, they might also be the main BI keyholder, responsible for assisting other teams with data requests.

3. Owner/CEO
The owner or CEO will use BI to gain a relevant picture of how things are performing across the company, and take necessary steps to increase efficiency and boost revenue.

4. Business User
General business intelligence users will be distributed in various teams across the business. They can fall into one of two categories: the informal business user (who uses dashboards to analyse predetermined sets of data) and the power user (those capable of toiling complex data sets).

Is one person holding the key to your data?

Many major BI systems such as Microsoft’s Power BI are cloud-based, making them not just incredibly versatile and intuitive, but highly secure too.

Non-custom built data management platforms, such as Excel, lack the security of a cloud-based system as they typically place the ownership or governance in the hands of one person or team. This not only makes it tough for other employees to get the data insights they need, but also places the security of your data at risk.

If the username and password of the person responsible for creating the Excel sheets (or those of a person with editing privileges) were stolen, that means the person who now has access to the sheets can do anything with the data – from deleting it to stealing confidential client details.

The importance of a data-literate workforce

According to new research by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, nearly 90% of organisations say success depends on data-driven decisions made by frontline employees. However, only 7% of organisations are fully equipping their teams with the analytic tools and resources needed to drive decision-making and autonomy.

This lack of control over information impedes the ability of 70% of businesses to meet strategic objectives (Finextra, 2019). For 84% of these, information is typically processed by IT, who aren’t always able to juggle this responsibility with their numerous other priorities. This means that other teams may struggle to get hold of data they need to carry out certain tasks, and also won’t have full visibility of the organisation’s data management needs.

Part of implementing a transformative data strategy involves making data accessible to all those who need it. It’s also about empowering all employees across all departments to have a mentality whereby data underpins all business decisions.  According to McKinsey Global Institute, companies who adopt a data-driven culture are 23 times more likely to acquire customers,  six times more likely to retain and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result.

Business intelligence best practices

There are, therefore, a few essential best practices in using business intelligence that can elevate its impact on your business.

1. Improve data literacy with training and tools

It’s already been established that organisations with higher data literacy rates have greater enterprise value. It’s important to give all employees access to BI tools that are easy to learn and use, build confidence, increase adoption and empower every user – no matter their role or level.

2. Centralise governance, security and management

More access and wider ownership doesn’t have to come at the expense of data security. Keep data and analytics secure through a system that lets administrators set rules based on users, actions and resources. This means that everybody has access to the data they need – and nothing that they don’t.

Time to empower your workforce

Are you ready to start bringing the power of data to your employees’ fingertips? At Bespoke, we enable you to create a data-empowered workforce with our range of business intelligence solutions.

Get in touch today to arrange a free consultation.

Could Data Be Holding Your Organisation Back?

With the importance of data becoming increasingly known for sustainable market success, many businesses are making data governance a key focus in 2021.

However, despite this, some organisations are still struggling to leverage the full potential of their data assets. According to research by Finextra in 2019, 95% of companies report negative impacts from poor data quality, which affects customer experience, business efficiency, and organisational reputation.

As well as this, incorrect ownership (69%), lack of trust in data (49%) and information overload (65%) are other key factors preventing businesses from incorporating a robust and reliable data strategy.

With these numbers in mind, it’s no wonder that even with the best intentions, data transparency and data intelligence is holding a number of businesses back from achieving their goals.

5 ways data could be holding your company back

For many companies, collecting the data isn’t the problem. Most businesses likely already have more than enough data at their fingertips, but instead of opening the door to valuable insights and opportunities, it’s actually slowing down processes and hindering their success.

Let’s take a look at five common ways your data could be holding you back.

1. Your data is fragmented across various platforms

Unless your company has implemented reliable custom business intelligence software, it’s likely that your data will be stored in several places. Unfortunately, this is a huge hurdle that could be hurting your data practices.

When data is fragmented across Excel spreadsheets, your CRM, an ERP system, your accountancy software, and various other platforms, then employees don’t have the visibility they need to make informed decisions and drive innovation. No matter how accurate or smart your data is, they lack the whole picture.

This can lead to increased time spent searching for data that’s missing, or even trying to make decisions based on little or poor data, which may not always be in your business’ best interests.

Meanwhile, business intelligence software enables you to connect and integrate fragmented business data into one easy-to-reach place and transform it into beautiful, simple dashboards.

2. Creating reports is taking up a large amount of time

Once you have the data, you need a way to understand it. This is typically done by creating visual reports such as graphs, tree maps and pie charts, which should be easy to read and effortless to produce.

Unfortunately, creating these reports is often an arduous task and takes up valuable time and resources, such as hard-to-schedule graphic designers or costly third party tools. All this can make this part of the data sharing process less than enjoyable, and it could be precious time better spent elsewhere.

A powerful business intelligence software will help you to create beautiful visualisations in minutes, enabling you not just to understand your data, but also to display it proudly to clients, stakeholders and team-mates.

3. You’re collecting data that never gets used

Having so much data that you don’t know what to do with it is an all-too-common scenario for most businesses, leaving them in a state of ‘analysis paralysis’. This stands in the way of smart, informed business decisions and could be wasting a huge amount of resources on collecting, storing, cleaning and processing data that may not actually be useful for your business objectives.

Only by collecting the data you really need, as well as knowing how to analyse it with purpose and clarity, can businesses truly benefit from the power data brings.

4. Your data is of poor quality

According to Finextra’s research, one in three (33%) organisations find trust a major challenge when extracting value from data. On average, companies believe 29% of their customer and prospect data is inaccurate in some way – a huge number, considering this is how many crucial business decisions are made. A further one in three report data being difficult to leverage because it is incomplete (38%) or not accessible through a single customer view (36%).

The reasons behind data inaccuracies can be various, but human error is the most common. 50% of organisations believe it’s down to data being inputted incorrectly, as well as a lack of automated checks in place when data is inputted for the first time (by customers, not just employees).

Other reasons include information being spread out across multiple sources as mentioned earlier (39%), and not having a clear data governance strategy in place (30%). This lack of quality means organisations do not have full confidence to make decisions based on their data, meaning they could be missing out on important business opportunities.

5. Data ownership is too limited

Part of implementing a transformative data strategy involves making data accessible to all those who need it. This is something most companies lack, however, as outdated practices and systems limit data ownership to a small select few.

This lack of control over information impedes the ability of 70% of businesses to meet strategic objectives (Finextra, 2019). For 84% of these, information is typically processed by IT, who aren’t always able to juggle this responsibility with their numerous other priorities. This means that other teams may struggle to get hold of data they need  to carry out certain tasks, and also won’t have full visibility of the organisation’s data management needs.

Expanding data ownership not only helps employees do their job more effortlessly, but it also helps to build a data-driven culture. This can be done easily by implementing a well-structured data governance strategy and adopting a delegated approach, whereby the right data is easily accessible to those who need it, and those who use information are responsible for its upkeep.

Move forward with your data

Do you feel your business could benefit from having more control over your data? Bespoke helps to make data simple through a range of business intelligence and data analytics solutions.

Get in touch to arrange a free consultation and find out more.