Companies around the world, of all sizes, are turning to next generation Business Intelligence (BI) tools to assist them in controlling the huge amounts of data, and putting the resulting insights to use as a competitive distinction.
A number of factors are driving this increasing dramatic need for BI tools. The production of data, social media, mobility, consumerisation and the growing need for enterprise quickness are forcing rapid change in businesses' approach to BI.
In the past, BI was employed to analyze historic patterns and data residing within the enterprise to understand operations and customer behaviour. However, the pace of change has accelerated. This is all thanks to the power of universal social media networks, change now takes place in a matter of seconds. Disruptive influences distort what were once predictable patterns in a matter of days, or even minutes. Now, business must be constantly aware of changing market forces and customer sentiments, and must be able to refocus and change direction accordingly. This level of business speed can only be achieved with the right technology and the necessary BI skills.
Social media analysis allows the enterprise to get accurate insights into customer sentiment and external market conditions as they change. To tap in to the wealth of information residing within social media networks, next generation BI technology analytics will be required. The ability to adapt in line with new trends will be the key factor to business success in future, and enterprises are pretty much aware of the importance of this.
The need to integrate social media data into the BI, presents the big data challenge. Additionally to social media, enterprises must now have the capability to analyse competitor activities, email and other digital communications, location-based data and more. As the capacity, variety and speed of big data increases, advanced big data tools will become increasingly necessary to manage vast amounts of planned and unplanned data.
Africa is a mobile continent, with individuals and enterprises improving on landline and moving directly to high speed mobile connectivity. With this shift, enterprises need control panels that deliver "on-the-go" access to critical business and market information allowing them to make key decisions faster. High level executives now want the ability to interrogate figures on the move, and in light of this, gain a competitive advantage.
Avoiding BI disappointments
In the past, numerous companies have had disappointments in their BI executions commonly because their strategies have been poor or because they were not asking the right questions at the outset. That is why you need to have a full- proof BI strategy by understanding how you do business and what data do you want from your systems?
In order to successfully use BI in your organization, you need to take stock of what equipment and solutions you already have in place, assessing your current infrastructure and whether it properly supports advanced BI tools. You need to understand how mature the business processes are, and whether you are capable of supporting BI. Defining the key business endpoint is a good start. By beginning with a broad understanding of where you are and where you want to grow to, you will be at a point to decide what steps need to be taken to achieve the goals that you've set up.
If you want a successful business, hire a BI specialist to help you get there.
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