27
October 2011

Driving Adoption of Business Intelligence

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Days of thinking led me to write this post. Are technology issues really what are preventing people from using business intelligence for real-time and better decision-making? Are the limits of technology the major issue? The answer to both is a definite no.

Of course, these limitations have played a huge role, but technology is evolving fast and now there are numerous tools available that allow companies to pull insights from enormous amounts of data.

For a long time, we were trying to find how to make BI work for organizations in way, that will allow for a wide adoption. With the invention of Necto, which is the first Business Intelligence 3.0 enabled suite, we finally nailed it. The main problem wasn’t the technology, it was always a question of how to organize all information inside and outside (data flows) the BI system in a way that allows people to use it without costing businesses an arm and a leg.

Here’s the thing – data means nothing until it’s translated into information. That’s the purpose of BI and why it originally failed to deliver on its promised value. Making information – whether it’s a dashboard, visualization or KPI – digestible for all users within a company is difficult.

Making it Meaningful

It was about a year and a half ago when everybody started talking Self-Sevice. Business Intelligence was all into one important thing, which is finally making BI tools easy to use for a regular business user. Surprisingly soon enough, everybody realized that there is no way of making business users understand “Self-Service” BI without compromising core functionalities of the software.
Here’s when the social aspect came into play. For the past decade, people have utilized various social platforms for many different uses, such as finding their peers and connecting with friends and family.

What’s common among these many social networks is that all integrate seamlessly into our everyday lives. We embraced them to the point where we simply can’t live without them. That’s also why they have become a No. 1 source of information. Social networks push all relevant information to us in an efficient and simple manner, making them both beneficial and irreplaceable in our lives.

In the recent Information Management report he wrote, entitled “Business Intelligence Throws a Party,” Jim Ericson noted that “decision-making is not about one person at an interface confronting a universe of data. It’s ideas, different observations adding up to collective wisdom and an ability to pivot from one idea to another in the workplace.”

With a social component and sophisticated relevancy mechanisms, we can capture, organize and push all relevant information to the right people, at the right time and in a way in which all are familiar. In other words, the system not only translates data into information but also personalizes it according to user’s social patterns and habits. There’s nothing to learn, it integrates into the process of decision-making seamlessly, and, in the words of the late Steve Jobs, it just works.

Look at the Dropbox, for example. The simple, lean startup just raised $250 million in investments because of only one reason – it seamlessly integrates with almost all existing platforms, allowing for simple file sharing.

I’m sure now that BI as we know it is about to change forever.

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