As business intelligence popularity grows, real-time BI should become focus

By and large, employees and consumers alike are extremely familiar with new technologies like mobile devices and social media. As a result, these innovations have infiltrated the workplace for a variety of reasons, including:

– The ability to bring your own device to work.

– Improved social collaboration throughout the enterprise.

– Better interaction with customers, as communication can be done in real time from anywhere. 

While companies are seamlessly integrating these strategies, there is another equally effective technology that has caused more of a struggle: business and big data analytics

“The challenge is that companies have far more data than people have time, and the amount of data that is generated every minute keeps increasing,” said Rita Sallam, research vice president analyst at Gartner. “In the face of accelerating business processes and a myriad of distractions, real-time operational intelligence systems are moving from ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have for survival.'”

Moving toward self-service BI
A Gartner study projected that growing competition, costs and compliance pressures, along with less time to make decisions, will force executives and IT leaders to adopt real-time operational business intelligence (BI). When placed into the hands of workers, self-service BI can prove to be enormously beneficial. However, many of these systems are too complicated for the average employee to understand, at least without extensive training.

Therefore, Gartner suggested that organizations adopt analytics solutions that are as transparent as possible for all employees, such as social and mobile BI. Because these tools are presented in a format that most workers are familiar with, they will have a far easier time learning them. This could lead to improvements in “competitiveness, innovation and productivity,” according to Sallam. 

In a recent interview with InformationWeek, Bob McDonald, CEO of Procter & Gamble, advised companies to “move business intelligence from the periphery of operations to the center of how business gets done.” McDonald outlined three steps that will allow companies to achieve real-time analytics, beginning with identifying the right tools. This doesn’t necessarily mean finding the most sophisticated applications, but rather the technology that will be most effective for a company and its employees. McDonald stressed that organizations need to create a culture that is centered around business intelligence. As the Gartner study indicated, this might involve social and mobile BI tools, which employees would be more likely to accept.

In addition, he suggested that building business intelligence teams can help, particularly during the initial deployment phases. The end goal may be for everyone to use the technology, but having specialists in place should be the first step. 

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