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Interview with an expert: Tips for a successful BI and analytics strategy

January 20, 2014

By Dror Orbach

Interview with an expert: Tips for a successful BI and analytics strategy

A shaky economy can present a number of challenges to companies.

For one thing, thanks to increased volatility and the resulting unpredictability of the marketplace, making decisions based solely on intuition or experience is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

Thankfully, business intelligence (BI) tools can give key decision makers some much needed evidence-based information that can help provide a clearer, more credible snapshot of their customers, suppliers and finances.

According to IDC, there is growing evidence that higher BI and analytics competency and pervasiveness have a direct impact on a company’s ability to be competitive. But despite this, large capital investments for software can often prove difficult for organizations to justify unless short-term benefits will also be seen.

An SAP blogger (http://goo.gl/MLq35n) took the opportunity to speak with IDC analyst, Dan Vesset, program vice president of IDC’s Business, about ways in which companies can maximize their analytics investments and start to see the benefits of their investment sooner.

According to Vesset, a key point to remember is that BI and analytics technology should never be treated as an end unto itself. Rather, the technology and processes should be part of a clear strategy, and one that provides support to decision makers, or to automate certain decision-making activities. This strategy, he says, must take into account the broad spectrum of decision makers and decision-making processes that exist in any organization.

And although IDC is expecting worldwide spending on business analytics software to continue to grow at a very fast pace, Vesset says technology is only part of the story. IDC encourages organizations to develop an organization-wide BI and analytics strategy that answers the following questions:  What are our business objectives, challenges and goals? Are our BI objectives aligned with our business objectives? And what data sources are required to support the decisions being made at our organization?

Vesset said BI solutions not only help companies to access their information, but also give them the ability to analyze and act upon that information. This can create a competitive advantage in commercial and real-time transactions.

What steps has your company taken in order to better analyze the data that you have collected?

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