Business analytics is an indispensable part of the modern day company. Thanks to the ever-growing volumes of big data, it’s getting more and more challenging to decipher relevant information. A good business analytics software or application solves this problem by breaking down complicated statistics into relevant and easily consumable data. But before you invest in this tool, it’s necessary to understand the associated challenges.
Business Analytics Challenges
Business and IT alignment
Breaking down the name into ‘Business’ and ‘Analytics’ brings out the inherent association between business objectives and IT functionalities. Successful implementation of business analytics software requires thorough understanding of both components.
You and your team must have clarity about your business processes and requirements. There must be awareness of improvement areas across all departments. Similarly, you need to be knowledgeable about the current and required IT infrastructure. Unless you have complete grasp on both, you won’t be able to conceptualize the right business analytics solution.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Investing in business analytics software must be perceived like a capital investment. Although the costs are nowhere close to machinery and infrastructure expenses, the basic principle is similar. Many business owners make the mistake of expecting direct returns in terms of sales numbers.
Team and process efficiency improvements are the right criteria to judge effectiveness of business analytics. The results are indirect and may take a little time. As long as the expectations are right, you won’t be disappointed.
Although the fundamental job of analytics is to dig out relevant data from the heap, you still need to decide the input volume and sources. There is data overload in each business – product and service information, competitor activities, market statistics, customer records and much more. Identifying what to include is the first step.
It is recommended to start with the most useful numbers and add more data points subsequently. You should strive to provide assistance to all departments while guarding against information overload.
A stand-alone business analytics system is not very effective. It might do its job flawlessly but its usability can be increased many folds by integrating it with your other enterprise applications. Such collaboration is very tough to achieve in retrospect. You must pre plan which systems need to work together and how.
The feasibility of integrating the new business analytics software with the existing enterprise solutions should be done on technical, operational and strategically levels. It might seem a tedious task initially, but the benefits will outlast the efforts.
Administration and Security
This is where many companies slip up. Data analytics is not a fit and forget system. Market dynamics and user requirements keep changing, and your system must keep up with it. Secondly, while you add new data points, you need to properly archive old data for future reference. It is advisable to select an analytics solution with in-built data archiving feature, preferably cloud based. Another facet of system management is having a sturdy data security system. Most systems have in-built security parameters but it’s advisable to add extra protection.
Understanding these business analytics challenges will help you prepare better and draft a more robust implementation strategy. Also, you will be able to select the right business analytics software to suit your company needs.