Out with the Old: Modern Approaches to Business Intelligence

The top business executives today know that cutting corners only leads to disaster. For example, if a company changes its product in order to save a few cents on production, this can have huge implications if customers are dissatisfied with the change. The business world moves so quickly now due to the Internet, misinformed decisions can quickly lead to catastrophe. One area that is paramount to the success of a modern company is business intelligence. Without accurate, real-time data, managers and owners are at a distinct disadvantage against those who are utilizing the best new tools. It’s time to embrace modern approaches to business intelligence.

Old Business Intelligence Is Too Slow

You would think that with all the advanced technology that goes into business intelligence software and tools, it would be able to consistently deliver on-demand insights. This is, however, not really the case with most legacy BI platforms. There are a few ways that old school BI software is too slow for the modern company.

Executives who have had to oversee the transition to a new BI platform know it’s often not the cakewalk touted by the provider’s sales team. Especially for large companies, implementing new BI software can be a painfully slow process. In fact, with companies of 2,500 or more employees, the same amount (10 percent) of organizations take less than one month as take one to two years. Two years of on-boarding just means businesses have to wait exceedingly long to reap any benefits from the platform, which might be outdated by that time.

Old-school business intelligence is also too slow because receiving insights is itself a time-consuming process. Employees have to submit requests, wait in a queue with other employees, and then wait for a data analyst to process the inquiry and put it into a readable form. Often, the analysts will require more information or clarifications, so there will be some additional back-and-forth before a request can become something usable. This ordeal usually takes days, if not weeks. This is not acceptable for companies that see the value of immediate turnaround.

Traditional BI Isn’t Accessible to Most Employees

Another major flaw in old platforms versus modern business intelligence is that they aren’t intuitive. Most BI software requires dedicated data analysts, who are trained on how to use the program. The issue with this system is that it inherently limits who will be able to create BI inquiries. For example, someone in human resources will have a difficult time finding ways to increase departmental effectiveness because they won’t have a firm grasp of how to utilize data. They could send a request along to the analysts. But the time and expertise disconnect in this process lowers their incentive for doing this. Additionally, other departments more involved with the company’s product will likely take precedent. For this reason, some aspects of organizations are much less responsive to the supposed benefits of legacy BI.

Business Intelligence Should Serve Everyone

Luckily for business owners who have seen some of the disadvantages of old business intelligence in action, there are new platforms that offer some intuitive solutions. For instance, relational search is one of the most exciting new prospects in the world of BI. Essentially, relational search works with the simplicity of a Google search, but with the accuracy necessary for insights. Since everyone knows how to conduct a Google search, the learning curve for relational search is not steep; so all employees can utilize it. This allows for improvements to be made in all aspects of a business, not just the most obvious ones.

Additionally, relational search greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to conduct a business intelligence inquiry. Like with a search engine, relational search combs through a company’s inputted data in a matter of milliseconds as opposed to days or weeks. This means intelligent decisions can be made in a fraction of the time—greatly increasing productivity and efficiency on all fronts. Relational search is one of the tools that is putting old-school BI where it belongs: in museums.

There’s no denying that data-driven business decisions are typically superior to those made by managerial instincts. However, the tools available to companies that are serious about making the most out of business intelligence have evolved to satisfy that demand.