With the advent of Big Data, business intelligence ought to be a part of every employee’s job, so that everyone in the workplace is able to analyse data with a view to better decision-making. But in order to do this they need the right tools…

BI: Appropriate Tools Needed at Every Level of the Organisation

Business Intelligence (BI) projects have always been a headache for company IT departments. And although ‘big data’ processing and analytics tools today potentially enable companies to take full advantage of their information capital, most of them are still unable to put practical BI solutions in place. During the Information Builders' Summit which took place in Paris on 25 June, on the theme of ‘Maximising Information Capital’, IT consultant and independent analyst Dr Wolfgang Martin stressed the need to make analytical tools available at all levels of a company, but underlined that they must be appropriate and suited to the user, according to the job s/he is doing in the firm.

Tools to bring employees, partners and customers into decision-making

Although the concept of ‘Business Intelligence’ has been in existence for twenty years, BI still tends to be the preserve of a few top managers and an estimated 70-80% of all company staff still today do not have access to this kind of tool. It is however vital for all staff in the organisation to be able to share in the decision-making process. “In the same way that the human brain shifts between the sensory hemisphere and the analytical hemisphere, a company must equip itself with an integrated system that enables the two areas to work hand in hand; the directly customer-facing people and the people who decide the operational strategy,” Dr Rado Kotorov, Vice President of Product Marketing at Information Builders, told the conference.

Apps designed for Business Intelligence purposes

It is of course the case that not all company staff are used to working with advanced IT tools. However, just as senior management are able to call on complex analytical systems, both employees and customers ought to be provided with a suitable tool, i.e. something simple and user-friendly like the apps that are available at the Apple Store. The objective would be to speed up data collection and analysis with a view to improving decision-making. As Dr Martin explains, the success of any company will in future depend increasingly on its ability to monetise Big Data and its capacity to undertake research and analytics in real time and make reliable information available and readily visualisable at all levels of the organisation.