The pace of digital transformation is accelerating, as more companies understand the value of replacing their outdated processes, both to increase efficiency and to foster innovation. Three key trends are fueling the change: digitization of processes, productivity through remote work, and increased collaboration.
The Democratization of Data
Traditionally, data analysts were the gatekeepers of the business intelligence (BI) in their organizations. They interpreted the data, sliced and diced it, and presented it in reports for people in other departments to use.
Collaborative business intelligence opens up the process by making the company’s data directly accessible to people outside the realm of the data analysts. Combining business intelligence with social software makes it possible for people in all departments of an organization to work with BI in groups, viewing, analyzing, and discussing the business intelligence together.
It’s an idea whose time has come. Ventana Research reports that four out of 10 organizations now use collaboration in their analytics processes—a number that is expected to grow.
Collaborative BI Enables a Data Culture
In a data culture, rational decision making is prized, and decisions are driven by data. Decision making in a data culture is more effective than other common methods of making decisions, such as going on gut feelings or deferring to seniority or rank. The MIT Sloan School of Management reports that organizations with data cultures are more efficient, have better customer service, and increase their revenues and profits.
When more people throughout an organization gain direct access to the organization’s business intelligence, they all play a role in gleaning insights and taking actions based on the data. Because they personally experience the power of making data-driven decisions, they become stakeholders in upholding and expanding the organization’s data culture.
Collaboration Enables People to Make Data-Driven Decisions More Quickly
In a non-collaborative approach to BI, there are delays between the collection of the organization’s data and the ability to make decisions based on that data. The people interpreting the raw data are not the same people who are making the business decisions. So there has to be some process for the analysts to provide information to the deciders, and that can hit various bottlenecks. In addition, the analytics provided to the decision makers may not be exactly what they need, which requires requesting new reports.
When decision makers have direct access to the business intelligence and are given the tools to slice, dice, and interpret the data themselves, the path between data and decision maker disappears. There are no delays, and decision making becomes quicker, giving the organization a competitive edge.
Take the finance department as an example. With a job title like CFO or Controller, finance executives need to keep up with all the latest at their organization to understand how it affects the finances. Learn more in our on-demand webinar Business Intelligence: Simplified for Corporate Finance.
Collaborative BI Creates Opportunities to Share Knowledge
Collaborative BI brings people with a diverse range of knowledge together. Managers and employees with different areas of expertise all have access to see, discuss, and interpret the organization’s data together. Each participant contributes their unique combination of expertise and experience to the overall process. The organization gains better access to the talents and expertise of its people.
The Flexibility of Collaborative BI
Participation in collaborative BI is highly flexible. Participants can be members of existing teams, or new connections can be made, for example, by inviting customers to participate in viewing and discussing data and offering insights.
Unleashing the Power of Business Intelligence With Power BI and MIBAR
Without collaboration, many organizations failed to use business intelligence effectively. When analytics were not fully integrated into the operations of the business, decision-making barely improved.
Collaboration brings BI directly to decision makers and their teams. Participants can easily generate interactive reports and share them with others. The process makes full use of the expertise of everyone involved.
The process is fast. Time-wasting steps are eliminated. Users have access to a wide range of data sources at their fingertips and don’t have to go searching for information. Reports can be modified on the fly, incorporating new ideas and insights as they arise.
When collaborative BI is widely used throughout an organization, it generates a groundswell of support for data culture, as people in different roles come to see the value of using data to make decisions. This organization-wide shift enables data culture to take root, with all the benefits that come along with it.
Let MIBAR help you unlock the potential hidden in your business data. Thanks to Microsoft and Power BI, the MIBAR team can transform your static business information into a rich interactive experience, delivering ad-hoc capability for even the most technophobic executive. With Power BI, MIBAR can now do in days what used to take weeks and months to achieve. Schedule a consultation to learn more.
If you’re in the process of selecting a BI tool for your company, we have a great resource for you. Check out our eBook: 5 Key Considerations When Implementing a Modern BI.