Custom Software Apps & SharePoint Consulting

Business Intelligence and ROI: Weighing the Business Value

ROI is King for Business Intelligence, or Is It?

I came across this article on Search Business Analytics today called, “Bow Down to the IT Throne on all Business Intelligence Projects?” The author, Craig Stedman, shared some interesting thoughts on weighing ROI with other business priorities, such as usability or fit with requirements.

As Stedman highlights, while we often see ROI as the number one goal for a business intelligence project, respondents to surveys project a different picture.  When asked to evaluate the top reasons for selecting a business intelligence solution, they put “integration with enterprise applications, cost, fit with business requirements, usability — and then ROI. It was a pretty distant fifth, too: Only 32% of the respondents made ROI one of their three choices.”

Innovative Business Intelligence

According to Stedman, one reason that ROI is less important to the overall process than we might think is because this one factor can be limiting. If we avoid being innovative and taking risks because we’re worried about ROI, the company loses out.

Business Intelligence and ROISaid Peter Evans, a business intelligence expert from Dell, “If your aspirations are restricted to ROI, you’re not going to get to where you want to be.”

So how do we turn aspirational ideas about business intelligence into an implementation that meets business needs and isn’t a money pit?

The article put three things above ROI when it comes to business intelligence priorities:

  • Integration with enterprise applications
  • Fit with business requirements
  • Usability

Properly addressed, all three of these concerns should lead to an ROI for your company anyway!

For example, a focus on integration will make information more accessible across the entire company. Accessibility will lead to time savings and better decision making, which over time will certainly contribute to the bottom line.

By that same token, fit with business requirements is also incredibly valuable. Take your ideal world, and map out what information your company currently does not have access to. In the planning stages, the sky is the limit.

Maybe you’d like to know how to apply refinements in the drilling of one well to others like it. Or perhaps  be aware of productivity drops after a specific event would help you prevent this from happening in the future.

With the help of a good business intelligence software consultant, you can find the most efficient and cost effective strategies for accomplishing these goals.

For more on some of the innovative ways that we’ve seen our clients tackle business intelligence and accomplish their goals, check out this case study on dashboards. Or, check out our page on data visualization software and our Tableau consulting services!

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