Custom Software Apps & SharePoint Consulting

Business Intelligence: Stop Wasting Time and Starting Making Money

Lack of business intelligence means wasted time

When employees make decisions without the benefit of business intelligence, your company is probably wasting time and losing money. According to one McKinsey report, employees spend 1.8 hours per day, or 9.3 hours per week, on the hunt for information. So while the investment in business intelligence may seem like a big one for your company, multiply those 9.3 hours per week by 100 employees at $40/hour for a minimum of $37,200 wasted per year!

In an article by Beth Burgee called, ‘Top 3 Reasons Why We Spend So Much Time Searching for Information,’ the author highlights a particularly big reason why so much time is wasted: Information Siloes. If I learn the answer to a question, that answer may be filed in my head, or at best in a spreadsheet. Save time with business intelligenceEven worse, a piece of data may live in one database, that isn’t connected to any other.

Employees must then waste more time searching out this siloed information. As the Burgee comments, “Ensuring that all worker information is stored centrally such that it is accessible by all of your co-workers enables businesses to tap into collective knowledge.” To see what you could personally do if business intelligence freed up an extra two hours in your day, check out this cool infographic!

Lack of business intelligence means wasted opportunities

Wasted time isn’t the only concern for decision makers if they lack business intelligence. According to one study by the Harvard Business Review, when companies let the data surfaced by business intelligence drive their decision making, they were, on average “5% more productive and 6% more profitable than their competitors.” These benefits could translate for your business in many ways, from examining where resources are being wasted during transport delays to predicting how a small price increase could have an effect on overall margin for the year.

Implementing business intelligence that works

It’s easy to say that your company needs to implement a business intelligence solution today. What might that look like though, and how much effort will it require? Here are just a few suggestions, starting at a smaller scale and moving up from there:

1. Power BI At the level of a small company or one department, Power BI, now available in Office 365, may be the solution to your problem. We’re still experimenting with this one at Entrance, but this is one cost effective and easy to manage option that is worth considering.

2. Tableau Tableau offers sophisticated visualization of your data. Although it is not the cheapest tool out there, it is very easy to use. In addition, there are very few limitations to how you can represent your information. You can implement Tableau yourself, or hire Tableau consultants that can help your company utilize data management best practices.

3. SharePoint SharePoint is a tool that should be implemented on a larger scale for many collaborative purposes. In the context of business intelligence, it offers centralized reports, drill-down, and self-service subscriptions. This platform works really well for putting information in the hands of users without a lot of daily involvement from IT. We show a great example of this in a recent blog post about how one E&P company is using SharePoint to streamline production reporting. SharePoint can also be integrated with other tools like Tableau.

Get started planning for your own solution with our business intelligence planning kit!

Nate Richards
Nate has over 18 years of software engineering and consulting experience. He founded Entrance in 2003. Nate is the past President of the Board of LifeHouse Houston, a Christ-centered maternity home ministry, and is past Executive committee member and Treasurer of Houston Achievement Place, a foster care and social skills training non-profit organization.
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