In today’s fast-paced business environment, analyzing data in real time to drive big decisions is a must in order to stay ahead of the competition. This is why more and more enterprises are employing business intelligence (BI) tools to deliver snapshots of the current state of their business as well as support their growing data analysis needs.

The influx of do-it-yourself BI

Business Intelligence capitalizes on software and services to convert data into actionable insights that can be used to make intelligent business decisions. Almost 50% of enterprises are expecting BI to deliver better decision making. This is because BI tools can analyze large quantities of data sets and present analytical findings in the form of reports, charts, graphs, and dashboards to provide users with detailed information of the state of their business. While classic BI is confined within IT who are more adept in analyzing data coming from different data stores, modern BI or self-service BI is for casual or non-technical users who need more flexibility and self-reliance in reporting and analysis.

The proliferation of self-service BI tools makes it possible for business users or non-technical staff to create actionable information quickly from their data without waiting for IT to generate the reports. Additionally, self-service BI tools empower business users to be more self-sufficient in filling any gaps in reports and backlogs that may exist in their organization. Its aim is to provide users with more freedom and responsibility at the same time.

Self-service BI is now becoming an accepted norm for organizations to accelerate the pace and agility of getting more people to work with data independently. But with a growing number of businesses leveraging more BI tools for employees to solve specific problems, it has created BI silos where data becomes duplicated and obstructed, leading to inefficiencies and inconsistent decisions across the organization.

Self-service BI governance is the key

With the abundance of self-service BI tools for end users, organizations have now realized that if they don’t have streamlined processes in place, their business decisions are bound to be inconsistent especially if they lack a common definition of data.

Thus, implementing self-service BI governance is a must to provide control over data standards as well as designate the essential roles and responsibilities within the organization. Governance ensures that reports reflect data context and meaning correctly as well as controls the level of access to them. It is the key to establish visibility and security over the reporting environment. 

Self-service BI governance can be enabled through a report management hub. A unified report management hub provides a single access point where all the reports across the entire reporting environment as well as reporting tools are visible. It facilitates collaboration across users thereby increasing productivity. Leveraging a unified report management hub makes it possible to apply a uniform governance process regardless of the reporting tool.

ZenOptics offers its BI Analytics Catalogue that enables productivity, collaboration, manageability, and governance. In a single interface, ZenOptics provides direct access to all analytics assets, including reports, dashboards, spreadsheets, applications, and data.

Connect with our BI experts today to learn more on how your organization can streamline report management using self-service BI governance.

As technology advances, businesses see a rise in the number of assets that they can utilize to drive growth and success. Today, data has turned into one of the most powerful of these assets — and businesses have started to realize this. According to a Deloitte survey, 96% of the respondents believe that data analytics will be important to their organization within the next three years. Similarly:

These sentiments are shared widely, as Reuters anticipates that the global market for business intelligence or BI will grow to almost 30 million dollars by 2022.

However, reaping returns on BI investments is another thing. Gartner says that 70 to 80 percent of BI projects fail, and that can be chalked up to a couple of mistakes, three of the most important of which are discussed below.

Lack of Holistic Approach to Defining Goals

One of the most significant mistakes that a business can do when venturing into BI investments is to have an incoherent list of goals. All too often, enterprises approach analytics as organizations with segmented parts that have differing visions of what analytics can do. This results in data silos and inconsistent processes that impede the potential of Business Intelligence for your business.

To correct this, make sure that all necessary departments are united in understanding and defining your analytics goals. Both IT and management should work together to marry differing views, hash out misconceptions, and approach BI with a clear set of goals.

Lack of Flexible Working Models

It is also a downright waste of resources to invest in BI when your team isn’t reinforced with the resources that it also needs to make sure that capabilities are established, grown, and developed. These can range from people to key structures, whether they are in-house or sourced from outside. If you don’t have a solid enough in-house BI team, work towards creating a virtual BI team.

Lack of An Integrated Analytics Platform

Finally, do not underestimate the value of a comprehensive and integrated analytics platform. Most businesses have disparate reporting tools or other legacy structures built into their BI platforms, and this does not only contribute to inefficiencies, it also seriously undermines the benefits of analytics for your business.

ZenOptics offers an Intelligent Analytics catalog that provides multiple functionalities in one place. With this platform, you have access to all your analytics assets, such as reports, spreadsheets, dashboards, and applications, saving your business:

Ramp up collaboration, productivity, manageability, and governance in your BI project from one place! Contact us today.

As more and more businesses make digital transformation their top agenda, data is fast becoming a core corporate asset. But in order to utilize this data, it must be readily available, of high quality, and relevant.

The Need for a Business Intelligence Governance Model

IDC predicts that by 2025, worldwide data will grow to 175 zettabytes and 30% of this will need real-time processing. The growth of data will continue to rise and technologies such as Machine Learning, Analytics, and Business Intelligence can be leveraged by organizations to transform their structured and unstructured data into actionable insights.

Business Intelligence (BI) makes use of tools to deliver fast, easy access to insights concerning an organization’s status quo using their available data. One of BI’s essential tools is a dashboard which can be used even by non-technical end users to automatically create charts and graphs from available data and generate reports which can aid in decision making.

Many organizations, however, think that buying off-the-shelf BI products is enough to give them detailed intelligence about the state of their business. But deploying the technology behind any BI initiative is the easiest part, and it is getting the personnel and the processes portions right that are challenging. In fact, 64% of business and technology decision-makers have difficulty getting answers from their dashboard metrics. Furthermore, the introduction of new tools and disparate data sources often create a complex environment where data analysis can become fragmented and decisions are inconsistent.

This is why BI governance is needed.

The emphasis of BI governance is on the design, implementation and effectiveness of BI tools to achieve business objectives and increase return of investment.

How to Enable a BI Governance Model

BI tools are invaluable to organizations because they can provide insights into new markets, ensure alignment with business objectives and adherence to regulatory guidelines. Adopting a BI governance model is essential in the implementation and sustainability of BI efforts for the long run. Here are the steps for developing a BI Governance Model:

1. Conceptualize
2. Plan
3. Execute
4. Audit

In order to maximize the benefits of BI, it is paramount to adopt a BI governance model. Failure to do so can lead to unfortunate consequences such as exposure to regulatory risks, loss of reputation and customer confidence.

If your organization does not have a BI department, consider working with a third-party provider that can assist you in your BI initiatives. ZenOptics offers its BI Analytics Catalogue that enables productivity, collaboration, manageability, and governance. Using a single interface, ZenOptics enables governance by providing cross-platform certification, a platform for self-governance, and complete analytics asset governance.

Connect with our BI experts today to learn how to enable a BI governance model that is perfect for your organization.

Technology has changed the landscape of business, and recent innovations have only reinforced the increasing digitization of data. With countless sources that generate multiple data points, organizations must be equipped with the right resources to harness all this information and use it to facilitate decision-making. Research also indicates that the volume of data gathered by businesses globally will only double every 1.2 years. Thankfully, Business Intelligence tools are available to transform data into insights that can drive revenue for sales initiatives, frame plans for growth and expansion, streamline HR processes, and more.

The world of business has embraced Business Intelligence. According to reports, the global BI market is expected to reach almost $30 billion by 2022, and as many as 46% of small businesses now use BI tools such as virtual networking as a key component of their strategies. Similarly, over 90% of sales and marketing teams that were surveyed admitted that cloud BI is integral to their efficiency and results. And the top three companies in various industries that heavily use data-driven decision making were found to be 5% more productive and 6% more profitable than their less successful counterparts.

Nucleus Research suggests that every one dollar spent on Business Intelligence generates as much as $13 back, as a return on investment. However, it is important to note that BI must be used effectively so that its benefits can be enjoyed optimally.

The six challenges outlined below are the foremost roadblocks presented by the use of BI that may hinder your organization’s growth.

Challenge #1: Report Duplication

Duplicate data may sound like a harmless thing, but in enterprises, it can delay the efficient flow of business processes and even impact the bottom line. A 2013 report suggested that data duplication happens in about 92% of companies, and it can yield several unfavorable consequences, such as:

Challenge #2: Unused Reports

If duplicate reports are an issue, unused reports are even more so. These available but underused resources not only stop you from taking full advantage of Business Intelligence, they also prevent proper decision-making and efficiency in your business processes. Where they could have provided necessary insights, unused reports only take up storage space and make your team miss out on promising developments and opportunities.

There are various reasons why reports can remain unused, but the most prominent ones are:

Challenge #3: Low User Adoption

While Business Intelligence has been welcomed by enterprises, its adoption rate is still only at around 30%. The most probable cause for this is that when resources are added, many organizations fail to include their human resources into the mix, thereby running the risk of their team members not using the BI tools as they have intended. Additionally, low adoption rate can be explained by:

Challenge #4: Underutilized Licenses

Underused licenses not only add to Business Intelligence costs, they also prevent your organization from fully reaping the rewards that can be generated from BI tools and resources. Many companies report that more than half of their BI licenses are underutilized, and this is due to many possible reasons. First, there’s poor software management, such as manual license and version tracking. Also, some companies don’t invest in proper training, which results in employees not knowing how software licenses are supposed to help them perform their jobs easier and better.

Challenge #5: Inconsistent Decisions

Business Intelligence is designed to facilitate better decision-making through the use of business insights generated by data. However, human decisions cannot be replaced by algorithms; in many cases, organizations that don’t fully harness their BI often suffer from lack of organizational decision making by higher management.

Challenge #6: Complexity

Finally, there’s the problem of complexity. BI is positioned to simplify complex data into actionable insights, but if your BI platform is too complex to use, your organization will not be able to maximize all its potential for scalability and growth. A simple way to gauge if your current BI model is too complex is to consider these conditions:

At ZenOptics, we are dedicated to helping organizations leverage Business Intelligence to drive their businesses forward. Our analytics catalog enables improved productivity, collaboration, manageability, and governance through offering direct access to all your assets via a single interface. By transforming your dashboards, reports, spreadsheets, applications, and data into actionable insights, we deliver:

We have various plans suitable for your specific business needs and requirements. Contact us Today!

Poor data management can be extremely costly. According to global research firm Gartner, organizations lose up to $9.7 million a year from bad business decisions stemming from poor data quality. As a whole, businesses in the United States lose an estimated $3.1 trillion every year — all due to bad data.

Hidden data carry their own penalties. This refers to information that is available within a business but cannot be easily accessed by users who need them; in other words they’re in a data silo. Siloed report management can result in anything from a slight inconvenience to an expensive nightmare, and there are several reasons:

Data Management Using A BI Platform

Having established the disadvantages of siloed data, the question now is how to improve data management and reporting. A Business Intelligence (BI) Platform enables people to collate, organize, and analyze data from different sources. This analytical tool gives decision makers better insight into the status of the business and on what steps to take next in order to succeed. It provides several benefits, including:

A well-designed BI platform offers many features: customized dashboards, data visualizations, scorecards, and more. These will enable productivity, collaboration, manageability and governance. It gives users a single interface from which they can get direct access to all analytics assets such as reports, dashboards, spreadsheets, and applications — thus solving the problems related to siloed and distributed reporting.