Do You Have a Business Intelligence Strategy?

Most businesses these days get some sort of reports on how you business is performing.  However with things changing rapidly, different information is often needed.  What business questions do you have today?  Do you have a strategy for how these new questions will be addressed.  At Project X Ltd., we think that every organization needs a business intelligence strategy.  This strategy should answer the question about the approach to be used to answer new questions. 

This strategy must address the issue about how to respond quickly to changing business issues and provide timely answers to business questions.   Every organization will have a different strategy because of many factors.  The maturity of your infrastructure and the volatility of your business will be two key factors.  In addition to internal operations, the strategy must also address accessing external data about your customers, competitors, and suppliers.

Do you know how you are doing on a trip by looking in the rear view mirror?  Every organization needs to know how it is doing.  When I ask many business people how do they know how they are doing, I either get a blank stare or I am told about that their financial reports tell them all they need to know.  I think to have a business intelligence strategy based on financial reports is like looking in the rear view mirror.  I suspect each person knows much more than just the financial reports but maybe they have nothing formal. 

I think most of the business intelligence that we get is based on our knowledge of our business and our experience.  Even if we have this approach to business intelligence, I suggest we should have this formulated as a shared strategy.  

Clearly every organization wishes to be profitable but our day to day decision are based on an informed strategy about our position in the market.   An amazing amount of intelligence and information is out there and ways of sharing this information with key people is part of a business intelligence strategy. 

Every organization has a need for more business intelligence and has some degree of readiness to improve.  Project X Ltd. is ready to help any organization to develop a strategy to improve their business intelligence.  We strongly recommend start with some rapid results in the context of a longer term strategy.  As the strategy demonstrates return, then you can invest more.  If you do not get return, revisit the strategy.  Too many people create a big project that goes well beyond the readiness and capability of the organization. 

A critical component of a successful business intelligence effort is a sound and realistic strategy.  One important factor is the readiness of the organization.  We often hear that the technological challenge is the key.  I think that the organizations readiness to share information and act as a team is far more important than the technical issues.  However both are important.  A good business intelligence strategy must be careful not to take te organization to a place with technology that the business is not capable of using intelligently.  (pardon the pun)


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