Simply put, BI is the process of identifying what information would help make stronger decisions and using that data to create reports or dashboards.
A good analogy is your car's dashboard. It's got gauges that tell you what's going on, and you have levers, pedals and a steering wheel to make the changes.
In business, that could be any kind of information needed from any part of your business. All functions of a business have a slightly different need for information. These are called KPI's or Key Performance Indicators.
Improving how you use information helps you determine what actions you can take to improve your business.
Each of these questions has different actions you can take to change them. Just like the gauges in your car tell you to adjust speed or get gas, gauges in your business tell you where you need to spend or cut back.
If done correctly, no, it should be what helps you find more money. We believe in delivering small, quick wins that help generate value, and fund the next phase of BI in your company.
First, we take a look at your specific problems or situation. Where are the immediate pain points: Not enough customers? Trouble with cash flow or payment? Or are you over/understaffed?
Then we deliver solutions in what's called "Minimum Viable Product" phases. We would take a look at what information you are currently using, and what additional information would you need to know to solve that problem or situation. Maybe you need a full marketing and sales funnel overhaul, maybe you just need to tweak how often you send your customers email and what content you're sending.
Usually, we start with some baseline reporting, or improving existing reporting by combining different information into one report. Then we talk about "What could we do now that we know this new baseline."
Move from "I think we're doing …" or "My gut tells me …" to some standardized baseline reports. Let's start identifying what systems and information your organization trusts as well as what processes are working or need to be improved.
Maybe you have some reports, but they're created manually or their reliability is questionable. Start to build a DataWarehouse to hold a trusted set of data for your company. Or enhance the system you have to be more automated or repeatable.
Often in our course of discovery, we find there are parts of a business that need to be improved upon before any reliable data can be gathered. We're happy to evaluate how data flows through your system and identify strengths or opportunities for improvement. At the end of this, you'll get a list of recommendations. We would love for you to work with us to implement those solutions, or you can have your own BI team use them as a roadmap.
We're in the process of developing a course on how to use the BI lifecycle to improve your use of data or information in making decisions.
We can also do custom education for your existing staff. Rob has taught 100+ analysts how to better use their time in building reports in tools like Excel, Pivot Tables, PowerPivot, PowerBI, Tableau or Crystal Reports. As well as how to find and model data for those tools. If you feel you just need some guidance this is a great option.
When someone gets their driver's license, they don't read a book and jump behind the wheel. They usually have to spend time on the road with someone who knows what they're doing to practice. They get some guidance while learning to master the skill themselves. Rob loves to teach and help new BI developers how to build Results Driven BI Solutions. This is a combination of education and consulting where Rob will help you build parts and you'll help build other parts of a solution. The best way to ensure the information learned is retained.