Self-Service Business Intelligence for the Small and Medium Sized Business
The concept of ‘self serve’ and ‘personalization’ is, I believe, an offshoot of the current state of technology, ease of access and ease-of-use. People are used to having information at their fingertips in a way that is meaningful to them, and serves their needs. Technology users are no longer willing to sacrifice personal requirements or accept a behemoth solution that suits 10% of their needs. As employees, these consumers and individuals bring a similar focus to their use of technology. They are used to having information at their fingertips in every aspect of their lives and they are not willing to give that up when they step into the confines of an office or go on the road to meet with a customer.
If you want to hold your employees accountable and help them contribute to business success, you have to give them the tools they need to understand what is working in their day-to-day business environment, where there are problems, what has to be changed, how their team members are doing in making progress toward goals, and how possible changes in pricing, resources, inventory or other factors might affect the business.
No matter the size or function of the business, the need for intuitive analysis, customized dashboards and intuitive data visualization is an imperative. Business intelligence tools must be easy to use, mobile, and flexible, with short training and implementation cycles. That is the only way to implement BI across the enterprise, and make it accessible to everyone in the business. Access to key data and views that are meaningful to each user role will ensure that strategies and goals are cascaded, and that each employee can make a positive contribution to the bottom line, and quickly recognize and remedy issues before they become problems.
There are numerous market micro-segments in the small and medium size business community, and in many of these segments business intelligence tools are still a new concept that has yet to be adopted. Yet, these tools are just as critical to small and medium sized businesses as they are to large companies. Flexible, affordable, adaptable tools and features make it easier to employ a self-service approach to business intelligence. The enterprise can quickly acquire, implement, train and deploy BI across the company, and thereby achieve optimal business performance and improved revenue.
At ElegantJ BI we find that our small and medium clients are effectively using BI tools in a self-serve environment to improve competitive advantage and to make positive changes in their business with clear, concise data and integrated information from disparate systems and sources. There is no need to spend millions of dollars or months or years implementing a cumbersome, unwieldy business intelligence solution.
If a small or medium business takes the time to define detailed requirements and engages in a careful search for a business intelligence and corporate performance management solution, it can compete in the local or global market, achieve revenue and competitive goals and truly understand the tactical, operational and strategic workings of the business in a self-serve environment that is easy for every use to embrace.