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There are numerous reasons why a software implementation might fail and the list is too long to cover in this article. But, when it comes to Business Intelligence software, there are some common reasons for failure.

Like many other businesses, your enterprise may have entered into the business intelligence (BI) domain with the belief that, as soon as the BI tool was in place, the organization would be magically transformed into a business running at the speed of light, sidestepping every common business issue and making decisions without error or misstep. The fact is that many companies fail to get the most out of business intelligence, even after spending a significant amount of money and time to implement the solution.

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Recently, Gartner analysts stated that less than thirty percent (30%) of enterprises using BI tools were actually leveraging the full potential of the business intelligence solution. One of the reasons for this dismal statistic is the fact that many BI tools are expensive and cumbersome to implement. To get the most out of a BI tool, businesses must have the ability to:

  1. Leverage the existing IT investment in ERP, CRM and other systems and integrate the data from these systems into the BI interface
  2. Select a BI tool that has a simple, practical user interface and can be customized to the individual user role and function
  3. Choose a business intelligence solution that supports self-serve, data democratization and is accessible to every user with appropriate security and access controls
  4. Leverage a BI tool that provides simple browser-based, mobile access to data and is fast and easy to implement
  5. Carefully review the delivery models and licensing requirements and ensure low TCO and rapid ROI
  6. Choose a high-performance, scalable BI tool that provides deep dive analysis for the best performance and use of enterprise infrastructure and network
  7. Select a BI tool that requires minimal upgrade, maintenance and support activities to optimize existing IT staff time and effort

Those are just a few of the considerations an enterprise must include in order to choose the right solution. There is nothing worse than buying a BI tool that takes months or years to implement and, when deployed, provides restricted access or sophisticated tools that can only be used by analysts or IT professionals. In order to provide true business intelligence and avoid the common pitfalls, the enterprise must be easy to deploy, easy to access and easy to use. Without those basics, the tale of woe so artfully defined by Gartner will likely continue.

The bottom line is this: If your enterprise wants to avoid business intelligence failure, it must focus on self-serve, mobile BI tools that provide full, secured access, scalability and high-performance, ease of use and sophisticated features and functionality that can be leveraged by anyone in the organization without the assistance of an analyst or IT professional.

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