Prioritizing Business Intelligence Objectives Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic
Accelerating certain business intelligence and analytics projects will be invaluable over the next few months. Will simple, out-of-the-box dashboards help see you through this coronavirus pandemic?
Today, the entire globe is experiencing an unprecedented event that is having a profound effect on our personal and professional lives. Economies are taking a nose-dive, individuals and businesses alike are pinching every penny and identifying all the measures to preserve cashflows as their survival is predicated on how well they can weather this extraordinary event. Not only has this pandemic forced every organization to reevaluate its business strategies, but it has also highlighted several weaknesses and a lack of insight into its infrastructure and processes.
It is natural when the economy is booming, and businesses are thriving; companies do not often consider prioritizing and investing in the development of business intelligence and analytics infrastructure. However, it is times like these when the economy is plunging, and operational efficiencies and cashflows take center stage.
Leadership’s priorities shift to managing operational expenditures, capital expenditures, and freezing discretionary expenses. During these scenarios, organizations, big and small, often wonder what would be the quickest ways to identify inefficiencies, increase cost efficiency, protect assets, and maintain investor’s confidence.
Hence, business intelligence and analytics come into focus.
The importance of having an effective BI and analytics structure is always a game-changer for any organization. Not only does it allow an organization to extract actionable items and performance matrices out of otherwise vague and unstructured data, but it also enriches them with valuable insights into their operational efficiency and business productivity.
Not only has this pandemic forced every organization to reevaluate its business strategies, but it has also highlighted several weaknesses and a lack of insight into its infrastructure and processes.
Informed Decision-Making is Paramount Now
Undeniably, COVID-19 has rattled the global economy, and every business around the globe is impacted. There is an unparalleled amount of workforce around the world that is currently working remotely. That being said, it is has added a new layer of complexity that the majority of the organizations never encountered before.
It is now more difficult than ever for an organization to effectively manage and monitor productivity, employee performance, organizational efficiency, and business productivity. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that compromised productivity, lack of insight, and diminished controls will have a direct effect on any organization’s bottom line.
In times like these, the insurmountable value business intelligence and analytics provide can help an organization prolong its survival and even manage to scale its profitability when the economy stabilizes again. It is almost guaranteed that if an organization becomes more efficient and proficient in tough economic times, it is bound to have a more stable financial future, lucrative operation, and higher performance in more stable and calm economic environments.
Short-term solutions may be as simple as out-of-the-box BI
Some large organizations indeed spend a significant amount of money to implement a state of the art BI infrastructure, but that is not the only way. It is essential to understand that data and analytics are incredibly scalable. Not every organization has to spend hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars upfront to implement an effective BI solution. Any organization is capable of implementing a useful BI solution without breaking their bank and at any point in time.
Every organization has different business goals and requires a unique solution to cater to their needs. Now when the words “unique solution” comes into mind, most people automatically start seeing big dollar signs. While it may be the case in some instances, it is mostly not true.
As previously mentioned, BI and analytics solutions are scalable and can work on any budget and in any time frame. For instance, a large scale exploration and production (E&P) company may need a comprehensive BI solution to monitor various projects, oil production, well performance, inventory levels, and monitor multiple departmental and organizational KPIs.
In contrast, a restaurant may need a quick, inexpensive reporting dashboard that can provide valuable insight on KPIs such as cash flow, labor cost percentage, revenue per available seat per hour, table turnover rate, and table occupancy ratio.
At this time, it is highly recommended that every organization should quickly develop and implement at least a basic level of KPI and SLA monitoring dashboard that can be rapidly developed and implemented using out-of-the-box solutions. This quick action will help managers and organizational leadership or business owners gain valuable insight into their operating performance and perhaps even scale it to increase the forecasting capabilities based on current business performance and economic trends. It is understood that it may be simpler said than done. Obviously, in these tough times, when every organization is tightening its belt, hiring or contracting additional resources may not be a feasible solution.
However, it is guaranteed that this expense will provide a significant return on investment as implementing an effective and scalable BI solution will quickly help translate any organization’s business goals into useful and actionable information that will enable informed strategic decisions, improve operational efficiency and business productivity.
Furthermore, the process of BI implementation can be cost-effective if certain proactive steps are taken in advance to expedite the process. For example, if the organization utilizes existing resources by collecting KPIs and SLAs from every department to measure performance, time-consuming manual processes can be automated by using current data models and out-of-the-box solutions such as Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, and MicroStrategy.
Harsh economic environments like today’s demand organizational leaders to make well informed and calculated decisions, and this is where having a proper BI solution makes a world of difference. It will arm the organization with insight and a data-rich landscape into productivity, performance, and forecast to chart a course to sustainability, profitability, and success.
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