Business Intelligence

Businesses today rely on being able to analyze large amounts of data to monitor performance and inform their decision making. An IT-governed business intelligence platform ensures that information technology is used intelligently to further the goals of the business. However, IT-governed BI platforms have both pros and cons for an organization. Let’s take a look at which solutions are the best options for IT-governed and non-IT-governed data environments.

What is an IT-Governed BI Platform?

An IT-governed BI platform allows IT to control the flow of data through an organization. This means that users see only the data that is most relevant to them. The platform allows the business to use this data to support better business decision making. Analytics software solutions allow businesses to analyze data and draw conclusions that can help to guide strategic and operational decision making. When you have a clear view of what is going on in all areas of your organization, you can make better-informed decisions that make the most of all the resources in your business.

The Advantages of Having an IT-Governed BI Platform

Using an IT-governed BI platform has many advantages for a business. The analytics and insights that IT-governed BI can provide help businesses to make data-driven decisions that are based on facts, not guesswork. An IT-governed approach changes the role of IT within an organization, redefining it as working toward the achievement of business objectives. Too often, IT ends up struggling to meet the challenges of dwindling resources and responding to a seemingly never-ending stream of problems. An IT-governed BI platform aims to fundamentally shift the approach, giving the IT department a central role in driving important decisions by empowering it to use conclusions drawn from data.

The Disadvantages of Having an IT-Governed BI Platform

Not every business is able to make an IT-governed BI platform work. Some businesses simply do not provide their IT departments with the resources they need to take on the role demanded by this type of platform. If your company is not ready to invest in the resources necessary to make an IT-governed BI platform work for your business, you need to be aware that the benefits provided by this type of platform could be very limited.

To IT Govern or Not to IT Govern: Which is Right For Your Business?

IT governance is one option for companies that are keen to use data analytics and business intelligence to drive their decision making and strategy setting processes. However, IT governing is not always the right approach for every organization. When making the decision over whether to IT govern or not to IT govern, it is a good idea to get a consultant partner on board to guide your decision making. Contact LeapPoint today to find out how we can drive innovation in your organization and help you get the results you want.

As the amount of data and the pace of business increases, the need to manage and analyze data in a user-friendly platform is undeniable. Business Intelligence (BI) tools are the go-to solutions for transforming data into actionable knowledge that informs your organization’s strategic and tactical business decisions. With a variety of vendors to choose from, and that all seem to offer similar features and make similar promises, selecting a BI tool can be a lengthy process. So here are five things you should consider when choosing your BI tool:

1. Integration

To narrow down your BI tool choices, you need to select a standalone solution or an integrated solution. If you’re considering a standalone solution, you will have no shortage of options. However, you may experience low adoption rates due to these solutions existing in a separate application. It all goes back to that adage: out of sight, out of mind. Whereas reports in integrated solutions can be accessed and viewed through any pre-existing applications, websites, and services within your company – locations that users are already familiar with and use regularly.

Pro tip: If you choose to move forward with an integrated solution, you should ask if it is partially or fully integrated since some companies may not specify.

2. Data Management

Data management is at the core of everything you want to accomplish with a BI tool. When you are choosing the best BI tool for your organization, you have to consider your data and the functionality you’re seeking. The solution you choose should support access to multiple data sources (i.e., data warehouses, internal databases, the cloud and data marts), and depending on the disparate sources you are using, it may also need to cleanse and transform your data for proper use within its system. You will need to determine whether the tool must import data into its store before processing it, or if it can handle data queries on the fly – the answer to this question could have a notable impact on the speed at which you can access your data. You also need to ensure that the tool enables data manipulation once imported and find out what the limitations are on data capacity.

Pro tip: Some BI tools load your existing database data into their software and generate reports from there, saving you time from setting up your own data infrastructure. This type of tool could work if your data is small and fragmented. However, as your data increases, the cost incurred will also increase, and you would be limited to the functionality provided by the BI tool since your data would be stored within it.

3. Security

Security is non-negotiable for today’s mobile workforce. For internal security concerns such as access credentials, you must ensure the BI tool you are planning to buy is well equipped with proper encryption mechanisms. The tool should also offer you options to set the necessary permissions for protecting sensitive or proprietary information. These credentialing capabilities guarantee that secure data cannot be accessed, transmitted or altered by unauthorized users.

4. Visual Functionality & Usability

Your business intelligence reporting tool is the face of the whole operation. It’s what your users will refer to when making business decisions. So while ease-of-use, visual appeal, and intuitiveness may seem like nice-to-haves vs. need-to-haves, those user experience nuances can make the difference between successful user adoption or a refusal by employees to use the new system.

Pro tip: When deciding on a tool, you need to ask yourself the following questions

  • Is the tool easy to use?
  • Does the tool support a variety of user types?
  • Does the tool’s data visualization allow for customization and flexibility to support your goals and the requirements of the many functional groups in your organization?

 

5. Customization

No organization is the same in its operations and needs. You need to select a BI vendor that can support your requirements of today and in the future. It’s important to keep in mind that some vendors only provide minimal customization abilities, and others don’t give organizations the ability to expand. While this might work for a few companies, most will need a custom set-up –one that can integrate flawlessly into their operations, and develop as they grow.

One of the enemies of long-term commercial success is complacency. While last year’s bottom line might have made your stakeholders happy, this year represents a completely different challenge. For long-term success in the digital age, you need to be sure that all your digital channels are performing.

Whether it’s your social media channels or your websites, your online marketing tools need to be continually monitored. Not only do these tools need to reach your target audience, but they also need to deliver conversions. There are five digital marketing analytics that can show you which sites are successful or where they need improvement.

 

1. Traffic

Traffic is perhaps the most obvious marketing analytic large businesses need to be fully aware of. But this isn’t just a counting exercise. To effectively tailor your various marketing messages to the relevant audiences, you need to know exactly what is bringing traffic to your websites.

There are five channels that should be tracked on an ongoing basis: organic, direct, referral, social and paid. In the early days of the internet, organic traffic was the most important, as it refers to the users who arrive at your website after using a search engine for a particular keyword. But as the likes of Google makes manipulating search results more and more difficult, referral, social and paid channels have become increasingly significant.

 

2. Conversions

While high levels of traffic are always desirable, they can count for very little if people land on your website and quickly lose interest. Attracting traffic is only the beginning of the digital marketing journey. Once visitors have arrived, you need to convert them to customers or active engagers.

Increasing conversion rates involves a range of different measures, including the use of calls to action, effective contact forms, multimedia, visual storytelling and content with value. If your website isn’t turning visitors into customers, you have a real problem — which is why monitoring conversions is so important.

 

3. Engagement

You may have created a slick, professional and effective commercial for your social media channels, but it will count for nothing if people don’t see it. There are many reasons why people don’t see certain ads, including the time they are released and what is happening in the world when they are running. In some instances, consumers are either tuning out these messages or simply switching them off.

Measuring engagement usually refers to the likes, shares and comments your messages accrue on social media channels. When people actively engage, you can be reasonably sure that they’ve received your message. But then the message is missed, engagement statistics can often help you to understand why.

 

4. Click-Through Rates

Click-through rates usually pertain to pay-per-click ads (PPC). They are a measure of how many times your ads are clicked in relation to how many times they show up on consumers’ screens (impressions). Low click-through rates can indicate several deficiencies in your marketing strategy, including an irrelevant landing page, a weak offer or an inappropriate target audience.

 

5. Site Loading Speed

Internet users are now more impatient than ever before. According to Kissmetrics, people will simply hit the “back” button if a site they’ve landed on takes more than three seconds to load. The best tool for measuring site speed is Google PageSpeed Insights. Not only does this free service give you your website’s official loading time, it recommends how to resolve any issues.

Identifying the most important digital marketing analytics and monitoring them on an ongoing basis is crucial to the health of your bottom line. But when you identify potentially damaging issues, responding quickly with the help of marketing specialists is absolutely vital.