Many companies across various industries have struggled with the challenge of achieving a return on their Business Intelligence (BI) investments. Some key contributing factors that affect the effectiveness of BI include leadership gap and ineffective program management. Another key factor is that many companies do not manage Business Intelligence programs and projects in a way that ensures its effective integration into the core business processes that make a difference in business performance and profits.
Achieving Perfect Integration Between Business Intelligence and Business Processes
In other words, companies do not manage the all-important Business Intelligence lifecycle to ensure that they achieve the intended impact. To overcome this common failing, some service providers have developed an advanced lifecycle design and development method that combines key elements of business-driven processes with fundamentals of business process management system to achieve integration of BI with core business processes.
The development method is designed to accomplish effective integration between Business Intelligence and business processes. To achieve this, business processes have to be explicitly considered at every stage of the system development lifecycle to take integration of BI and business processes to a whole new level. With advanced management platforms, seamless integration of business information and business analysis into business processes is now possible.
It is important to design Business Intelligence using proven business driven methods. Factors like organizational responsibilities in the targeted business processes and individual roles in processes must also be considered. It is a good idea to look closely at the type of content needed by the processes and the control mechanisms used to arrive at an effective solution.
What Value Does Your Business Get from Using Business Intelligence?
The critical requirement for success is the availability of business process management systems technology that allows business analysts to perform the role of process designers. It can help drive business processes in a way that ensure conformance and flexibility.
There are many ways of expressing business benefits, but no value can be attributed to a business unless there are tangible benefits, such as increased profits or better cash flow. Most vendors of Business Intelligence tools sell attributes like agility, responsiveness, and flexibility as business benefits. However, unless these attributes can be defined in operational terms and realized as a measure of improved revenues of reduced costs, they do not add up to much.
Many companies use Business Intelligence to improve customer retention and/ or acquisition. These improvements can be linked to reduced costs and increased revenues, which can be directly linked to increased post-tax cash flow. This is, without doubt, a major positive for the company. On the other hand, a BI investment that improves demand forecasting will not deliver business value unless the forecasts are actually incorporated into operational business processes that translate into actual and tangible economic benefits.
In other words, any type of business benefit offered by Business Intelligence providers amount to nothing unless it is somehow converted into incremental after-tax cash flow. In broader terms, the quest for delivering business value through Business Intelligence can be seen as a matter of determining how an organization can use BI to improve management processes and improve operational processes.