17 Jul

Using Business Intelligence To Take Your Organization To The Next Level

By now, the importance of data analysis is old news. Providing integrated insight across all business functions can have a massive impact on your bottom line. But with the abundance of data available, how do you collect, sort, and analyze it to make real business decisions?

Effective Business Intelligence (BI) tools not only collect relevant data from internal and external sources, but also present them in a way that stakeholders can understand. This actionable insight is what allows BI to push your organization forward.

Business Intelligence

Set Benchmarks And Clear Goals

A successful Business Intelligence strategy uses historical, current, and predictive data to inform process improvements and achieve business goals. In order to track true change, it’s important to take benchmark data from your current state. Understanding your starting point should then inform the goals you’re looking to achieve through enhanced data analysis.

Most organizations break down their goals and Business Intelligence efforts into two categories – customer focused and process oriented.

Customer-Based Insights

Business Intelligence that is consumer-focused involves everything from purchase habits to marketing and sales efficiency. Imagine the impact that understanding your customer’s spending history and lifetime value would have on your bottom line.

Work with your internal marketing team to identify key indicators of success for each marketing campaign. Then, use analysis of market share, brand awareness, and sales to improve effectiveness. Organizations with several categories of products or inconsistent sales seasons can also benefit from category performance analysis and sales seasonality reports.

Ultimately, understanding conversion rates, cart abandonment, and online engagement will help your marketing and sales teams optimize their performance and drive business growth.

Process-Based Insights:

While Business Intelligence can have a tremendous impact on the revenue-generating functions of your business, it can also impact your bottom line through increased efficiency and process improvements.

For example, what is the benefit of setting targets if you’re unable to effectively monitor the progress towards them? Business Intelligence allows you to analyze department and employee performance and measure the KPI status versus targets.

In specific industrial organizations, BI can offer production forecasts, cost efficiency insights, and manage quality assurance more effectively. For HR teams, the ability to analyze payroll and compensation means you’re able to maximize your resources.

Determine Data Sources

Data Sources

Once you’ve identified the types of data that will most benefit your organization, work with stakeholders across your company to determine how best to collect data. Successful BI solutions analyze data from multiple sources to get a full picture of the company.

The good news is that you may already have several data sources integrated into your business. Website logs (for example, those at Softsys Hosting), Google Analytics, CRM systems, and even social media accounts can inform your Business Intelligence strategy. In addition, warehouse management systems, ecommerce reports, and call center records would be useful to implement. You can even integrate customer survey information and market research into your data sources.  

Implement

Your journey to a comprehensive Business Intelligence system is not a one-time initiative. A phased approach will allow you to take actionable steps and iterate as you go. Choose a few KPIs, develop a few sample dashboards, and determine what works best for your organization. Gather feedback from key stakeholders throughout the process to continually refine and improve.

15 Jul

5 Steps To Ensure A Successful Organization Wide Digital Transformation

While Digital Transformation is increasingly becoming a focus in organizations around the globe, studies conducted by McKinsey show that less than 30% of these initiatives succeed. As the result of limited buy-in from stakeholders, fragmented implementation strategies, and a lack of specific expertise, only 16% of respondents said that their Digital Transformations have improved performance. This is true even within digitally-savvy industries.

So, if Digital Transformation is important but difficult, how do you improve your chances of success?

Digital Transformation

Interview Stakeholders To Define Goals

Successful Digital Transformation requires full buy-in from all major stakeholders in your organization. As a result, it’s important to involve them in the early planning stages. Interview key team members in both leadership and implementation roles to understand their pain points and define their goals.

Working with stakeholders to visualize what success would look like will help you find the “why” behind your organization’s Digital Transformation. Common goals include enhancing the customer experience, improving organizational efficiency, increasing speed of delivery, or developing a competitive advantage.

Once your goals are defined, work to identify measures of success that are aligned to your “why.” This will enable you to streamline your efforts and resources into one strategic mission.

Review Case Studies

Now when the strategic goals are clear, the next step toward successful Digital Transformation is to analyze case studies and further outline your course of action. Many organizations overlook this analysis and immediately begin investing in technology. However, jumping straight to technology change before a clear strategy is developed will result in a piecemeal solution rather than an optimized system.

So, put strategy before technology by compiling case studies from organizations with similar business goals and learn from their experiences. Clearly document the key aspects of their transformation, with particular attention to any pain points to avoid. Beginning with the end in mind will help you complete your transformation on time and on budget.

Training

Digital Transformation is a misleading term because it implies that technology is the bulk of the focus. However, culture is consistently named the leading challenge to Digital Transformation and innovation according to Altimeter’s State of Digital Transformation Report. Investing in training your team and prioritizing the culture of innovation will help ensure that the upgraded technology is supported by those using and benefiting from it.

“We’re shifting from a ‘digital’-focused approach toward Digital Transformation to one where digital is an enabler for purposeful enterprise-wide transformation and innovation,” Altimeter principal analyst and report author Brian Solis told TechRepublic.

So, to make the most of your Digital Transformation, it’s crucial to prioritize investments in your organization’s culture.

Implementing

Once you have buy-in from stakeholders, have a clear strategy, and have invested in helping your organization’s culture become more adaptive, it’s time to implement. If you’ve followed the first three steps, you should have a unified and strategic approach to work towards your business goals.

In order to implement effectively, analyze your operations and work to find ways to streamline and optimize your human and technical resources. Audit your team’s abilities and invest in their strengths while outsourcing where they may come up short. Drive digital innovation by bringing in subject matter experts to augment your team’s knowledge.

Don’t get so caught up in implementing quickly that you forget to define and document. Plan carefully and provide clear procedures, but keep the line of communication open for your team to communicate when further innovation is beneficial.

Data Analysis And Continuous Monitoring

Analysis

Digital Transformation should be approached as a journey, rather than a project. Transformation itself is in the name, so change is inevitable. Access to data analysis and a continuous monitoring protocol will help your team judge the effectiveness of the strategy and identify areas where further improvement is necessary. We at Softsys Hosting have made (and continue!) this digital transformation during recent years and will be happy to assist you during your company’s changes.