Business analytics is not just about facts, figures, and crunching numbers. It can make a big difference to the corporate culture of a midsize enterprise, and it can shift the decision-making process away from gut feelings so that decisions rely on true business intelligence.
Many businesses operate in an environment where knowledge is stored in silos. Much needed information may be located within departments or project teams, but those outside might find it difficult to gain access. Some businesses also struggle with finding ways to extract and manipulate data. Besides changing business culture, a business analytics system can help solve this problem.
Configuring an Analytics Solution
One of the first things that IT administrators will do in setting up such a system is talk to people throughout the company about their job role and the kind of data they generate to see how this can be integrated into an overall business intelligence system. This is the first step to ensure that information and knowledge become more widely available. It is also important to find out what kind of reporting users need so IT administrators can ensure that the chosen business analytics system can deliver it.
With this information, they can install and configure a suitable solution and educate users about how to get the best from the system. One of the big advantages of modern business intelligence systems is that people can combine and extract data in a number of ways and can create a number of customized dashboards. This allows automatic data collection and a certain level of reporting, which means that everyone within the enterprise has access to certain basic information about how the business is doing.
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How does using such a system affect corporate culture? Over time, the sustained use of analytics data makes it easy for employees to see where their piece of the puzzle fits into the big picture. This helps them feel more engaged with the company and enhances possibilities for cross-team collaboration. A collegial culture of shared knowledge stands in major contrast to the hierarchical structures that exist in many businesses. With the current trend for social and collaborative working, this can’t be ignored.
In addition, the use of business analytics helps people throughout the organization get comfortable with using data to improve business processes and business strategy. People can become more open to doing different types of analysis and finding new ways to do business, which enhances innovation and creativity. Project teams can use predictive analytics to try out different scenarios without risk, which enables them find the most useful strategic direction for the company. Even after implementing the system, IT administrators have an important role to play in helping to tweak the analytical capabilities of the system and maintaining the security of business data.
In summary, as research from IBM shows, companies that make the best use of analytics have a more open and collaborative culture and are more creative, more innovative, deliver better customer service, and are therefore more profitable. Those are great reasons to use business analytics.