Data analytics is shaping business today. As more information and processes take on a digital format, tools like business intelligence (BI) have become increasingly valuable. Proper integration of these technologies can give your company an edge over the competition.

Despite its many benefits, BI comes with its fair share of disadvantages. You’d expect as much with any developing technology, but there are only so many issues you can deal with before something isn’t worth the investment. If you’re to use BI successfully, you’ll have to know what obstacles to expect.

Here are five common problems with BI and how you can avoid them.

1. Data Breaches

One of the most pressing concerns with any data analysis system is the risk of leaks. If you use BI applications to handle sensitive information, an error in the process could expose it, harming your business, customers or employees.

More than 30% of surveyed businesses cited security issues as the biggest challenge facing BI. However, the prevalence of this issue means many BI providers take it seriously and will provide robust safety measures. When looking at different apps and providers, always consider their security options. It may also help to be careful about what kinds of data you allow your BI to access.

2. High Prices

Business intelligence software can be expensive. While the potential for a high ROI can justify this, the initial price can be a barrier to smaller companies. You also have to consider the costs of the hardware and IT staff needed to implement the software effectively.

You can avoid paying too much by opting for self-service BI tools over a more traditional model. These systems will allow you to avoid costly IT support and cut down the time it takes to implement or adjust your BI.

3. Difficulty Analyzing Different Data Sources

The more encompassing your BI, the more data sources you’ll use. A variety of different sources can be beneficial in giving you well-rounded analytics, but systems may have trouble working across varied platforms.

The good news is this problem is gradually disappearing. More advanced BI systems can incorporate a range of different data sets. You can look for an all-in-one BI software that offers these services or use independent tools like data connectors to consolidate all your varied information.

4. Poor Data Quality

In this digital age, you have more information at your disposal than ever, but this can prove to be problematic. A surplus of data can mean that a lot of what your BI tools analyze is irrelevant or unhelpful, muddying results and slowing down processes.

To avoid this, you can implement a data quality management initiative. It also helps to use key performance indicators that are relevant to your particular needs and goals.

5. Resistance to Adoption

Not all disadvantages of BI deal with the software itself. One of the most substantial obstacles facing BI is employees or departments not wanting to integrate it into their operations. If your company doesn’t adopt these systems across all areas, they won’t be as effective.

You can help your staff accept BI by making it easier to integrate. If your software is user-friendly and everyone understands its benefits, they’ll be more likely to adopt it.

Use BI to Your Advantage

Any innovation will have a downside or two, and business intelligence is no different. If you take care in selecting and implementing your BI, its advantages will far outweigh any costs.

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