We see data as a universal truth. It doesn’t always answer the questions you’re looking to answer but it nearly always tell a story. Starting a business intelligence project is often the first step in journey of understanding. Organisations often struggle to work out where to start on that journey. Getting data into a format where business questions can be answered is often the first major hurdle.
The key is to start delivering answers to business questions. It’s also to expect the questions to change and to adapt to changes in questions as you move forwards. Don’t expect to have all the answers up front, it’s an ongoing investment in your data that should be planned to yields results and return. The tools are almost peripheral, but enthusiasm in the tools from developer right up to execs helps to drive success.
We’ve worked with both proprietary and open source business intelligence solutions. We’ve probably enjoyed Tableau Software’s BI product the most. We like to use tools that make the work of delivering insight into data more interesting to do. We also like to work with tools that enable us to work quickly at delivering results. Delivering value fast in projects builds confidence both in the project and the team.
You normally start this journey as a business because you can’t answer questions with you current systems. They may well deliver results and operate the business, but they don’t often tell us how or why we are where we are. All too often, organisations find themselves extracting data to Microsoft Excel to build management reports and to perform analysis. Over time we lose track of where the data we’re looking at came from and what has happened to it since it was extracted.
It’s not the tools, but the format the data is in or its disconnect from other systems data which prevents it answering the right questions. We can help you gain more insight from your business data.