Business Intelligence (BI) is Crucial to Profitable Decision Making

This begs the question as to whether or not self-service BI is the answer for capital and manpower constrained small businesses or is this option just another temptation leading ultimately to yet another cash-drain, effort distraction and problem in waiting.

The following are extracts from an article that originally appeared in the February 2010 issue of TechTarget’s “SQL Server Insider e-zine”.

In fast-paced businesses, the ability to gather and analyze data quickly can be an advantage over your competition. Additionally, being able to see that a product or service would prove to be a losing venture in the coming months allows you to shut down a product line to save millions. It stands to reason that the more people you have looking at data, the faster you will be able to come to some useful conclusions.

In theory, self-service BI is great, but is it practical?

The concept of self-service BI has taken hold and many IT managers and business analysts are jumping at the theoretical benefits. Before you jump in, you need to understand what self-service BI can buy you and what you need to consider before implementing it. ………

And self-service BI has a dark side.

Self-service BI does enable users to get at the data when they want it and in the form that they want it. But that also means that it empowers the users to tax the system in ways that the system may not be ready to handle. …..

Here’s one scenario: Each analyst will have his own reports, which could cause a lot of duplication of effort. Giving analysts access to the data store could quickly overload the database. What if an analyst leaves the company? Will all his work be lost? How much effort would it take to transfer his work to another analyst?

It is in recognition of the very real and practical value of BI to any growing business, and also of the fact of complications and potential pitfalls inherent in any small business attempting to go down the “do-it-yourself” path that MISSI provides the knowledge, experience and resources to help our clients achieve world-class competitive advantage without the related capital and man-power investment that would otherwise be required to accomplish such an objective.