Many mid-market manufacturers we team with are lacking a solid business intelligence strategy definition and therefore run into issues when evaluating new ERP systems because they can’t easily access mission-critical business information.
This limitation impacts the organization’s ability to succeed. When accurate business information is not easily available to the entire enterprise – in real-time – it’s tough to make optimized decisions for a more competitive business position, and the business intelligence strategy definition gets lost.
This business intelligence strategy definition is a key business performance metrics that is easily accessed by users who need the information for improved decision making.
It’s this situation that leads many of our clients to assess their business intelligence strategy.
Business Intelligence Strategy Definition
A Business Intelligence Strategy definition includes much more than a discussion of ERP reports and dashboards.
This business intelligence strategy definition is a formal examination of overall business information needs, and the alignment of tactical business intelligence resources to address these needs in the most effective ways to drive business process improvement.
A strategic approach to your business intelligence strategy definition helps prioritize business requirements, increase transparency, and promote user access to key information.
An effective business intelligence strategy definition keeps front and center the idea that better information leads to better decision-making.
This is why we remind our clients that a new ERP system will not provide a clear BI strategy. Nor is it effective simply to tack on business intelligence software. Of course the ERP system holds the data and provides the software tools and canned reports, but simply installing a new solution is not a replacement for a well-thought out strategy.
A BI Strategy Overview
An effective business intelligence strategy covers wide-ranging areas including:
- Auditing the “current state” of reporting, metrics and information access.
- Identifying enterprise-wide information needs in strategic, tactical and operational areas.
- Setting “future state” goals for adding transparency and insight into every function area for increased performance.
- Setting key performance metrics that support overall business process goals including key performance indicators (KPIs), balanced scorecard views, forecasting and other analysis.
- Constructing an achievable lifecycle plan for rolling out individual initiatives.
- Defining effective business views of information. What presentation formats support rapid internalization and understanding? What are the dimensions of the data?
- Analyzing the frequency of data access that is required by all users, including aggregate and detail-level information.
- Identifying the sources of information.
- Auditing current technology tools now used to generate business information and identifying areas for increased efficiency.
While not an exhaustive list, this overview indicates the far-reaching scope of business intelligence strategy.
For small to medium manufacturers, a robust business intelligence strategy helps keep everyone in the company focused on performance.
Business Intelligence Strategy – Final Thoughts
We often meet with companies that wait for a new ERP system to examine BI needs. Instead companies should be assessing business intelligence strategy first and then progressing to a new ERP system. Getting a handle on BI strategy first enables a company to improve access to information as related to the ERP system.
We also remind our clients that an effective business intelligence strategy provides a context for business process reengineering. The end-goal of BI is to provide visible, real-time measurement that encourages functional areas to focus on the tasks, accomplishments and targets the organization has chosen to highlight.
Has your organization implemented an effective business intelligence strategy? Share your comments and experiences below.
Contact our team of consultants to see how business intelligence strategy can benefit your organization.