Business Intelligence Definition: What Does It Mean?

A Guide To Surviving In The Age Of Digital Transformation



Steven Lerner
10/24/2018

A firm understanding of a business intelligence definition is needed in order for an enterprise to survive and thrive in the age of digital transformation. Many organizations will put a lot of emphasis on the technology, while overlooking what business intelligence has to offer. Although new technology can be a great opportunity to improve an organization, it is also important to keep track of goals.

Delivering on the promise of technology requires business intelligence. They often go hand in hand. For example, when a business migrates to the cloud or focuses more on machine learning in order to harness data, it is imperative that effective analytics are used. Failure to do so could mean that the enterprise might miss out on an opportunity to grow.

Now more than ever before, leaders in organizations are under intense pressure and scrutiny to deliver. More organizations are focusing on growing, which requires its leaders to develop solutions to improve efficiency, reduce expenses, and increase revenue. As a result, enterprises are turning to business intelligence to make most out of new technology.

What Is A Business Intelligence Definition?

Although there is no universal business intelligence definition, most enterprises should have an idea about what this is all about. BusinessDictionary.com defines this term as, “Computer-based techniques used in spotting, digging-out, and analyzing 'hard' business data.”

The purpose of following a business intelligence definition is to help an organization understand the relationship of data for determining what initiatives are currently working, and which initiatives need to be changed. After all, information is a crucial element for an enterprise. Leaders in every organization need to have information in order to compete and to make smart business decisions.

However, even when an executive increases data access and harnesses information, mistakes can still be made. Over 60% of business intelligence initiatives fail, and this can happen to any enterprise that doesn’t harness effective analytics. Although there are many reasons why a business intelligence initiative fails, it is usually representative of a company’s culture (or lack thereof). Organizations sometimes focus more on the technology instead of the data from the technology. Enterprises can also overcomplicate the entire process by doing too much at once. Digital leaders sometimes fail to persuade their workers about the importance of business intelligence and they fail to manage expected outcomes.

How To Make Business Intelligence Work

Greg Steffine, SVP and Director of the Business Intelligence and Analytics Competency Center at KeyBank, delivered a presentation entitled, “Making Business Intelligence Work in the Age of Digital Transformation” at the Digital Transformation Online Summit. During the presentation, Steffine discussed the steps an enterprise should take in order to succeed with business intelligence.

First, an organization really needs to unify behind a true business intelligence definition. There needs to be realization that analytics is more than just technology, and an understanding that you are not just one technology purchase away from achieving success. Enterprises should be able to determine which data is valuable and which data is meaningless. More importantly, enterprises should know that business intelligence is a business initiative that has no finish line.

Once an organization is unified behind this vision, leaders should focus on aspects within the organization that can make a positive difference. Steffine suggested that enterprises start with technology that has already been acquired before getting new solutions. Initiatives should be executed with speed and agility.

At this point, executives need to sell their business intelligence dream to their employees. This includes branding it and setting proper expectations around value. Executives should be prepared to face a lot of feedback from their organizations. and to expect a lot of questions. They should use this opportunity to promote their business intelligence definition.

Finally, an enterprise needs to qualify what success looks. A target should be defined with an expected outcome that is properly quantified. It is important to monitor outcomes against expectations in order to adjust and evolve over time.

How To Deliver Quick Wins

Embarking on a business intelligence initiative can be tedious, which is why the first goal should be to get a quick win. These are business priorities that have a high value and a low risk. Once an organization achieves a couple of quick wins, it can then embark on more challenging projects.

Want to learn the steps to deliver quick business intelligence wins? Click here to watch the entire business intelligence session from the Digital Transformation Online Summit.

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