A few weeks ago, we held our first-ever business intelligence (BI) workshop, “Data Rich, Information Poor: Unlock the Power of Business Intelligence.” Our goal was to assemble business leaders and innovators who wish to better harness the data that runs through their organizations to create break-through performance.

Together, we explored:

  • The accelerated growth of data and our inability to create meaningful action
  • The definition of BI and how organizations are using it to drive their businesses forward
  • Varying degrees by which businesses invest in BI, from simple reporting all the way to artificial intelligence
  • And lastly, the benefits BI provides when executed effectively, such as helping organizations better use existing data, aggregating data by combining disparate data sources, and turning data into actionable, useful information

An interesting turning point in our conversation was exploring the pitfalls that come from falling in love with a specific business intelligence tool, instead of focusing on building a strategy. Most organizations spend too much time and energy on the selection of technology but miss the mark on delivering clear actionable results. Successful BI initiatives start by understanding how an organization will use BI.

We also shared our approach to BI that includes, among other steps, getting clear on:

  • Who your audience is for the information
  • How they access and act on the information
  • When they will access information; how often
  • What information they need to see

But our primary focus was on the WHY. We asked our attendees to consider why they may want to invest in a BI strategy. After all, if we understand our chief motivator(s) for leveraging data more strategically, we can ensure that we build a plan that dot-lines back to that motivator instead of building a plan just to build a plan.

Consider your business for a moment and how a focus on BI could help you:

  • Generate compelling, aesthetically pleasing dashboard and reports that tell your organization’s story from both a quantitative and qualitative manner
  • Strengthen, evolve and challenge your business strategy by having access to actionable, up-to-date information
  • Stimulate growth opportunities, from uncovering new revenue streams to pinpointing areas rife with organizational waste to validating which products and services are generating the most business
  • Automate manual tasks like report generation, data cleansing and data extraction

Sometimes our WHY is to identify growth opportunities. Other times it’s to challenge and improve our business strategy. Our “why” changes regularly as the data that flows through our organization is fluid and ever-changing and so we must remain nimble in crafting our information strategy.

At Trilix, we recommend that any implementation of BI technology into our workplace requires a direct connection the main drivers of the business. Implementing BI just to get better or fancier reports and dashboards is helpful but does not create break-through performance or transformation of the business. We believe that all businesses are motivated by five WHYs:

  1. Growth
  2. Strategy
  3. Profit
  4. Impact
  5. Risk

During our event, we helped our attendees take the first few steps forward in identifying their BI WHY by examining how a data strategy could help them across these core areas of business.

We then asked them to break it down further. For example, if they believe a key BI driver to be “Strategy,” what specifically are they looking at under that category? Do they wish to use data to figure out which clients generate the most income for their company, so they can build client loyalty programs around these organizations? Or maybe they are looking to use data to pinpoint a new industry in which they can focus.

Give it a try yourself! What is your core BI why? What areas of your business do you wish to strengthen by more strategically leveraging data?

Or, if you would be interested in filling out this model with a partner, reach out to us (click here). We would love to talk about your drivers and start filling out the spokes of your BI wheel.

If you are interested in jumpstarting your BI strategy, click here to grab the details of our Business Intelligence Bootcamp program, a half-day working session explores how a data strategy can help you accelerate growth, drive profit, enhance strategy and mitigate risk, among other gains.

To go behind-the-scenes of our BI workshop, click here to check out our pictures on Facebook!

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