Modern business is an ocean of information
Companies face new challenges dictated by the global macroeconomic and political situation. The attention of business leaders is primarily focused on identifying internal reserves for increasing efficiency and continuing active development.
In such an environment, decisions need to be made much quicker. To succeed, companies need high-quality information and the right tools for its analysis. The volume of information that surrounds and fuels modern business can be compared to an ocean. Massive data flows come from both external and internal sources.
However, the extraordinary growth of both volumes and availability of information from various sources has created a paradoxical situation:
- on the one hand, there is too much information,
- on the other hand, it is not relevant enough.
Under such conditions, the main reasons for a delay in vital business decisions are:
- failure to get information relevant to a particular business case updated in due time,
- lack of a comprehensive communication system uniting different information generators and consumers.
Direct dependence of executive decisions on promptness and quality of analytical insights confirms the strategic importance of this resource and the need for it at the highest level to ensure business success.
Manage the information flows and catch the wave
The information is very diverse, and, to get a tangible effect on business performance, you need to understand its origin.
To make informed strategic and operational decisions, an executive must have an up-to-date and transparent overview of the company's business activities, having the opportunity to both to see the bigger picture and drill down to:
- individual business units,
- individual business processes,
- individual business cases.
Giant data sets, a huge number and endless variety of decentralized sources, and lack of structure make the task of providing high-quality information for decision-making in due time incredibly difficult.
The issues and challenges that business users of information face are determined not only and not so much by the amount of data available for analysis, but also by their inconsistency, varying degrees of reliability, the depth of their subsequent processing, and the transparency of their relationship with primary sources.
To make truly data-driven decisions, business leaders need to have both the data accounting systems and the tools to combine them into a single comprehensive solution, which in turn will ensure:
- timely provisioning of information relevant for a particular business case,
- systemic end-to-end communication between different information generators and consumers.
This is why every company needs a BI system—a business tool for data management and consumption that improves decision-making and management efficiency and drives operational excellence.
Without BI, business becomes unsustainable, unpredictable, and heavily dependent on environmental factors, increasing the risk of losses and the amount of lost profit.
When used correctly, BI systems ensure confidence and sustainable growth in an unstable and aggressive business environment.
Create a framework and master all waves in the information ocean
Where to start from? To get a solid ground for managerial decisions, executives need answers to the following questions:
- What has already happened?
- Why has it happened?
- What do we want to happen?
- What will happen?
- What is happening now?
These are the main questions that require relevant and accurate data consolidated in a single model.
Answers to these questions underlie most management decisions that directly affect the business viability and its future.
Thus, the listed questions are actual both for the entire company and for its separate functions, such as:
Therefore, to answer the abovementioned questions both at the executive level and at the level of specific business units of the company, one needs to organize such processes as:
- Strategic goal planning and long-term forecasting;
- Planning, budgeting, and “what-if” modeling;
- Investment and project planning;
- Monitoring of strategic targets and key performance indicators;
- Managerial, analytical, and operational reporting;
- Financial and consolidated reporting.