Monday, October 28, 2013

Four Ways to Leverage BI for Executive-Level Reporting

Although companies have many tools to help to make decisions, many of them have difficulty in delivering insights to their management teams. The Information Management  published a good article on how to leverage BI for executives, written by Trevor Dunham. In the article, he mentions that many companies struggle to turn data into actionable insights at the executive level. He touches on a point still common in many companies: executives that depend on manually produced spreadsheets for managing and tracking performance. He cites four ways organizations can leverage existing business data intelligence to improve reporting at the executive level:

1. Be Visual: Keep it Simple.
Reports filled with endless rows and columns of  static, numerical data that take hours to sift through and weeks to assemble don’t enable decisions. However, using the data to see cues and visualize trends, increases understanding, allows for predictability and enables more informed decision-making

2. Be Concise: Get To The Point.
BI reports should not force management to wade through pages of data. Rather, these reports should be presented like a strategy plan or a news website. The goal is to present contextual meaning and actionable insight in an easily searchable format.

3. Be Timely: Distribute Real-Time Data Alerts.
Data alerts are unique visual indicators based on a defined key performance indicator. The ability to deliver real-time data alerts is an important best practice for any sales organization.

4. Be Mobile: Deliver Insight To The Point of Action.
For business intelligence to be useful, it has to be delivered to the point of action, which usually means a mobile device. Mobile BI is simply a must-have for any organization looking to improve business performance.

Companies that generate and deliver BI that is visual, concise, timely and mobile can achieve new levels of performance and the greatest possible competitive advantage.

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