And 5 Other Factors to Consider when Boosting ROI in BI
I’ll start with a common scenario: you’ve implemented a BI application to save on inefficient monthly reporting processes across the Executive Team.
And when run a project review or Return On Investment Assessment, you find only five out of 14 members of the Executive Team are using the solution.
Now you need to focus on this issues behind this symptom. This is where a BI health check will help you identify the root cause(s) of your low adoption rates.
If you’re not happy with your BI performance, or suspect you could be extracting greater value from your BI tool, a good quality health check helps you identify the root cause of issues and boost value.
Thus: a BI Health Check is a quick way to get maximum performance and value from your investment in analytics.
So What makes a ‘Good quality’ BI Health Check?
It is a targeted set of tests. These tests identify inconsistencies, inefficiencies and irregularities that deteriorate the efficacy of your business intelligence system.
At the end of a a good-quality health check, you receive a report. It includes practical tips and clear means of improving any performance issues identified during the investigation.
Based on our earlier scenario: if it’s master data quality issues or a lack of training at the root cause of the matter, you should receive advice on how to clean master data and how to manage the process. If it’s user skill that’s that scores poorly, you should receive enough information on what training priorities should take place to quickly get users back into your BI system.
How to Identify a Good Health Check
The breadth and depth of your health check depends on your selected provider. But a good BI health check will factor in the following:
- Hardware Status (including disk, memory, CPU load).
- Speed Performance.
- Software Licenses (looking at cost and utilization according to the size of your organisation and the user group)
- End of Life milestones & Future Proofing (this includes software versions, maintenance and support).
- Automation Capabilities.
- Capacity Planning.
- User Skill / Capability (a cross-check on system capability, business need and user competence).
- Master Data Quality (data accuracy and formatting scores for usability and reliability).
- Integration (systems integration will enable seamless reporting).
- Output Quality (a score on time and effort on reworking reports).
- BI Objectives or reporting challenges.
Note: the last four points in this list are particularly important in a BI application health check.
You want to select a consultant that knows not only your selected application, but alternative BI systems, too. Someone with a good benchmark on what BI systems cost, and what a healthy system can do more broadly for your business will get you a more rigorous evaluation.
Another tip: align your health check with primary BI systems objectives. Then check points are relevant to your business and you get advice on the functionality you need to improve performance from your investment.
What’s the Point?
The Application Health Check provides a comprehensive snapshot of your organisation’s utilization (or underutilization) of your BI application. If the solution isn’t performing as expected, a health check will quickly get to the core of the problem and provide means to address the issue(s).
It’s all about optimising your return on investment in business intelligence. Assessed your ROI to find you’re not getting value? A health check gets to the root of issues.
As such: it’s a good idea to select an impartial third party to run your health check. That is: not the software vendor, or the team that performed your implementation.
When’s the Best Time to Run A BI Health Check?
A routine health check optimises system performance. Having a regular check allows you to address issues before they start to cost the business money.
But you may already be able to identify symptoms of poor systems health. In which case, a health check is recommended right away.
The most common symptoms of poor systems health include:
- Data quality issues cause inefficiencies when reporting, or unreliable output.
- Low levels of user skills or user confidence contribute to underutilisation.
- One or a few users are relied upon to complete reports, creating bottlenecks for the business.
- Poor user uptake due to ineffective reports or inefficient workflow.
- Automation features are under-utilized, so reporting is inefficient and users frustrated.
An annual health check keeps you ahead of potential issues and wastage before it becomes too big. It’s also easier to compare reports and your continued improvement, or to drill down on a problem area and the source of the issue.
How long does a BI Health Check take?
The process varies according to the size of your installation. For comparison’s sake, the Blueprint Intelligence BI Health Check takes a week. It is completed remotely without any interruption to business.
A software agnostic service, the Blueprint Intelligence BI Health Check encompasses qualitative and quantitative tests. The service is completed by BI experts with broad industry knowledge in addition to a deep understanding of your BI system’s features and functions. This maximises the quality of measure of health according to the specifics of your system, as well as industry benchmarks.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) have been mapped to effectively measure systems health and to understand ways you can improve the value you’re getting from your Business Intelligence System. The health check report provides insights on:
- Any options to redesign your implementation.
- Automation options that improve performance.
- How your IT Team can fix the problem(s).
- The application of best practice standards like ISO 8000, where relevant to comprehensively address issues and improve performance.
Actually, we’re offering a free health check service to the first 20 readers.
For more information on the Blueprint Intelligence BI Health Check Service, and to take up this offer, click here.