Using Business Intelligence and Analysis to Truly Impact Your Business

Using Business Intelligence and Analysis to Truly Impact Your BusinessIn a recent Harvard Business Review article Michael Schrage, research fellow at MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business, brings a fresh outlook on why your analytics are failing you. It is undeniable that there is much for data at our disposal than ever before. Also undeniable that the data itself is more detailed than information we have handled in the past.  The tools and solutions used to report and analyze this data are more robust and capable than their predecessors.

So with all these improvements around business intelligence from the data itself to the tools used to understand it, why are businesses not realizing the full impact big data and business intelligence can have? Schrage’s stance is that the issue lies not with the data or tools being used but with how and why the end results of data analysis are being purposed. Specifically he suggests that data should not be applied to current business practices and methodologies but rather used to “invent and encourage different kinds of conversations and interactions.”

Schrage does acknowledge that the conversation as to how to best utilize big data, business intelligence and data analytics still exists. “The quality of big data and analytics, ironically, mattered less than the purpose to which they were put. The most interesting tensions and arguments consistently revolved around whether the organization would reap the greatest returns from using analytics to better optimize existing process behaviors or get people to behave differently. But the rough consensus was that the most productive conversations centered on how analytics changed behaviors rather than solved problems.”

So with all the possibilities that today’s vast amount of data can offer Schrage leaves us with one last piece of advice. “Don’t fail your analytics.” Think about how your organization is utilizing your data. Are you applying it to improve current business processes without and large focus on the future? Are you thinking about now instead of how can we do things differently? The debate is obviously still out, but at the very least make sure you have having the conversation as to how to best utilized your data and its new found quality.

Click here to read the entire piece from Schrage.

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