Business Intelligence can be a valuable tool if it is utilized properly. Unfortunately many organizations make the mistake of expecting their BI solution to magically put out great data and reports. These companies fail to realize that the information that comes out of the system can only be as good as the data they put into it. A couple of tips for ensuring good data quality:
Don’t assume every single piece of data is going to be useful. Overloading your data store with tons of unnecessary numbers only bogs down the information that is returned to you. A smarter option is to identify the ‘key’ data that will provide insights into your organization and zero in on it.
Identify each process point of the data-to-information conversion and make sure they are working for you. These include:
- Process Point: Data Entry
Only works if it’s accurate
- Process Point:Data Consolidation:
Only works if it’s consistent
- Process Point: Data Aggregation
Only works if it allows for cross-database inquiries
- Process Point: Information Targeting
Only works if it’s useful for the end-user
- Process Point: Information Delivery
Only works if it occurs within the appropriate timeliness
- Process Point: Information Analysis
Only works if it’s performed as soon as it is received
- Process Point: Process Adjustment
Only works if information is provided in a timely manner
Consistently seek to improve the process points listed above in order to maintain good data quality and the usefulness of your BI solution over the long-term.
Ultimately the success or failure of any Business Intelligence capabilities depends on the organization’s willingness to gather and input high quality data and then turn it into useful information. Without the appropriate levels of forethought, it’s simply garbage in, garbage out.
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