Why Business Intelligence Fails In SMEs

A business that can’t analyse the information it collects about its processes, infrastructures, markets, and customers to improve and optimise future decisions and performance is doomed to fail. In large corporations and organisations, the best practices activities that refer to the analysis of business data is called business intelligence and is the responsibility of a dedicated expert team. Used adequately, BI enables a company to reduce internal costs, maximise its productivity, approach new markets and ultimately achieve stable growth. However, in small businesses, BI is a phenomenon that is promoted by a variety of professionals – directors, marketing manager, accountants, etc. – and that doesn’t always achieve high success rates. Indeed, SMEs struggle to maintain adequate business intelligence strategies for the following reasons:

You try to tackle everything at the same time

Small businesses and solo entrepreneurs have one thing in common: They are used to multitasking activities. Indeed, it can be tempting to tackle the business world from your home office with nothing but a computer. However, even though computers can work all day and night and help you with essential business requirements, from your digital presence to running complex calculations, they can’t interpret data for you. The first mistake of SMEs is to believe that they can approach BI in the same way they tackle other business tasks. However, if you can’t dedicate your undivided attention to the data collected, you won’t be able to make sense out of them.

You’ve got the tools but not the training

When it comes to BI, you need to understand that the success of your strategy relies on being able to collect the data from multiple sources and then bringing everything together through a data visualisation tool such as Tableau. While being a popular BI tool, without the appropriate Tableau Training, the software solution is nothing but a waste of budget. If you don’t understand how to create an interactive data dashboard to gain rapid insight into your data landscape, you can’t use your tools.

You don’t know how to collect data

At the core of business intelligence, there’s the assumption that a company has access to the data it needs to improve its processes and strategies. However, it’s not uncommon for small companies to be unable of collecting data in specific business areas. For instance, process effectiveness data can only be collected for businesses with a high enough number of employees or applications. If you happen to run a small business, you may not be able to use data gathering tools. Similarly, you may not know about useful tools that could be deployed within the company.

You don’t collect the right data

Capturing the correct data has been a priority since the introduction of an automated CRM system in companies. If your team collects data that is irrelevant to the business activities, you might be losing up to 12% of your revenue to bad data. Whether you’re asking for the wrong data or monitoring unnecessary data, decisions that rely on this kind of information are set to fail.

Business intelligence is a difficult topic for a lot of small businesses. While some aspects can’t improve without growth, other elements require primary training and data understanding to be utilised effectively.



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