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4 things aspiring BI professionals should know

By Times of India on 30 May 2014


Understand the Business Intelligence horizon – challenges and opportunities – in detail before making a career move

Industry analysts forecast continuous growth of Business Intelligence (BI) market globally. BI expertise and implementation has become one of the top technology priorities for CIOs. With data usage increasing globally at a rapid rate, most of the organisations rely heavily on creating unseen patterns to produce hidden data insights for making better business decisions. The IT industry is thus, experiencing a paradigm shift from building data-warehouse platform towards implementing trustworthy BI solutions.

If you aspire to be a professional in this space, it is important to understand the BI horizon. BI is an ocean and it is very easy for an aspiring professional to drown in the ocean without understanding the larger picture. So what are some basic but critical aspects that you need to take a look at? Neeraj Pandey, technical architect, Infinite Computer Solutions gives some solutions for our readers:
 

Understand BI opportunities that lie ahead

Virtually every small, mid-sized, and large business can benefit from BI. There are countless benefits that a reliable BI solution can offer to an organisation regardless of size. Moreover, with ever growing data size, ever expanding skill sets, ever spreading technology, its wings and BI needs rising exponentially, opportunities associated with BI implementation can only be imagined. Today, almost all organisations are in need of implementing BI solutions on top of data associated with them (internal or external).
 

Emerging Trends in BI

Business Intelligence’s biggest emerging technology over the next decade will be using unused data (referred to as black data) and data originating from machine devices. Devices such as smartphones, machines and sensors give rise to data associated with GPS, sensor, web logs, RFID, social media and many more which can be transformed and processed to get information insights and data behavior. This provides senior executives with real-time access to sales trends, potential inventory issues, supply chain glitches, people sentiments and many more.
 

Challenges associated with BI implementation

For most organisations today, BI is one of the most important operational and budgetary priorities, while also being one of the most frustrating. Between 70-80% of corporate BI projects fail due to communication gap that lies between technology and business needs as a result of not being able to anticipate real business needs. Moreover, today’s analytical environment is getting extremely complex, with monstrous data being stored everywhere. In spite of millions being invested by organisations, typical BI solutions struggle to keep up with increasing volume and complexity of data and executives are often left discouraged by their inability to successfully achieve BI objectives.
 

Understand Myths around BI to avoid pitfalls

That so many organisations continue to struggle with BI despite its place as a major priority speaks of the notion that a series of strategic and tactical mistakes are undermining projects. More often than not, those mistakes are spurred by a number of commonly held BI myths. When bought into, these myths drive organisations to undertake sub-optimal practices that ultimately derail BI initiatives. Among many, here are some of very common BI myths:

  • Reporting and Analysis are One And The Same: Many organisations fail to understand the difference between reporting and analysis. The problem starts when executives ask for a report when what they really need is an analysis.
  • Single Platform Superiority: Many companies believe if they standardise on a single platform, their Analytical capability will improve while total cost of ownership decreases.
  • With Increased Technological Capability Comes Success: Successful BI projects happen when good technology and sound processes intersect with a collaborative, data-driven organisational culture. Technology alone doesn’t dictate whether a BI project succeeds or fails.

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