Why Small Enterprises Need a Business Intelligence: If you look at BI, it is considered as a complicated, time and money consuming IT system requiring a lot of IT efforts and skill to Develop, Maintain and Mature. Whenever this matter comes on desk for discussion—everyone gets excited including IT and Non-IT function but everyone conclude it has time and efforts consuming.
Second side of the coin is; every CEO and CXO considers it a “Must Have” tool in organisation. Single Source of Truth, Single Version of Truth, Various Analysis and Insight, or Decision Making Support Tools are strong justifications of BI for a CXO.
So, let’s look at the needs and challenges of BI implementation in small enterprises.
What are the Challenges that CEO and CFO Encounter?
1. Growth & Insight on Data: Profitable and sustainable growth is critical, without it, risk of being irrelevant by faster competition or being swallowed by a larger Company is a worry for every SME. So CEOs want clear business insights.
Cash flow is very important; it is extremely crucial from a survival standpoint that whatever is sold must get collected within credit period.
CEO and CFO find that the company has a lot of data, MIS team is making multiple reports for them; but no Insights on data. No Meaningful decision can be taken out of these reports. Information in bits and pieces create more confusion rather than provide clear insights. In this case, he thinks it is better to take judgemental call for any important decision rather than wasting time to correct this data and finding out its relevance for insights.
Bi correctly spells things that are not working well and their impact on the overall business in the near future and long terms
Quality of Information has become bottleneck in decision making process
2. Speed & Limited Resources: CEOs want to take rapid decision to have a competitive advantage. They want to know the revenue, cost and spend analysis quickly in various ways and various forms to shift the cost and capitalize the opportunity. They also wish to analyse the available data and in process inventory and its’ correlation with working capital.
3. CEO’s dependency on IT and MIS team is very high: IT team is very lean and small and CEOs pressurize IT to prepare such reports; but the IT is unable to match the CEO’s speed. IT is working hard—day and night but could not give required data point to CEO.
In this situation, CEO’s decision could be delayed or wrong due to wrong data points.
Small IT Team has become a bottleneck in decision making Process
4. Everyone must have one focus: For success, it is very essential for small companies that everyone stays on same page, speaks one language and data point.
CEO speaks to Sales, Marketing, Finance, R&D and found everyone has different data points having no correlation with each other as everyone has gathered information from different sources. And accordingly everyone formulates a different strategy for success.
IT is helpless to pour this data into one single system— correlate and throw some meaningful insights.
Different unstructured source of data is bottleneck this time in decision making process..
5. Small Pool of Intelligent workforce: Workforce in field, factory, zonal offices may not be very intelligent to make their own analysis. Intelligent force in Corporate is small team those have huge burden of reports and analysis.
Reports and analysis needs to be fed to field team and managers and help them to spell their action; this can’t be done manually and must be automated.
Lack of Automation of data analysis and reports is bottleneck in decision making process
6. Limited Budgets and Resources: Finally, even if SME decides to do the implementation of BI, still budgets are limited and so it may be possible that priority of BI may get shifted for one or other reason or projects.