Keeping Enterprise BI Enterprise

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All too often, you hear about companies that have an enterprise business intelligence platform, yet it is eschewed by users in favor of personal, home-grown applications for some or all of their reporting and analysis needs.  Why is that, why is it a problem, and how do you prevent it?

According to Forrester’s Business Technographics Global Data and Analysis Survey, 2014, the top six reasons users turn to home-grown applications are:

  1. The enterprise BI platform does not have all of the data needed
  2. The BI platform does not have the right model, relationships, attribute, or hierarchies
  3. Enterprise BI solutions are too restrictive in their data models
  4. Enterprise BI solutions don’t allow you to clean, integrate, or model data
  5. Using enterprise BI, it takes too long to get the results
  6. Enterprise BI is too complex, complicated, and cumbersome to use

Why Worry about Home-grown BI “Supplements”?

Why not just let everyone use the tools he or she finds easiest to use?  Well, first there is that executive knee-jerk, emotional reaction.  “We just spent $X on a new BI platform.  We spent X days/weeks/months examining processes, designing reports, installing software, and training.  By gosh, you WILL use the company platform!”  Once you get past the emotional part of that response, the executive is right.  The company purchased this platform in anticipation of the benefits that accrue to a company that is using a single solution, using the same data, using the same calculations, and using the same hierarchies.  Once users start going off and doing “just this little calculation” in Excel or “just this little analysis” by pulling data from some other systems SQL database, those benefits disappear and you are back to the Tower of Babel in which each person at a meeting has his own back-of-the-napkin results to present.  Those KPIs that represent the company’s long-term strategy and short term operations become impossible to track and grow meaningless.  And the data behind data-backed decisions becomes muddled, possibly leading to action that would not have been sanctioned with clear, accurate data.

Keep Users on the Enterprise BI Solution

The path to avoiding home-grown application supplementation to your BI platform starts with making sure your platform fits your needs—all of the needs of all of your users.  Go back and look at that list of top reasons users turn to home-grown applications and work through each one to see if your BI solution makes the grade.  Can your BI platform consolidate data from all of the systems you need to consolidate for decision making?  Can you define your own attributes and hierarchies?  Does your system give you self-service BI so there is no delay in turn-around?  What about self-service reporting and analysis?  Is the interface intuitive and easy to use?

BIO Business Intelligence for Microsoft Dynamics is a universal reporting and analysis platform that gives your users self-service access to the data for reporting and analysis.  BIO’s front-end visualization tool is so easy to use that even your non-technical users can begin benefitting from BIO on the first day.  And BIO’s back-end is second to none in terms of functionality and ease-of-use.

Call us at 203.327.0800 to discuss how we can help you create an enterprise business intelligence solution that works for your organization.  To see BIO in action, join us for a complimentary webinar.  Contact us by phone at 203.327.0800 or email at

Forrester’s survey is available for purchase here.

By Sandi Richards Forman of BIO Analytics, Corp., Microsoft Dynamics Business Intelligence (BI) Solution Provider