Business Intelligence Software and Data Integration
One of the biggest ways a business intelligence software program can help businesses is by forcing them to integrate their data across the board in order to run the program. Data integration is impor...
How to Start Integrating Data
Smaller companies have an easier time with data integration just due to proximity. Sole proprietors have all the data they need for their business in their head or on their computer. Partnerships can achieve data integration by just communicating well with one another, but as a company grows it becomes harder and harder to keep everyone informed of what they need to know to do business effectively. In a company without a business intelligence software program, data is stored and processed at each location or within each department separately. Even when other departments or locations have access to that information, they might not know how to use it because the system of defining values, formatting, and analyzing is different from their own.
Although implementing good business intelligence software early in the game can help organize and translate a company’s data from the get go, any company can benefit greatly from adding a software program to standardize their system and make the data that they have useful. To get started, follow these steps:
• Decide what data you need to integrate. Data warehousing can be a project in and of itself and although a good business intelligence program can help with that endeavor as well, it’s easiest to start with the most important information, so that the key decision makers in the company can reap the benefits as soon as possible.
• Figure out who has this data and how they are processing it now. This will make collecting and translating the data much easier if that information is available from the get go.
• Learn what everyone needs from the data, from those who have spent time collecting it to the key decision makers in the company. This information will help the business intelligence software company understand the kind of products the company will need.
• Designate a person to be in charge of implementing and maintaining the software. This person will be responsible for setting up the system and orchestrating the process.
Initially, there may be some resistance to a software system that challenges the status quo, so it is important that after the software system is rolled out, that the legacy systems are eliminated. After the initial adjustment period, it will be hard to imagine doing business before the business intelligence software program was implemented.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Morgan is a writer and business expert who specializes in Business Intelligence Software. For more information on business intelligence visit www.actuate.com.