Today’s market place and business landscape has become very competitive that most companies make use of various business tools and processes that can generate competitive advantage from other companies – creating a domino effect of generating sales, profit, growth, reaching goals and targets and eventually continued company success.
What more competitive advantage can a company get than being able to predict future conditions of the market, the company and the actions of people involved in the company as well? Being able to do this would entail better decision making for the company. These are also reasons why more and more companies and organizations make use of business intelligence and its tools as a business tool.
What is business intelligence (BI)? This includes a wide range of applications, practices, and technologies for the extraction, translation, integration, analysis and presentation of data to support improved decision making (Reynolds, 2010).
Business intelligence works in such a way that data is pulled out from multiple databases, maybe internally from company files and the like or externally from various company touch points. These are then laid out and presented to create useful information for the organization’s use. Examples of this would include spreadsheets, data and reality mining amongst others.
More and more companies spearheaded by their respective managers believe that the use of BI is one key to continued success. Imploring this change in the company’s way of doing things means a step closer to reaching company’s goals and targets. Thus, managers also should encourage more effective use of business intelligence tools. How? Here’s a 3-step process that may be of help.
First, a rationale why business intelligence is critical in an organization should be clearly imparted to every employee in the organization likewise its corresponding benefits not only to the organization but to the employees as well. Can this significantly impact an employee’s day to day task? How? In the long run, what impact can this create to the organization? And things like that. Also, the company should also see to it that the employees understand how significant their role is towards the use of business intelligence tools and that their cooperation is highly needed and expected.
Second, proper orientation and training of the “how to(s)” should be introduced to every employee. The management should devise customized training programs for employees. This would mean being able to know ways that would enable employees to effectively grasp and understand how to use BI tools.
Third, counter resistance to change through the use of a rewards and recognition program. During this time, employees may also encounter obstacles in using these new tools and can somehow create resistance to using these. The management should be ready on how to properly address these. The use of a rewards and recognition program would also be helpful to motivate employees. The management can reward and recognize employees who have effectively managed the use of BI and have notably altered personal and company performance. The management can also make use of extrinsic factors such as increasing an employee’s salary / wage. These will not only encourage the use of BI tools but likewise motivate them to perform well to the extent of motivating others and become champions of this change.
Surely, encouraging the use of these business tools is a challenge to every company/organization especially to those that consider this a major change in day-to-day business operations. But through the 3-step process presented above can surely be a start for an organization wanting change for success through the use of business intelligence tools.
Reference: Reynolds, GW. Information Technology for Managers. Course Technology, Cengage Learning. 2010