¬†The end of the year marks the time when both people and organizations take stock. We analyze trends, predict what’s in store for next year, and try to see whether we’re keeping pace with the broader market place. In some organizations planning activities take place to identify the best course for technology adoption and/or optimization for the upcoming year. When I speak with smaller organizations, however, many still struggle with the concepts surrounding BI, how to make the most of the data they have, and deciphering the market to make the right solution choices.¬†
Although there is a lot of information available about technologies related to analytics and data warehousing, the reality is that much is still targeted towards the technical user – one who understands the complexities of a variety of technologies and how the pieces fit together. For business users and potential project sponsors the technical jargon doesn’t help address the challenges that exist. This means more education is required that prepares people to make the right strategic choices for their organizations.¬†
This requires an understanding of how the pieces fit together and how to take advantage of database technology, data integration, and analysis to create effective BI tools to address business challenges. This also requires making sure that a solution will be flexible enough to interact with analytics in the way that is required to answer questions on the fly and address business challenges as they occur.
Optimization of technology
This involves identifying what exists, what is working, where there are gaps, and what is needed. Understanding this on both a technology (infrastructure) and business level will help organizations select solutions to help put the pieces together.
This means making sure that there is an understanding that not all technology is created equally and that solutions are optimized for different business challenges. It becomes important to evaluate the market to identify which types of technologies will fit best (i.e. cloud, appliance, etc.) and what capabilities are required.¬†
Even though this is the case within some organizations, this does not mean that SMBs are not adopting BI – quite the contrary actually. SMBs want to take advantage of what the market has to offer. The challenge is getting access to the information that is most relevant and sifting through technologies to understand which one best meets the needs of the organization. The reality, however, is that many SMBs are still struggling with this. In addition to making the most of spreadsheets, trying to understand how to best apply analytics, and looking at the market more broadly, SMBs have great adoption challenges in the sense that the market is still stacked towards the enterprise. Although easy to implement and less cost prohibitive options exist, the question is – do SMBs who need access to these solutions really know where to look?
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I‚Äôve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.
Posted December 30, 2013 3:16 PM
Permalink | No Comments |