In times of turbulence, it's vital businesses are completely agile and well-equipped to rapidly respond to changes. It's important everyone is capable of analyzing, reporting, and acting on data, and Business Intelligence can be the difference-maker. Businesses who adapt and remain competitive are those who've invested in Business Intelligence and have prepared their remote workers to make good decisions that positively impact the business.
The World Health Organization has officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Banks around the world are cutting interest rates to soften the economic impact. Markets are declining; the Dow has effectively free-fallen, ending the longest bull market in American history. Price wars over oil continue to escalate as demand for the commodity comes to a screeching halt. Oh, it’s also an election year in the United States.
While similar events occurred in 2008 (The Great Recession) and 2009/10 (H1N1 Influenza), these are still relatively uncharted, unexpected, and turbulent times. As a result, the workforce is taking to working remotely, and teams that once worked side-by-side, face-to-face each and every day, now suddenly find themselves working apart from their colleagues. And while many tools exist today to ease the burden of working remotely (instant messaging platforms like Slack, video conferencing and communication platforms like Zoom, and project management tools like Asana), Business Intelligence is often perceived as a luxury-technology preserved for greener pastures.
To be fair, a lot of what has happened over the last several months has not been predictable. Remote teams must maintain some semblance of efficiency, and Business Intelligence might not be top of mind for a business trying to ensure that work is being done. That said, what has been possible to predict, is volatility. Most assuredly, businesses are sensible enough to recognize that to remain competitive, they must position themselves to be able to quickly and – more importantly – effectively react, change course – possibly several times – and know which decisions they make are having what impact.
According to Darwin, “… the species that survives is the one that is best able to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”
Now, more so than ever, it’s vital businesses do all they can to run as efficiently and as effectively as possible. In times of uncertainty, successful businesses are those who are certainof what’s happening. With the number of unknowns increasing, it’s important you understand the current status of your business and are able to accurately analyze, report, and act on your data. Businesses who adapt and remain competitive are the ones who’ve invested in Business Intelligence. This technology is no longer a luxury, it’s a must-have.
Succeeding in times of uncertainty is not much different than in times of stability. What’s important, is that businesses – and especially their remote workers – are prepared and set up for change, make good decisions that positively impact the business, are able to remain collaborative and up-to-date on their work, and can confidently and accurately communicate business results. Now is the time for businesses to be completely agile and respond rapidly to changes. We anticipate many large firms will be increasing efforts towards cybersecurity and data analytics projects, meaning a good Business Intelligence tool can be a difference-maker.
The remainder of this blog will cover how Business Intelligence can simplify the jobs of remote workers by fostering collaboration, accelerating decision making, and enhancing data visibility and transparency, ultimately leading to increased ROI.
Foster communication and collaboration while sharing critical data and information
In the vast majority of organizations, collaboration is an undertaking primarily managed through traditional channels like email, instant messaging, or face-to-face communications. While these methods are great for a variety of use cases, they are limited when it comes to specifically collaborating on and sharing critical data and information. As data volumes grow, and conversations span weeks, months, and even years, it gets harder and harder to sustain shared dialogues on insights remote workers extract from data – insights simply get lost using these channels.
Business Intelligence helps in moving the conversation from side discussions in third-party tools, to directly within one, secure platform – right next to the data. Anyone with access to the Business Intelligence platform will be able to enjoy group discussions, pose questions, comments, concerns, and share their findings with their colleagues with ease. More advanced Business Intelligence platforms take this concept one step further, by empowering workers to discuss data insights directly on top of dashboards and data visualizations, making collaboration hyper-engaging and interactive.
Remove guesswork and drive objectives forward with real-time decision-making
All workers want to partake in more timely, accurate decision-making. Unfortunately, that becomes more difficult with remote work as face-to-face meetings – and meetings in general – aren’t as regular, and there’s uncertainty as to which work is driving which business outcomes. When businesses are leaner and highly distributed, it’s that much more essential workers are able to communicate their objectives – to both teammates and management – and validate their decisions, regardless of where each is located.
Business Intelligence allows businesses and workers to track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to ensure their objectives are top of mind. These KPIs are critical to helping properly track, understand, analyze, and utilize data effectively. By being able to visualize important indicators, remote workers can track their individual progress against strategic business objectives and ensure each action they take is aligned with those of the business. Business Intelligence helps eliminate guesswork from the equation, giving remote workers the tools they need to track critical success factors, in real-time, to guarantee they’re making strides in the right direction. Without Business Intelligence, the odds remote workers mindlessly chase numbers that don’t matter increases exponentially.
Enhance data visibility and transparency to eliminate inaccurate business decisions
Business Intelligence systems are unique, in that they offer myriad ways for increasing operational efficiencies. One specific aspect of Business Intelligence that often has a dramatic impact on businesses’ revenue growth, is its innate ability to aggregate data and create a single source of the truth. Business Intelligence has the ability to enable workers – remote and otherwise – to deliver consistently factual information, derived from a unified data view.
What this means, is that every worker – from your desk neighbor to your colleague 1,000 miles away – can have access to and is able to use the exact same data for every single decision they make. By working with one version of the truth, one single source for accurate information, all workers are empowered to exploit, discover, transform, and analyze raw data, so that it may be used holistically throughout the business. Business Intelligence has the power to take that which is so wide-spread – such as a remote workforce – and bring it together. With it, remote workers can work as closely with their colleagues, as you would with teams just down the hall from you.
In times of uncertainty, successful businesses are those that are certain of what’s happening
This means all workers, regardless of where they’re stationed, must be able to collaborate within one another, make accurate decisions in real-time that align with the business’s strategic objectives, and consistently deliver factual information.
Now is not the time to shy away from investing in Business Intelligence. Businesses, now, more than ever, must be willing to adapt to stay competitive and understand the impact of every decision they make. I cannot overstate the importance of optimizing your decision-making processes and not flying by the wire. This is the time for comprehensive, intimate knowledge and understanding of your businesses, your supply chains, your customers, and your markets.
Don’t leave your actions to chance. Have complete confidence over what’s precisely happening in your business and don’t simply weather the storm, attack it head-on and emerge victorious.
About the Author
Jordan Zenko is the Community & Content Manager at Dundas Data Visualization. As Dundas’ resident (and self-proclaimed) story-teller, he authors in-depth content that educates developers, analysts, and business users on the benefits of business intelligence.Follow on Linkedin