Questions to Ask Before Implementing a Business Intelligence/Analytics System

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Moving from data collected and managed in Excel spreadsheets to information collected and presented on a fluid, more visual business intelligence platform can be, without question, an abrupt change – but certainly a welcome one for businesses who benefit from deriving insights from data quickly, as many sales forces do.

Spreadsheets usually require that the business user do some level of analysis on them (i.e., “Which of these 200 prescribers on the spreadsheet have decreased more than 10 percent from last year?”), taking them away from more value-adding tasks. Studies have shown a poor adoption rate for spreadsheet deliverables as well, with the majority of users ignoring the spreadsheets after their initial release. BI solutions should be designed so that they answer the top questions a business user needs to ask on a daily basis, allowing them to redirect their efforts to driving the top line, not performing analyst-level functions.

Companies are moving to adopt business intelligence (BI) systems because the potential payoff can be needle-moving. However, making the decision to implement a BI solution is the easy part. What’s much harder is making sure you’re getting the most out of your investment by ensuring that certain preparatory measures are taken, and important processes, such as identifying key performance indicators important to your company, are solidified ahead of time. 

In this slideshow, Chris Garabadian, CoE leader (business intelligence, sales analytics and services) at IMS Health, a company that provides information, services and technology to the pharmaceutical industry, outlines top questions to ask yourself before and while implementing a BI/analytics system.


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