Time to Spring Clean (your Business Intelligence solution!)

by | Apr 28, 2017 | Business Intelligence, Collaboration

The weather is getting nicer, the birds are chirping, flowers are starting to bloom – time for some spring cleaning (and allergies…)!

We often focus on cleaning out our homes or desks and getting rid of physical clutter, but when was the last time you cleaned up your Business Intelligence (BI) solution?

Let’s put on our gloves, grab the broom and get to work!

We are all so busy at work that we tend to keep pushing forward at breakneck speed and often don’t take the time to pause and review.  Now is a good time to step back and look at BI solutions that you may have implemented to see if they are still aligned with the needs of the business and are valuable assets for your end users.  If they aren’t, they probably aren’t being used, and a little maintenance may be all you need to revitalize the organization!

Here are some areas of your BI solutions that should be prioritized for spring cleaning:

  • Clean up that Data – Garbage in is garbage out. Your Business Intelligence solution is only as good as the data that you have.  Sometimes this involves removing human data entry processes that are riddled with errors, and often you can implement automated controls on the backend using Data Quality Services to ensure only high quality data lives in the repositories you utilize for your dashboards and analytics.
  • Simplify your Reports – Do you keep adding columns or tables instead of revamping the layout to answer the questions your really are asking? Do you keep creating ‘one off’ reports every time someone just wants to see a different month or day?  Using some of the newest features in SSRS, you can create some amazing mobile ready reports that are easy for end users to filter and drill into in a self-service mode.
  • Detox your Dashboard – Are the charts and graphs displaying meaningful data at the right level of detail? Are your KPIs still aligned with the strategic goals of the organization?  Are you getting information refreshed fast enough for the needs of the business?  It might be a good time to sit down with the business and make some modifications to ensure your solution is providing accurate and accessible information for their needs.
  • Refresh your Knowledge – Solutions like Power BI have grown by leaps and bounds over the past year. There are amazing new features and functionality that you may not be leveraging just because you don’t know they are there.  We love doing interactive demo workshops with our clients to show them what they can really be doing with their data!

Of course, you are probably focused on spring cleaning a lot of areas of your organization!  Working with a partner is also a great way to get a second pair of eyes to review what you have and what is needed and provide some suggestions for overall alignment and potential cleanup.