Just the term “Business Intelligence” or BI already sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Terms like complex, expensive, and technology spring to mind and often make business leaders shy away from seriously considering Business Intelligence when they need it the most. This is unfortunate because a BI implementation can be rather quick and does not need to be overly complex while delivering key insights if you approach it with the right mindset.
Business Intelligence implementations in the localization industry really do not need to be complex and the benefits of BI are obvious in that they provide:
- Transparency and insight by combining the businesses data in a single place
- A “single source of truth” that all managers and team members can share
- Effective means to pinpoint potential issue and root causes, and
- An ability to track the effects of changes and improvements quickly
In essence a BI system provides you and your managers with improved insight into your business and provides you the management information at your fingertips to effectively steer the business and understand underlying mechanism as well as spotting key trends early.
While transparency will be scary to those who have benefitted from an environment where information is not democratized, providing transparency also requires a supporting business culture. An effective BI deployment requires an open environment where issues and findings can be discussed openly in search for improvements.
By now you may be wondering what a good implementation strategy for BI may look like and for most localization environments it is both simple and straightforward. A simple set of high-level steps to follow are:
- Take it in stages and do not aim for a “big bang”
Many BI and IT projects fail because of too large an ambition and overly high complexity. Start small and define the project as a process and your chances of success will be larger. Once you gain insights, you and your team’s questions and requirements will evolve, hence a staged or agile approach makes the most sense and is the fastest route to success.
- Aim for low-hanging fruit and build a coalition of the willing
Select a number of key business questions and start with a group that is willing to improve. As an example, you may be looking to gain better insight into your productivity by type of task or language combination. Simply start with a number of key questions, gain insight and work from there. Celebrate and share successes.
- Evolve as you go
Once you are on your way and you gain initial insights, you will find that additional questions evolve. Also, you will likely want to broaden the scope of your analysis. All this is good and is a good basis to evolve from. If the source data is available in a normalized manner, additional sources and be added and new reports can be drawn up quickly.
- Ensure you have the right partner
As the name suggests, Business Intelligence is about gleaming additional insights from your business. These insights are based upon data which in turn needs to be imported from different business systems. Consequently, your implementation partner should be able to support you on the data and IT side, but more importantly needs to understand your business such that they can provide guidance in the early stages of implementation.
At Loquell we have developed Business iQ for this exact reason and application as a simple, yet effective Business Intelligence solution focused on the localization industry. This solution is provided as a service for you to get started quickly. So, if you feel that you could benefit from additional insight into your business, don’t hesitate but talk to us.