1. Your forecasts and targets (if you have them) are consistently well off the mark

It goes without saying that if you do not have performance and financial forecasts and targets embedded into your business, you should change that ASAP. If you do have them, yet they consistently fail to provide accurate insight into what challenges the business might be facing in the coming months, then there is likely not enough relevant data being extracted and interpreted in order to inform the forecasts.

2. Performance reports require a significant amount of work hours by key members to put together

If the performance reports themselves are a burden to create, and are eating up the hours of those whose time would be much better spent elsewhere, it’s time to look at the report structure and data collection methods. Reports should be versatile and easy to manipulate to show relevant data for multiple purposes and situations. Painstakingly putting together reports can only introduce human bias and potential errors.

3. Different individuals within your company prioritise different performance metrics

Business leaders within the same company are often concerned with different KPIs, and are focused on improving the ones they personally think are important or that are relevant to their department. This is usually fine, however this can also lead to conflicting opinions based on the different ways they measure success. Through BI, the way each department’s KPIs support the overall business goals becomes much clearer, and leaders can truly push the business in a unified direction

4. Performance/operational metrics and financial reports are at odds with each other

If internal performance and operation metrics are showing positive results, yet finance reports are in the red with no other reasonable explanation, then an examination of the metrics being measured is clearly needed. Understanding and building performance metrics that are connected to revenue growth are essential for any business.

5. Internal opportunities are a matter of personal opinion rather than solid numbers

Business opportunities will always be the subject of intense internal debate. However, these discussions should always be done on a solid base of data. If decisions are taken based solely on the opinion and educated guesswork of business leaders, it increases the margin of error significantly. By using available data to simulate potential changes within the business if certain decisions are made, leaders can obtain a significantly more accurate picture of the repercussions.

Summing up

Taking the guesswork out of decision making should be a no-brainer, and that’s only one of the several reasons why most businesses have implemented BI as one of their key tools for remaining competitive and agile in ever-evolving markets.

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