3 sure-fire ways to boost your Business Intelligence ROI

  • Richard Thelwell
  • July 2, 2014

Like any acquisition and implementation of new software, a Business Intelligence system is an investment. Yet, when viewed as an investment, here’s an odd thing: why do many companies fail to maximise the resulting Business Intelligence ROI?

Because, look closely, and you’ll find plenty of businesses where a focus on Business Intelligence ROI is sadly lacking. The result? Wasted expenditure, under-performing businesses, and missed opportunities for operational improvements.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Follow some common sense guidelines, and boosting your Business Intelligence ROI can be a fairly straightforward affair.

How so? Read on.

#1: Boost your Business Intelligence ROI with Sales Analytics

To us here at Matillion, this is a no-brainer. Yet look at Business Intelligence implementations out in the field, and it’s not difficult to see companies where the active use of Business Intelligence is chiefly restricted to the finance function.

A company might have licensed a Sales Analytics capability, in short, but that’s no guarantee that it is using it. And plenty of businesses don’t bother with acquiring a Sales Analytics capability at all, thanks to sales and marketing functions which are sure that their present approaches can’t be bettered.

Yet those present approaches can’t perform Amazon-style ‘basket analysis’, pointing customers to purchases they might want to make. Those present approaches almost certainly don’t do detailed customer profitability analyses. And nor are they likely to look at how price discounts and margins differ from salesperson to salesperson.

In short, at its starkest, Sales Analytics helps businesses to highlight opportunities to not only sell more, but sell more profitably, driving a double helping of profit through to the bottom line. And thereby boosting their Business Intelligence ROI.

#2: Boost your Business Intelligence ROI with self-service

Business Intelligence shines a spotlight into the murkiest areas of business performance, enabling changes to be made, and under-performance corrected.

But only if that spotlight is actually shone.

Which it won’t be, if the organisation is constrained by having to wait for IT specialists to write Business Intelligence reports.

Better by far, we think, is enabling ordinary employees and managers to leverage the power of Business Intelligence themselves, through self-serve reporting and dashboards.

At a glance they can see the information that they need, and immediately take remedial action—without waiting for the IT function to write the requisite reports.

The result: instant information, instant action—and a boost to your Business Intelligence ROI.

#3: Boost your Business Intelligence ROI with the budget-friendly Cloud

So far, we’ve looked at boosting the return on the investment in Business Intelligence. Now it’s time to look at the other side of the equation, by lowering the cost of the investment itself.

And here, the answer isn’t rocket science. Simply put, a move to a ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) cloud-based Business Intelligence solution reduces costs, and improves cash flow.

As a rough rule of thumb, the total cost (installation, hardware, consultancy, support etc) of an on premise Business Intelligence solution works out at between 300% and 700% of the license cost of the software solution involved. So if you’re looking at a £20,000 spend on software, you should plan to spend £60,000 on everything else.

SaaS-based Business Intelligence works to a different model. Here at Matillion, we deliver business intelligence projects on an affordable, fixed price basis, with a firm focus on a low pain, rapid implementation that saves time and money.

Better still, the payment model is an all inclusive monthly subscription that includes support and ongoing changes. Handily, this also means that the costs of SaaS Business Intelligence are paid for by the benefits that it delivers.

Put another way, it’s a lower upfront cost, and a cashflow-friendly monthly subscription—which results in an enhanced Business Intelligence ROI.

And what’s not to like about that?

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