4 Business Intelligence questions your boss may ask

  • Richard Thelwell
  • March 11, 2015

business intelligence questions bossManagers and Senior Executives will inevitably have a number of questions about opting for a business intelligence implementation. Here we look at some of the most common business intelligence questions your boss may ask.

How much will it cost?

Undoubtedly the most important business intelligence question your boss might ask is, ‘’How much will it cost?’’.

Traditional business intelligence implementations can often be incredibly expensive. Here are some typical costs that you could expect to be involved.

  • Ancillary costs – that’s installation, hardware, consultancy, support, and so on – working out at around 300‑700% of license cost.
  • Smaller projects are at the lower end of this range; bigger and more complex projects at the upper end. Spend £20,000 on software, and you should plan to spend £60,000 on everything else. Spend £100,000 on software, and it could be £500,000 ‑ £700,000 as an all-in cost
  • Average on‑premise business intelligence projects can take 12‑24 months to implement, draining a huge amount of time and resource from the business.

But this doesn’t have to be the case.

At Matillion, for instance, we deliver business intelligence projects with cost-effective, fixed-price implementations, and one all-inclusive monthly subscription that covers all support and on‑going changes.

How long will it take?

In any business, it is crucial to have stringent timescales in place in order to ensure projects are completed in line with the overall business strategy. Therefore, an important business intelligence question that you are likely to hear – probably quite often – during the implementation stage is, ‘’How long will it take?’’.

A traditional business intelligence implementation can often be a long and arduous process due to the complexity of new systems, and the difficulties involved in integrating them within the existing infrastructure of the business.

business intelligence questions implementation time
Traditional Business Intelligence implementations can often be long and frustrating

The more drawn-out a business intelligence implementation is, the more likely it is that frustration will grow amongst senior executives within the business, who are eager to see results. The longer it takes, the more likely it is that executive support will diminish and that the most senior people become increasingly disillusioned with the whole project.

Here at Matillion, we understand the importance of a speedy implementation. After all, the sooner you have access to a business intelligence solution, the sooner you are able to exploit the benefits.

That’s why we’ve designed out implementation process to be fast and low‑pain, meaning we can deliver an effective, enterprise quality, business intelligence and self‑service reporting solution in as little as four to six weeks.

What is the ROI of business intelligence?

One of the first business intelligence questions companies often ask themselves is, ‘’Can I afford a business intelligence system?’’.

This is a valid question for sure, and we highlighted the importance of cost earlier in this article. However, a question that we often like to ask instead is ‘’Can you afford not to have a business intelligence system?”.

Certainly, investing in business intelligence systems requires a significant amount of capital outlay but this investment is often necessary in order to see improvements within the business. The sooner you begin to see the ROI on this investment, the more worthwhile it will all seem.

According to Boston, Massachusetts-based Nucleus Research, a firm which specialises in measuring the value of technology, a business intelligence system and self-service reporting tools deliver an ROI on three distinct levels:

Level 1: report automation – cutting out manual report production, saving time, and reducing errors, yields an average ROI of 188%.

Level 2: “tactical” business intelligence system – leveraging analytics to improve decision-making, rather than just saving time, yields an average ROI of 389%.

Level 3: “strategic” business intelligence system – deployed across most of the organisation, and used to align daily operations with the goals of senior management, business intelligence yields an average ROI of 968%.

By any reckoning, those are impressive numbers.

Is this really the best option?

There is likely to be at least some debate throughout the business as to what is the best solution for the business. Therefore, a business intelligence question you are likely to hear from your boss is, “Is this really the best option?”.

There are now hundreds of competing business intelligence vendors around, offering a multitude of different products. It is therefore essential that you take the time to carefully research and evaluate a range of potential solutions in order to assess which is the best fit for your business.

business intelligence best option
It is important to ask the Business Intelligence question ”is this the best fit for our company?”

This is often easier said than done, as there is often a large volume of conflicting information available. To make things easier, we’ve compiled a useful free guide containing the basic information you need to have when evaluating potential business intelligence solutions.

If you are currently evaluating business intelligence or reporting within your organisation, take a look at our handy guide which explores the different types of solutions available. It could help answer some of the business intelligence questions you, and your boss, may have.

Are you evaluating Business Intelligence and Reporting? Check out our free eBook for answers to more of your Business Intelligence questions