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Business Intelligence: Getting the Right Insight from Data

A single decision can change the fate of your organization for better or for worse. As such, managers are always looking for insights that will offer them enough grounds to proceed with a decision. The reality that 80% of startups fail, according to Forbes, haunts them. In line with this, managers and other business leaders choose to focus on aspects such as customer satisfaction, business profitability, and even employee engagement.

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While lean management can help reduce waste and improve the different processes in the organization, it can only be effective if data plays a pivotal role in the decision making process. Without the right data, it becomes tough to identify what customers to focus on, which employees need more attention as well as the where to focus your financial resources on.

Here is how to find the right insights:

The Role That Business Intelligence Plays

BI acts as a tool that empowers decision making on the basis of facts. It helps to bridge the gap between the massive piles of data that businesses collect and the actual information that lies within the data. While it can be common for business departments to work while using different sets of data, this can cause some disparity in the decision-making process of the whole organization.

BI ensures that all departments get their information from a single pool of data, which increases the alignment of decisions. It directs the business leaders on what customers to focus on, how to approach them and even any new products or tweaks that will increase the profitability of the organization. Not only can it provide insight into unseen data patterns, but it can also help in predicting future expectations for your organization.

The Noise In Data

Organization leaders are always looking to offer customers more value without adding the extra cost of production, in accordance with kanban. Sadly, some of the steps they make might only be a waste of resources. There will always be a pile of data from which they can gain insights, but the trick lies in choosing the right data set.

Not every variable in data deserves the attention of the organization. Additionally, missing out the bigger picture from the data that you analyze might mean huge losses for your organization. In a nutshell, the method you use for data analysis should provide enough visibility to differentiate the healthy insights from the noise.

Stop Overanalyzing the Data

Of course, data speaks volumes, but not every aspect of it counts towards making a certain decision. The problem is that most leaders will sift through the different data volumes trying to find something that they can make a decision from. While this might work at times, overdoing it might only result in the wrong insights.

For instance, you may end up blaming a department for current losses whereas the product that you have led to these losses.  Instead of overanalyzing the data, you should visualize it with the help of graphs, charts, and even pie charts. This increased visibility will offer you some room to breathe while ensuring that you actually see the data as it is, including the outliers.

Focus On the Story That Data Tells

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The information you derive from data depends on your perception. It can be quite easy to look at data and pick points of improvement, whereas your business has been taking blows for some time. Instead of deeply looking for the insights you want from the data, you should focus on what the data provides. Try and analyze the data without being biased towards what you would like to see. The more you use this method to analyze data, the easier it will be to get effective insights.


Business intelligence is only effective if you can gain the right insights from it. Furthermore, looking at data in the right manner will ensure that you do not waste time and resources on the wrong information. Consider using visualization to increase visibility and get more actionable insights from data.