Picking a Business Intelligence (BI) tool is no easy matter. But the value it can provide far outweighs the difficulty of that decision. To help you see the potential of such tools, here's a list of 10 common problems BI tools can help you with.
Sometimes, bringing in a new solution in a business is a tough task — you have to fight the status quo, and once you're done with that, you need to deal with change management issues. That's why no matter what kind of tool you're looking at, being able to provide a thorough business case is fundamental — the following 10 common problems will help you build a solid case for business intelligence solutions.
1. I have a hard time tracking project information precisely
In many cases, service companies have a hard time getting a complete view of their activities. No tool allows them to easily know the current status of each of their projects — with the consequences you can imagine for all project teams who are forced to work in the dark.
A smart planning solution will provide visibility over a longer time horizon, while offering precise information for all ongoing projects.
According to an SPI study, providing real-time access to project data increases the number of projects delivered on time by 7% on average.
2. I have a hard time keeping track of the project scope
A planning solution will provide a clear breakdown of the tasks that compose each project. All the necessary steps required to complete the project will be included, as well as the time required to complete them, and the resources allocated to the task. Getting a better picture of the chronology in which tasks will happen gives a better understanding of the situation, which can help the company increase its efficiency.
A centralized view of the project and its scope also means that projects are more likely to be delivered on time and on scope, with no missing deliverables. By gather all information on the same platform, with clearly established responsibilities, companies can react faster when the unexpected arises.
According to the same study, a professional services automation solution can help reduce project failure (projects that are not delivered) by up to 45%.
3. I feel like we're not learning from past mistakes
Making the same mistake twice (or more) can be enraging. By learning from the past, for example when conducting post-mortem reviews, it's easier to avoid falling on the same obstacles.
One of the goals of business intelligence is to take advantage of everything you've learned in the past by giving you access to that information so you can improve your future decisions where that information is relevant.
A tool such as Beeye helps you document past errors so you do not repeat them. You can adjust your processes so that when recurring or similar projects happen, you adapt to constantly improve your results.
4. I have a hard time getting my team to work together
If you use a smart planning tool, each member of the team can have a look their contribution to ongoing activities and get a better view of the role they play. Employees fill time sheets, and reports are created automatically based on the data to offer real-time tracking, as mentioned earlier. Everyone can more easily estimate how much they contributed to each project.
This increased feeling of ownership can be a powerful factor in increasing the morale of your teams, and as a consequences, the success of your projects.
5. I can't easily estimate what new projects my team can take on
By collecting information about the workload of all employees in real time, planning software can guarantee a smarter allocation of tasks. No one is left inactive too long, nor overworked — you strike the right balance and keep everyone productive while avoiding burnout.
You can also keep an eye on resource utilization, which is crucial information when you want to ensure you'll have enough resource to deliver new projects you might want to take on.
If you have a small team, using a simple capacity planning graph will help you improve on those aspects. You can use Excel to begin with, and we've even written a quick capacity planning graph tutorial on that subject.