Business Intelligence Is About Asking The Right Questions

Kavya Kannan our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 12/23/2020 11:07 AM
You’ve dotted all the ‘Is’, crossed all the ‘Ts’. You’ve ensured your business priorities were aligned with your mission and objectives. But, how can you know if you’re on the right path, especially in light of today’s uncertainties. Your crystal ball may be in the cloud, but to find its clarity, you have to be asking the right questions. Below are three questions to consider moving forward.

1. How Collaborative Are We?


As businesses shift online and teams expand globally, collaborative business intelligence streamlines decision-making. A combination of BI tools, software, and social technologies to inform, engage, analyze, and form insights of what customers want and need.

This form of collaboration takes decision-making out of its siloes. Not unlike the Socratic method, collaborative business intelligence solves problems through shared information to find common ground. Using business intelligence software to provide opportunities for predictive modeling, visual analysis of data and business metrics, businesses analysts can interpret and inform, in a more efficient streamlined process.

2. How Secure is Our Data?


Whether big business, small business, or medium business, no one is immune to cyberattacks. The ever- increasing rise of these attacks pinpoints just how important keeping data secure is for all businesses. Breaches cause not only monetary loss, but ultimately, consumer trust leading to more loss. The importance of Data security cannot be overstated. 

Now that a majority of businesses are making flexible and remote work options available, it’s imperative businesses work to keep data secure. Consumers today are much more concerned today about how and why their Data is used, and many may decline to offer it, not wanting to put themselves at risk of a possible cyberattack. 

3. What’s the Best Platform to Drive Actionable Insights from Our Analytics?


Much like the trend of collaborative BI, businesses are focused on combining business processes and workflows into one platform, so everyone has access to the same Data. It’s within these platforms, that businesses cannot only determine what action to take and implement those actions all in one place.

Platforms become the hub of the wheel and the spokes are analytics of a particular industry, business, or department in which insights can be implemented. Some platforms on the move include Sisense and Sharepoint. Google Analytics Intelligence (GAI) might be the most well-known especially if you’re just getting started asking the right questions for your business. 

If you want insight into the state of your business, know any major consumer traffic changes, or want to know the probable conversion rate of web browsers to customers, GAI can help you get those answers. Because it uses machine learning to help, it’s important to know not necessarily what questions to ask, but how to ask them.

How to Ask a Computer the Right Questions


If you’ve been working in a collaborative BI team and asking each other questions based on the data you’ve collected, it may be a bit of a mindset shift for asking questions of a computer. So, how you phrase your question, what you want to know, and how you ask may require a bit of thought to find the answers you’re looking for.

Below are a few guidelines to consider when posing the questions.Follow the TrendIf you want to know what’s trending in your business, you might ask:

  • How many products were sold last week?
  • How many customers did I have today?
  • Where are my customers located?
  • What time were the most customers shopping? 

Which is Best?


When you want to know what product is selling the most and through which means. Follow the performance. These questions might include:

  • Which channel converted the most customers?
  • Which product sold the most? Which product sold the least?
  • Which hour was best for customer traffic?

Compare and Contrast


These are questions or commands that enable you to compare two sets of data side by side, such as how your business performed week to week, day to day, or year to year.

While most questions begin with ‘which’ or ‘how’, the compare and contrast questions can get a bit more complex. In these questions, you begin with what you want to know such as conversion rate, revenue shares, traffic, or trend. 

As this year comes to a close, what questions will you ask of yourself? Are you ready for a change? A new role? If you’re a business, what questions will you ask to move your company forward in the new year?

If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics, we may have a role for you. Check out our current opportunities or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more. 

For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com

For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.  

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