6 Brilliant Ways to Convince Your Boss to Invest in Business Intelligence

To you, purchasing new business intelligence software makes perfect sense. Your team is tearing their hair out with the outdated and overly complicated tool (or tools) you’re currently using. You know this isn’t a scalable business model, and you know there are better options in the market.

But maybe your executives are convinced your current solution is good enough.

They don’t necessarily see the late nights and weekends spent running ad hoc queries and cleaning up data. They don’t realize additional analysis isn’t getting done because there’s a bottleneck of business intelligence requests. They don’t understand that business departments are so numb to the wait for getting meaningful analytics that they don’t even bother requesting half of what they’d like to study.

If this describes your situation, now is the time to make a compelling case for better analytics.

Here’s the good news: advancements in business intelligence software have reached a fever pitch.

Thanks to the inventive use of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, the case for investing in a modern BI tool is stronger than ever. As we explain in our business intelligence guide, the marriage of BI and AI technology helps end users find growth opportunities faster than the competition.

The bad news (which really isn’t bad at all) is that you now need to convince your boss to invest. Here are six sure-fire ways to build your case for a next-generation data analytics solution:

1. Start with FOMO in a competitive market.

 No matter which study you read, the consensus is that businesses will invest heavily in big data and analytics projects over the next several years.

These companies wouldn’t be doing this unless they felt advanced analytics would lead to greater profitability.

Share these findings with your executives. Everybody has a little fear of missing out—especially business leaders who don’t want to lose a competitive edge.×

For more information on leveraging business intelligence to get an edge over your competition, check out this new resource: “The State of AI in Business Intelligence.”

2. Champion the business case for self-service analytics.

 There are a lot of great options for analytics—so where to start?

Gartner believes self-service analytics are a critical way of solving this analytics gap.

As they said in their 2017 Gartner Cool Vendors in Analytics Report:

“Organizations worldwide are going through a profound transformation, from IT-driven BI content development to user-driven self-service analytics. This is positively impacting organizations’ performance, and developing the skills and appetite for more-pervasive and more-advanced analytics.”

The best self-service solutions are so intuitive and powerful that business people can easily pull together their own analysis. And it’s becoming the new standard.

“By 2020, 80 percent of all enterprise reporting will be based on modern BI and analytics platforms; the remaining 20 percent will still be on IT-centric reporting-based platforms,” says Gartner. Get a self-service analytics program today, and you’ll be ready for tomorrow.

3. Address concerns about costs with facts.

Think of investments your company has already made:

  • The data.
  • The means of storing that data.
  • The resources responsible for maintaining that data.

Those costs are already accounted for.

Most modern analytics solutions are accessed via a web browser, so there’s no additional hardware to buy.

Many companies let you test the waters with a free trial.

And when you find an analytics platform that meets your needs, your solution provider likely has flexible licensing options: individual, department level, or enterprise. Individual is a good option if you’re only looking for one user to access the BI program. Department level would be a good choice for businesses looking to optimize entire sections of the company, and enterprise-level is if you want your entire business to benefit from business intelligence.

4. Bust the myth of long implementation.

 Gone are the days of year-long analytics implementations.

You don’t have to take months writing business requirements, cleaning data, developing, and piloting a solution.

With many modern BI solutions, you can have a proof of concept using your own data within days. So even while in a trial mode, you could be deriving real business benefits.

5. Emphasize the positive ROI and bottom-line impact.

 We have customers who see a return on investment within the three weeks of deploying their new approach to analytics.

For example, Adam Levy, the president of SnapAV was able to unearth a $1 million opportunity in a matter of minutes, using our self-service platform to quickly and effectively dive into his data. He started with curiosity and a question, and he found huge potential in a short period of time.

How many business projects can make that same claim?

These customers are tackling their biggest areas of focus with improved analytics: reducing customer churn, increasing basket size, optimizing inventory, and more.

By giving your business people the ability to search their own data, they’re able to immediately contribute to your bottom line. Because they already understand the business drivers, they’re able to quickly study their performance from multiple angles until they find meaningful business opportunities.

6. Explain the benefits to employee engagement.

 Top leaders know that employee satisfaction is a key driver in a company’s success.

For example, a Towers Watson study showed that organizations with high employee engagement saw a 19% increase in operating income. Those companies with low employee engagement scores experienced a 32% drop in operating income.

So what’s a great way to engage employees?

Give them new challenges and invest in their development.

McKinsey estimated that by 2018, US-based companies would need four million business managers with big data skills.

By bringing in a self-service analytics solution, you’re addressing this gap without increasing headcount, and all while giving your team highly coveted, 21st-century analytics skills.

While BI software offers as many benefits as you want to find, convincing your higher-ups of anything can still be a challenge. But stick to the benefits in this list, and your supervisors won’t be able to help seeing everything they can get out of business intelligence. Best of luck with your pitch!

A version of this post originally appeared on Capterra’s Business Intelligence Blog.

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