5 Reasons BI Tools Are Totally Useless

by | Jul 28, 2015 | General BI

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Anyone in the business world has heard the urban legend about “Big Data” and how it’s growing at an abnormally fast rate, leaving companies in shambles. But how much of a threat can it really pose? It’s not like it’s growing at an alarming rate (oh wait, it is), or costs businesses money (oh yeah, that too), or leads to less accurate decisions (whoops).

But really, let’s forget the facts for a moment. Implementing a business intelligence (BI) tool is clearly a horrible idea. Here are 5 reasons why. (And yes, this is totally meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek, with a nod to BuzzFeed.)

Tweet: 5 reasons BI tools are totally useless

1. You can no longer claim to be “busy” during the work day

We’ve all experienced the hallucinations spreadsheets can pull on you after hours of staring at your screen. One of the worst practices is allowing Excel to become the default BI platform for your company. All that time combing through data and then trying to figure out that one cell where you made an error. At least it keeps you busy all hours of the day. Who wants to solve real business problems and drive revenue when you can spend a majority of your day validating data, arguing about the analysis conducted and the assumptions made and fixing macros?

So you implement BI. Great, now what are you going to do with your time? A BI tool provides readily available and accurate data, and eliminates the manual glitches and data integrity issues that often can occur with heavy reliance on Excel. Recent Aberdeen Group research finds that organizations are experiencing a 56% year-over-year increase in data volumes, and large organizations are sourcing data from an average of 36 unique sources. With companies now facing the challenge of rapidly increasing data, being able to use business intelligence to simplify the process opens up big windows of time so you can now focus on accomplishing your company’s goals. So long, “busy” work.

2. You can no longer pretend everything is fine

What you don’t know can’t hurt you, right? Wrong. There is no doubt that this complacent thinking is hurting your company. With companies becoming much more data-driven, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve and know exactly how you’re performing and where the trouble spots are so you can act quickly to resolve the issue.

Enter business intelligence. With a BI tool there are no more excuses – the data is right there for you to see. Business intelligence tools allow companies to not only track operations, but see where you might be overspending so you can adjust accordingly. Imagine being able to identify a problem and immediately take action to fix it. That’s the type of business world every smart employee wants to live in. And then you can know everything is fine – no pretending needed.

3. You’d have to give up your gambling addiction

Although gambling is fun outside the office, you’d be surprised how many companies are unknowingly bringing it in house. In many cases, they’re going all in on red just based on “gut feel”. Unfortunately, without enough visible data to back up their instincts, they are losing money and new opportunities. Less than 10% of self-service BI initiatives will be governed sufficiently to prevent inconsistencies that adversely affect the business. These guesses can ultimately lead to poor decisions that will permanently affect the company’s future. NoGamblingAddiction reports that each compulsive gambler in the U.S. costs the economy approximately $16,000 per year. How much is gambling costing your business? A BI tool will give you and your employees visibility into your company and your data to reassure your confidence before you go all in. Let’s leave the slots for Vegas. Imagine going all in on red, knowing it’s the right choice because you have real data to back it up. Jackpot!

4. The thought of pulling data from multiple sources sounds exhausting.

Well yeah, it is exhausting. Good thing you don’t actually have to do that with the right BI tool. While some BI tools really only provide slick data visualization, it’s important to look beneath the hood. You can save lots of time by finding a tool that easily integrates data from multiple sources and transforms it into useful information. Then you’ll go from disorganized to organized in a snap. What could be less exhausting? (Not much.)

5. Who actually wants to get their boss an answer when they need it?

Everyone loves driving their boss crazy and keeping them in the dark with no answers – not! Scrambling around last minute and working late nights to find a single number for the corporate hierarchy can drive you bonkers. Not to mention do a number on your personal life. A BI tool will eliminate this issue by providing an immediate view of your data, and if you need further answers, allowing you to dive down into the details. This allows you to use your time more efficiently or even scroll through BuzzFeed. (No, we didn’t say that. Your boss wouldn’t approve.)

So really, who needs a BI tool? The answer is simple: every business. If you’ve got data you’re bringing together from more than one place and business rules you need applied to that data to provide context – then you need a BI tool no matter how awesome your Excel skills are. A BI tool not only gives your company a competitive advantage, but as Rita Sallam, research VP analyst at Gartner, claims, “Real-time operational intelligence systems are moving from ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have for survival.’” Data is rapidly growing and business intelligence is the secret sauce to a company’s success. “Big Data” is far from an urban legend, it’s real and it’s unstoppable. But what’s the best part? It’s controllable. No spin on that.

Learn more about business intelligence trends:

Alison Nicoli

You may also like