A recent study conducted by HR management software specialists, MHR, found that while nine out of ten UK businesses believe that analytical proficiency will be a key competitive advantage by 2023, 96% of business intelligence software currently sits unused. This failure to maximize on such powerful software is costing businesses around £5.7 billion per year. So the question isn’t really are companies getting their money’s worth but why are they not?
What is business intelligence software?
Business intelligence software is a type of application software designed to retrieve, analyze, transform and report data for business intelligence. It is, in essence, business consultancy in a software format and this is advantageous for a multitude of reasons. On one hand, it’s significantly more cost-effective than hiring a traditional consultancy firm but it is also available for use 24/7 and can be tailored to the specific needs of every business that uses it.
It is a means of building data into trends and using those trends to make key decisions. For example, if a company wanted to manage its supply chain more efficiently, business intelligence software could be used to find out which areas of the process were causing delays or problems. It could also use the software to figure out everything from the products that are causing the most trouble to the most efficient methods of transportation.
Key findings from the MHR study:-
- 96% of businesses claim their software investments remain untouched.
- This ‘shelfware’ is costing UK businesses £5.7 billion – an average of approximately £159 per work desktop user
- Only 4% of businesses are actively using every software licence purchased; with 20% of respondents stating that more than a quarter of their BI software is lying idle on a shelf.
- Almost two in five senior IT decision-makers (39%) say their organization has failed to reap the benefits of investment in Business Intelligence tools, rising to 67% for those working for large organizations with 5,000 or more employees.
What can be done?
The problem appears to be that many businesses simply don’t understand what this software is capable of. This is software that is able to make complex decisions five times faster using relevant insights and data and can take a large amount of pressure off decision-makers as a result.
It’s also important that businesses understand their needs before investing in business intelligence software. Ensure that you partner with a supplier with a decent track record in your field and that your IT departments are given complete and thorough training. Because if you can understand it, the software can not only help make sense of data but allow access to the kind of insights you simply couldn’t get any other way. This will leads to better reports that provide answers to questions that couldn’t be answered any other way.