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By Teri Sawers

Data is a key asset, but despite best intentions and cutting-edge data analysis technologies now available, you might still be struggling to effectively leverage your own information.

You are not alone: organizations that want to maximize the value of their data to drive operational efficiencies and business growth frequently hit roadblocks when trying to take action.

Two common challenges you are likely to face: (1) identifying your most important data, then analyzing it across different locations, departments, networks and systems, and; (2) employing your in-house resources to recognize and overcome information gaps and data blockages. The latter challenge clearly impacts on the former.

As a consequence, businesses are increasingly finding that outsourcing their Business Intelligence (BI) solution can be a more effective and affordable option. It might make sense for your firm if you’re staring down a drain of time and resources—including for an on-premise solution that requires significant training and oversight, not to mention ongoing maintenance costs.

Cost-Effective, Scalable—and Use the Tools You Own

By outsourcing to BI experts, you should expect to realize the value of your investment within weeks, rather than months.  Your business will obtain the consulting and technical knowledge of an agency that has almost certainly encountered the same issues you are facing.

Outsourcing should also minimize your investment risk in the following ways:

  1. An outsourced solution now implies a subscription: starting with a shorter time-frame likely will cost less than outright purchase of the software and will spread your services and hosting charges over time; if you are not satisfied with the results, you can simply decide to end the subscription.
  2. By ensuring you can customize your solution as you grow, standardization and economies of scale will save you money and help you maintain control over your costs. It should be cost-effective and scalable as your needs and business expand, not one-size-fits-all.
  3. You can make stronger use of existing tools—Excel, Power BI and other BI products, current cloud technologies—rather than implement an entirely new technology that forces you to refashion your processes from the ground up.  You could benefit mightily from a BI solution that extends to planning, budgeting and forecasting: applications that cry out for a centralized data store, with direct “anywhere access” from preferred tools, including Excel.

Learn from the Completed Solution Delivered by BI Technologies Professionals

The end goal of an outsourced BI solution is that the professionals deliver it to you—full scope, with benefits from initial use.  You should not expect, or want, to learn during the stages of the implementation; rather, you’ll get trained on the completed solution, which will make the learning curve much faster. And so you should recognize more quickly what you will be able to obtain from more expanded BI and analytical capabilities, as you look to further your benefits in the future.

Of course, there remain businesses that implement and get the best from their BI systems without outside assistance.  For others, outsourcing is increasingly the way forward to quickly and efficiently benefit from a BI investment, reducing failure rates and deriving more value from their data than ever before.

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