Loshin: Defining the potential business benefits of BI programs

Business intelligence capabilities increasingly are a top priority in organizations looking to use BI and analytics programs to improve business operations and gain competitive advantages over rival companies. But the value of BI doesn't come from merely installing analytical tools, warns David Loshin, president of consultancy Knowledge Integrity Inc. in Silver Spring, Md. According to Loshin, the benefits of BI can only be gained when projects are driven by a deep understanding of business goals.

This understanding must inform decisions made during the course of developing and implementing BI applications, Loshin said. ''It's really no longer about the tools themselves. It involves the tools, the information, the data and the processes of the organization," he said in a video interview with SearchBusinessAnalytics Executive Editor Craig Stedman at the 2013 TDWI BI Executive Summit in Las Vegas.

Whether they come from static reports or ad hoc queries, the ability to "stream" analytical results into business decisions that tangibly affect the success of an organization is of overriding importance, added Loshin, author of the recently published Business Intelligence, Second Edition: The Savvy Manager's Guide. He said companies need to propagate business-relevant BI data so that it filters throughout their operations, even to the point of sale -- "not just at the end point of the data warehouse."

Loshin offered additional advice about building a business case for BI deployments during the interview. Viewers of the six-minute video will learn the following:

  • How Loshin thinks BI proponents should get started on demonstrating the potential benefits of BI
  • Ways in which BI teams can focus on solving the problems of the business
  • How BI managers can rationalize software purchases by quantifying the expected return on investment
  • Techniques for mapping core BI business drivers into dimensions of value, such as decreased operational expenses or increased revenue
  • Common mistakes that BI proponents make in trying to sell projects to corporate executives


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