Business Intelligence and a Good Data Strategy

To have good systems for business intelligence (BI), you must have a good strategy for your data.

Data is the lifeblood of business intelligence: Without data, there is no BI.

Before setting down the road of building out your business intelligence systems, or adding BI to your other systems, spend some time working on your overall data strategy first.

What does this look like?

Think through the major “objects” in your business. What things do you know about your Customers (or could you easily learn)?

What data is there around your product or products?

Be sure to identify the major systems in your business and the metric or metrics associated with those systems.

If you have employees, what data do you want to have related to them?

Relate Your Objects

Once you have your objects and data identified, think through how the data relates between objects and what insights you might like to gain from your BI tools.

For example, if you are running ad campaigns to sell courses, you will have ad performance data in your ad tool as well as course completion data in your course management tool. In order to use this data together, you’ll have to be able to cross-reference students that came from a particular ad campaign and their course history in the course tool. You need to make sure the data you have will allow you to tie these two different data sources together.

If you don’t have something in the data naturally, you can always add a reference to one source or the other that will allow you to match the data.

Define Your Business Intelligence Desired Outcomes First

Think about the end results you’re looking for in your business. What are the things you want to learn? What are the things you need to know? Start at the end and work backward on defining what you need to get to the result you ultimately want from your business intelligence efforts.

If you missed it, read our BI post from the beginning of the week here.

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