While many IT professionals equate business intelligence (BI) with large organisations, the reality is that there are many small and medium sized businesses who are quietly implementing BI because they see the benefit of it. I think there are three reasons for this:
The perceived barriers to wider adoption of business intelligence are also worth noting:
I use the term perceived here because I believe these are views that are not necessarily correct when put in context and are often based on outdated information.
Yes Business Intelligence can be complicated depending on the complexity of the business and the measures used to measure success. At it’s simplest level it should be a one page report summarising where you are with subsidiary or sub-report with a more detailed analysis of each quadrant of performance.
As for costs IT should be treated like any other investment and the challenge here is to measure the effectiveness of that investment. Measuring the costs of an IT investment are relatively easy, the hard part is assessing the benefits particularly of BI projects. I think this can only be done if by assessing the contribution BI makes to the decision being made and he ensuing benefits of those decisions.
For example you browse your Profit and Loss and realise you are paying a lot interest and bank charges. Analysis leads you to notice that your corporate clients are paying right at the end of their payment terms (their savvy finance guys have BI as well of course), however your suppliers have tighter payments terms with you because you are small so essentially you are giving interest free loans to your corporate clients. BI has identified the problem, it’s up to about what you do to fix it, but whatever you decide to do you need to set up monitoring to watch this while keeping an eye on your sales so that your tactics for fixing this don’t seriously affect your other strategies. The possible benefits arising from BI in this scenario might be:
To conclude BI is like any business investment, and while the benefits may be hard to quantify there is no doubt that the reduced costs of ownership, make it more and more attractive to small businesses.
Please keep this coming, I read this and it sinks in, You're totally right in your analysis. Big Companies are just bigger in the sense of people and resources. In fact many business processes are equally important for survival. Like Sales, Finance and marketing.
Lead us to, how to start discussing these topics with SMB company owners and let us find out where these demands exactly are in the SMB field, I'd be honored to be of help to my fellow IT consultants out there!
If you have been following this blog over the last few days, then we are at the stage we  know what