The decisions you make today have a strong bearing on the operations of your business in the future. In order to make sound decisions, your enterprise needs to have the latest operational intelligence information. This is where ‘Business Intelligence’ (BI) comes in and a qualified BI consultant will be able to track your company’s status and operational data very quickly and efficiently.
The global market for BI platforms is witnessing a constant rise that has made it rank among the fastest growing enterprise software industries.
As per Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics platform from earlier this year, this growth is expected to take place at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 8.7% through to 2018.
Source: Gartner (February 2015)
Martin Butler, an industry expert, commented on the importance of BI by saying that “an organisation without Business Intelligence bears a striking resemblance to a ship without a rudder” in his latest report.
So in this article, we will look at the reasons your organisation needs a Business Intelligence consultant, along with some tips to find the right BI consultants and hire them at the right time.
Tasks Performed by BI Consultants
An ideal BI consultant for your business will have sound knowledge of the underlying data system, along with programs and tools that create the data. The primary job involves carrying out constant monitoring of the business data and generates timely reports that can be shared with your company’s management on a frequent basis.
One of the most important yet ignored tasks performed by any BI consultant is finding and listing down requirements. The consultant can devise relevant strategies and focus on achieving better results for your business if they have a sound understanding of your business needs.
A smart BI consultant will focus on the business and then determine the technology and tools that need to be used in order to convert a vast pool of data into valuable information.
Having dealt with a number of enterprises, we realise the importance of having a level-headed BI consultant that can offer alternate solutions to emerging challenges with well-defined reports.
This goes a long way in helping the management make informed decisions that turn out to be successful in the long run. Therefore, you can term your BI consultant as the ideal partner for the decision makers of your business.
Rising Need to Hire BI Consultants
As needs are becoming more dynamic, it is getting increasing difficult to make the right, long-term decisions without a strong source of information and intelligence.
You need professionals that can provide updated operational data and information in an efficient manner upon demand. Your management cannot be expected to continuously monitor the data reports and use them to make informed decisions. It requires a specialist to provide the right kind of data and information and this is why you need a qualified BI consultant.
There is no perfect time to hire a BI consultant. You need to get hold of one as early as possible in order to increase your chances of making better decisions that yield quality results for your company. In addition, the sooner you hire a BI consultant, the easier it will be for them to develop an understanding of your requirements.
Skills to Look Out for While Hiring a BI Consultant
- Must be an expert on your company’s underlying data system (IBM DB2 or Microsoft SQL Server or similar)
- Should have sound knowledge of SQL, database functions and data modelling
- Must be able to query recursively at a fast pace (to generate quick reports on demand) and execute analytic functions for complex inter-row calculations
- Must have good knowledge about the source program (Sage ERP or Microsoft Dynamics GP or similar) used to generate data reports
- Must possess excellent communication skills to understand the business requirements clearly, highlight the gaps and showcase valuable information on time
If you are going for a BI project for the first time, you definitely need professional help from agencies that have prior exposure to BI technologies and tools.
Also, you can opt for recruitment agencies that offer experienced BI professionals on contract or for permanent hires. However, you can also opt for BI consultancy firms that provide quality support for all your data-centric BI needs.
There is no room to experiment when it comes to BI for your organisation as a single bad decision can have very far-reaching consequences. Hiring a well-qualified BI consultant or a team of such consultants is a small investment that will pay rich dividends for your business in the long term.
The time and money you spend on hiring the right BI team will eventually help your business grow and increase profitability through well-informed decisions.
So do you plan to hire in-house BI consultants, or outsource? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!