Business Intelligence (BI) teams often face several resource constraints that can impact their ability to deliver their objectives effectively. They must run effective operations with limited time, resources, budget and people. The role can be incredibly challenging when multiple projects are highly prioritised, where data and reports were required yesterday. That said, there are ways to make these challenges more manageable.
The Resource Issue
Before moving on to possible solutions, it is helpful first to understand the resource issue that most BI teams typically struggle with. It can be divided into one of 4 topics.
BI projects often have strict deadlines, and teams may face time constraints in delivering reports, dashboards, or analytical solutions. Balancing the need for quick turnaround times with ensuring data accuracy and quality can be a significant challenge.
Business needs that new report yesterday to make specific strategic decisions. The information must be accurate, use high-quality data and easy to use and understand. Because of this, many BI teams often find themselves in a situation where haphazard data pipelines are being built, quick data delivery processes are implemented without proper testing or flimsy automation processes are scraped together to meet the next deadline. Building a quality process can be exceedingly difficult when time is limited.
Building and maintaining a skilled BI team can be challenging due to a shortage of professionals with expertise in data analysis, data modeling, statistics, data visualization, and business domain knowledge. Competition for qualified BI professionals can lead to difficulty in assembling and retaining a capable team. Finding the right team with the right skills can be challenging, especially when those specific skills come at a high price or is in high demand.
BI initiatives require investments in various areas, including infrastructure, software licenses, data sources, and human resources. Limited budgetary allocations can restrict the team’s capacity to acquire the necessary tools and resources to implement BI projects effectively.
Ever evolving requirements
The field of BI is continuously evolving, with new tools, technologies, and methodologies emerging regularly. BI teams must stay updated with the latest trends and advancements, which can be challenging and time-consuming, especially for teams with limited resources.
Alongside this, there can be pressure from businesses to keep up with ever-evolving and refining business requirements and business rules. This knock-on effect on previously produced reports and data extracts, means that a project is never truly “done”. There can be situations where these changes are done on a more informal basis instead of a proper enhancement project. This can be especially difficult to navigate, considering other challenges previously mentioned.
The BI challenge
Now that we understand the resource issue a bit better, the challenge can be clearly defined. BI teams must deliver quality projects with limited time, people and budget. Typically these projects require data from various sources to be retrieved and combined to give the desired insights. You may ask: Where is the data team that ensures that data is centralized and readily available? In many organizations, there is no data team – the BI team is responsible for getting the data and delivering reports and extracts.
But how can this be done? A possible answer is to solve the problem by selecting the right tool. There is a tool for every job and if you work smart when selecting the tool to build your BI process, you can manage the challenges far more efficiently.
The right tool makes all the difference
Ideally, you would want to use a tool that can:
- Retrieve data
- Load data into any datastore
- Interact with the data to make enhancements, apply validations and raise data quality issues
- Retrieve data
- Create reports or extracts (pdf, Excel, CSV and more)
- Create and host APIs for data delivery when needed
- Deliver those extracts or reports
- Build all this bespoke and custom because every organisation is different.
- Uncomplicated deployment and hosting
Enter low-code: You would want to do all this at speed, and with the skill set available to you, meaning that the tool should be easy to work with and have a high level of abstraction, making it easier and quicker to build applications and processes.
Having one platform where your solution can be tested, deployed and hosted, allows you not only to save time on building the application but saves time on processes that DevOps teams would typically manage.
Beyond the above, these applications can be built by team members that are not developers by trade. Think of allowing Data Analysts or Business Analysts to create their own applications, offering them the capability to automate data validation, report distribution and more.
The Linx Difference
Our technology is centered around a programming paradigm, providing far greater adaptability than traditional workflow-driven tools or other low-code platforms. You are not tied to a specific technology or database; enabling analysts to confidently build solutions across various technologies, systems, databases and platforms to tackle even the most challenging data sources, formats or structures.