Skip to content
Business

“Don’t Do BI” – Save Your Money and Avoid the Heartache!

Ignorance. Is. Bliss. Nothing could be truer than that when it comes to implementing BI projects. Many believe it’s far better to bury our heads in the sand than to know how we can develop competitive edges, take advantage of opportunities, outsmart the competition and over-deliver to customers. In short – don’t do BI!

Nothing could be truer than ignorance is bliss when it comes to implementing BI projects. Many believe it’s far better to bury our heads in the sand than to know how we can develop that competitive edge, take advantage of opportunities, outsmart the competition and over-deliver to customers.

“To know” means there is a level of responsibility for the actionable insights you gain. You have to act. And who would want that additional responsibility? Far better to just not know. Then you don’t have to worry.

Don’t know which 50% of your marketing is working? That’s okay. If you don’t do BI, you can keep closing your eyes, throwing a dart at your marketing plan, and praying that you choose the right half. Don’t know what your customers want? You can keep delivering products that they’ll only buy with steep discounts. Most people don’t really want to know the answers to their most critical questions. Nor do they want to answer the real questions in their business because then they’d have to do something about it.

Don’t know what your customers want? You can keep delivering products that they’ll only buy with steep discounts. Most people don’t really want to know the answers to their most critical questions. Nor do they want to answer the real questions in their business because then they’d have to do something about it.

By staying ignorant, you can keep the workload off your plate and spend more time putting out fires, answering your email, and surfing Facebook or LinkedIn. It’s far more important, anyway, to reach level 1,548 of Candy Crush. We could sit back in our ergonomic leather chairs, just be too busy and don’t do BI!

There are plenty of advantages and reasons not to start a BI project — it doesn’t matter that implementing smarter reporting and analytic solutions is right at the top of most surveys of what is hot on the CFO’s agenda.

Expensive, Expensive, and Expensive – Don’t do BI!

Look up the definition of BI Project and you might come across something like this, “An overly ambitious, unplanned, unrealistic project, handed down from an executive who read a blog post once, that is designed to fail, cost too much, deliver nothing, and require a heap of oversight.”

We’ve had prospects say “Let’s be clear. A BI project is an expense, not an investment.” If you’re thinking of starting a BI project, make sure you budget a large chunk of money and expect there to be a tonne of oversight. You’re going to be on the phone at 5 pm yelling, “Frank, I’m looking at this dashboard and want you to explain why you did it this way.” And Frank is just going to be angry that you don’t understand the value of all his hard work! Don’t do BI!

Excel Does a Superhero Job – Don’t do BI!

Anyway, Excel does a great job, so who needs BI? Excel’s functionality is robust, you never get formulas overwritten, can easily make simultaneous changes to all the spreadsheets out there being worked on, can load data easily, roll it out over the web, apply security simply and you can manipulate data until the cows come home. It mostly delivers accurate reports and information. And it’s nearly impossible to run into any reconciliation problems. Hmmm!

We won’t talk about how Excel errors and manipulation pretty much killed Enron. Or that a spreadsheet error cost the British taxpayers an estimated $105 million when the government made a mistake assessing bids for West Coast Rail Line in 2012. Or that JPMorgan lost $440 million because of a similar error. There is no way a mistake like that could happen to you, right?

Besides, everybody knows how to use Excel. Implementing BI software would require training on how to use a browser. We can’t seriously expect staff to be able to use Explorer, Safari or Chrome over Excel. Who needs fancy BI software when Excel is great for analysing unstructured data like email, customer service transcripts, and social media posts?

It’s an IT Issue – Let them do BI!

After all, business intelligence is just an IT issue, isn’t it? There is no need to get the C-suite involved in something like this. It’s better to keep the tech stuff with the tech team. Could you imagine being able to produce your own reports and have real-time insights? Now, you would be doing IT’s job. We can’t have that! Let them do BI!

“IT needs to just buckle down and build the project by the end of the third quarter.” we hear! Once it’s done, they can move on, never look at it again, and start ignoring all of this talk about BI, predictive analytics and big data.

Arrrrghhhh!

Well, maybe not! Stay tuned for our next article on how you can do BI the right way, to escape Excel hell and get great results from your investment in BI now and in the future.

Posted in:

John Vaughan

John Vaughan is a highly experienced Accountant and Consultant. He has experience in the pharmaceutical, FMCG, distribution, professional services, manufacturing and financial service industries. With over 25 years of commercial experience and 20 years working with the Cognos products, he...

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Need help with TM1?
We're here for you

Categories

Tags

Tweet
Share
Email