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The Rise of BI Tools and Data Sources: Risks and Opportunities

Digitalization has given rise to innovations in technology to keep up with the rapid growth of data, as well as help turn this vast amount of data into insights. From traditional spreadsheets to Business Intelligence (BI) solutions, organizations today are transforming their businesses to be data-driven. Research shows that the Business Intelligence market is projected to reach $39.35 billion by 2027. Part of the BI market growth is due to the increasing adoption of self-service BI and reporting solutions that empower business people to work with their respective data independently with minimal help from IT.

The proliferation of reporting tools makes it possible for more and more people to access multiple BI applications so they can view and manipulate their reports. But as the number of applications increases, the number of risks also rises. Multiple applications mean multiple reports existing in multiple, isolated systems which can lead eventually to inconsistent information. 

 The Risks

Gartner’s research shows that while Business Intelligence solutions have been around for quite some time, user adoption is still hovering at only 30 percent. These numbers show the gap between the data and information that is available for analytics and software user adoption to conduct the analysis. If people do not know the reports exist in a BI tool, then the proliferation of BI reporting tools potentially creates more challenges than it addresses. 

Unused Reports

There are numerous reasons why reports can remain unused, but the most notable ones are:

    • Reports buried or siloed in a source system
    • Lack of personalized or complete information from reporting tools
    • Difficulty with access
    • General complexity

When reports exist in disparate systems, it creates an incomplete picture of enterprise information, thus reducing users’ confidence in BI reports.

Low User Adoption

It is not enough to just provide report users with BI tools to help with their data. Poor user adoption usually stems from not having enough communication with them during the implementation stage. For this reason, the low adoption rate can be caused by the following:

    • Product is daunting to use
    • Delay in delivery of the report
    • Users are unaware of tool availability
    • Multiple tools each have different reports and viewing permissions
    • User preference and comfort level create reluctance to adopt a new tool

Report users must familiarize themselves with the reporting tool. If users do not have enough knowledge on how to use the BI tool, then they will just remain with the status quo. 

The Opportunities

According to Bain’s survey, 66% of executives report that digital disruption and software solutions are rapidly changing the rules of competition. However, there is still major concern about increasing user adoption so that the tools can turn data into a competitive advantage. Thus, it is paramount to consult report users that directly use the BI reporting tool. If report users think that such a tool is just an additional step to their work routine, they may not see its value. 

In order to maximize the investment in BI solutions and increase adoption, it is important to simplify the experience for the user. Providing a single pane of interaction for businesspeople to seamlessly switch from one tool to another and access information from across the enterprise BI and analytics ecosystem is a must. ZenOptics addresses the problems caused by too many BI tools and disparate data sources. It provides a single interface to connect to all analytics assets with portal-like capabilities and establishes an analytics catalog, governance, and statistics to guide the usage of information. The ZenOptics Decision Confidence Platform makes it possible to have frictionless access to cross-platform information assets so report users can significantly enjoy better governance, control, and visibility with just a single point of access as they make business decisions.

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