Best Practice

Do you audit your business intelligence solution?

As more organisations implement a business intelligence solution it is increasingly important to analyse who is using it and how often.

After taking the time to develop and customise a BI solution to match your needs, your business will only continue to benefit if it’s used on a regular basis.

There are a number of key requirements to ensure your business intelligence application stays relevant and useful.

Some business intelligence software is so complex that the IT department need to be involved at every stage of the process, from configuration through to setting up and publishing charts.

User requirements will change over time, in response to internal and external factors, and businesses need to remain flexible so that they can respond in a timely manner.

Your BI solution should be constantly evolving. A self service approach makes this easier as users can make changes without involving the IT department, which then reduces lead times.

Easy to Use

To support a self service approach business intelligence software needs to have an intuitive interface that is easy to use and requires minimal training.

If making changes needs technical support then responsibility for updates will rest on a small number of people with the right skills, creating a bottleneck.

An easy to use interface will remove the burden from the IT department, reduce the lead time, and increase the agility of the business to respond to change.

User Audit

Your BI solution should include some user auditing functionality with built-in charts that accurately display how often users are logging in and who is not using the software.

This can be used to find out why there are inactive users and how to remedy any obstacles. A user audit will also show the busiest times of the day and even which departments or lines of business are using it more frequently.

Chart Audit

A chart auditing function will help identify which charts are being used and how many new charts are being created, but also how well the charts are performing.

One of the reasons for a decline in chart usage could be that it is taking too long for charts to load.

Another could be that charts thought to be useful to everyone are too generic, which forced users to create their own.

The Panintelligence dashboard allows you to interrogate the performance of each chart and the time it takes to load in milliseconds.

Detailed information is available about each stage, from how long it takes to run the data query to the length of time to build the chart.

This allows you to pinpoint the cause of any issues, for example, if charts are loading slowly the dashboard will show if this is caused by a connection problem or if it relates to how the chart was built.

The user audit functions of the dashboard also provides detailed information on user access and frequency.

To support the longevity of your business intelligence solution it requires a level of internal monitoring to make sure that it is performing well and is being widely used.

Written by Ken