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7 Ways to Make the Most of Business Intelligence in 2017

A tremendous amount of data is generated every minute of every day, creating both enormous opportunities and daunting challenges. As we look towards 2017, organizations that recognize the urgency of turning this data into actionable intelligence, using the right analytics solutions, will be the ones that see the greatest success. As you prepare for the year ahead, it’s important to understand the latest trends and best practices for BI adoption, data discovery techniques, analytics tools, and more. Here are seven BI strategies I have my eye on for the year ahead.

Make adoption pervasive

You’ve likely considered the impact BI software has on the data analysts at your company, but what about everyone else? It’s time we make the most of our BI investments by distributing them to every single person across the organization. Your sales, marketing, and human resources departments can all do their jobs better with the right analytics tools, whether they’re sharing competitor information in the cloud, collaborating on sales forecast dashboards to make the most of every potential deal, or accessing employment data on their phone between interviews.

Simplify systems and reduce costs

2017 is a great year to do some infrastructure “spring cleaning” to reduce unnecessary costs and complexity. New, enterprise-ready technologies make it possible to pay less and do more with improved uptime and the flexibility to scale up and down as business needs change.

Say goodbye to limits on data discovery

Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed the consumerization of IT, with many departments choosing to roll out their own point solutions for data discovery. The goal is a smart one: build compelling visualizations and reports to show managers what that department has achieved. But many organizations don’t have the proper controls in place for a consistent view of their data. Others have been so successful with data discovery that they’ve realized their current solution has limits to how widely that data can be shared. This is the year to roll out a data discovery solution that fits into the enterprise and helps drives success not just for the short-term, but for the years to come.

Choose a tool that does it all

Many organizations use a patchwork of tools to fulfill their business intelligence and analytics needs. However, this model is inefficient in terms of cost, training, and maintenance—and limits cross-team collaboration. I believe that in 2017 organizations will prioritize tool consolidation. They’ll look for a single tool that can simplify supporting mobile apps, data discovery, in-memory analytics, and more. Forward-thinking organizations will opt for a single, cohesive platform that meets all of their needs and decreases development time and maintenance overhead.

Anticipate the future of big data

It’s no secret that big data continues to be an extremely fluid and dynamic space. Back in 2014 and 2015, companies were focused on having a plan to extract information from big data. But in 2017 and beyond, organizations need to make sure any analytics investments they make are extremely flexible. That’s because what you’re building today will likely change in six to 12 months, as new forms of big data become available and other supporting technologies emerge. Today’s organizations need the ability to rewire thousands of dashboards and reports without erasing hours of previous work.

Position analytics at the core of your organization

Today, analytics solutions touch every aspect of an organization. As more people across more industries adopt these solutions, analytics will become even more pervasive. In 2017, companies will double their efforts in building custom-branded mobile and desktop applications. These solutions will go beyond simple reporting and make analytics a core part of their business.

Gain a bird’s eye view of operations

In 2017, companies will prioritize getting a better handle on assets across the entire organization—understanding how employees interact with the business and its buildings, who is using what technology, when they’re using it, and how. Armed with this information, organizations can better understand and take action on everything from work attendance to the communication tools employees prefer in real-time, making it far easier to determine where to consolidate and reduce costs. On the customer side, companies can use monitoring tools to identify top customers and see how much revenue they’re generating. And in many cases, these implementations can be built in less than a day.

What are the top priorities on your organization’s business intelligence to-do list for 2017? Leave us a comment or send us a tweet @MicroStrategy using the hashtag #2017InBI and let us know. And be sure to sign up for a Q1 MicroStrategy Symposia event near you to start planning for the year ahead.

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