BI solutions are on the minds of most business leaders. And for good reason. BI, or Business Intelligence, solutions can be extremely useful in helping companies round out Dynamics AX implementations, transition away from native and custom AX SSRS reports, or even boost general sales and overall in-house efficiency.
As most business-minded individuals also know, there are several questions that go beyond simply ‘what are the benefits?’ that need to be asked when deciding whether BI solutions are right for you.
To help, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most important questions we feel business leaders should ask when determining if a BI solution is truly the right fit.
Asking what BI can do for the entirety of your company is the key when viewing a BI solution from the top down.
The first thing to understand about BI is that there is no “standard” BI implementation. There are many off-the-shelf tools available for Dynamics AX which can be useful, but these tools often serve as mere starting points in a company’s BI journey.
Having access to data via BI, for example, often won’t quench users’ thirst for information, but rather prompt them to ask more and deeper questions about their business; this is something healthy that we encourage as it highlights one of BI’s greatest attributes.
When we look at BI from a sales perspective, the questions we encourage businesses to consider begin to get much more specific. Some of these questions include:
Additionally, we want salespeople to be better enabled to make more and better deals:
Essentially, the purpose of asking these sales questions is to make a business case for implementing a BI solution as well as lead businesses to the right solution. While a BI implementation is on a smaller scale than an AX implementation, depending on your desired approach you may have to commit to some non-trivial licensing fees.
A disciplined finance team will require any business to rationalize their desire for a BI tool. The initial questions one may have from a financial perspective are:
These questions are difficult to answer specifically, but it is prudent to make some baseline assumptions. A Microsoft Dynamics AX Partner should be able to help guide businesses through this and provide insight on options.
Some second-level questions that should be answered include all those that envision what their business would look like in a post-BI solutions environment. For example:
If and when a business decides that their cost-benefit analysis shows BI solutions to be a sound investment, it is then time to put together a BI implementation team. Check back for more on that topic!
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