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BE-terna achieves the 2023-2024 Microsoft Business Applications Inner Circle award.
7 min read • Jan 26, 2020
a large number of companies depend on data to some extent; whether by using it
substantially in decision-making or by merely working on projects that will
allow them to do this. And while everyone is somehow involved with data,
examples of companies that have truly reorganised their work processes or made
ground-breaking business decisions based on this data are few and far between.
The implementation of BI solution in
companies has always been and will continue to be a business project first and
foremost. Successful implementation should enable the company to learn more
about its customers, find new revenue sources or optimise certain business
processes in order to increase revenue or cut costs. However, the
implementation of BI solutions in companies is often reduced to one type of
technology replacing another or to a modern dashboard replacing an obsolete
one, while barely quantifying any concrete advantages for the organisation.
For years, BE-terna has successfully
marketed a modern, flexible approach to BI solution implementation by utilising
next-generation tools that are technologically superior to traditional BI
tools. Although modern BI tools are paramount for meeting the business
objectives indicated in the introduction, they are hardly sufficient.
often tend to neglect the other key component of these projects, namely people
and their knowledge, which allows them to derive the maximum benefit for the
company from those tools. Data literacy is a concept that is overlooked today
by most companies and is based on the assumption that the so-called soft skills
are a prerequisite for the user to transform raw data or information into
knowledge and business decisions.
A large number of people with the
role of analysts or controllers invest their energy in achieving personal
growth and development when it comes to technical competencies, while at the
same time neglecting soft skills, which are pivotal for making successful
business decisions. When discussing soft skills, we primarily think of basic
soft skills, such as communication or teamwork. Other slightly more important
skills should also be noted, such as creativity, curiosity, problem-solving and
using storytelling as a skill to present analysis as a clear and easy-to-read
story or report in order for the listeners to receive the message more easily.
You are unlikely to make a quality business decision looking at a pivot table
showing sales up to the current day and making a comparison with the same
period last year.
You will make a quality business decision by being curious
enough to meticulously analyse the trends by customer category and the diverse
packaging of your own products and by being creative enough to compare the data
with market data, market shares and specific economic indicators. For example,
this can help you realise that your top-selling items generate low margins,
while the bulk of the profits in the said market segment is derived from XXL
packaging that you do not even own at the time in question. This realisation
will ultimately allow you to make an effective and attention-grabbing
5-10-minute presentation for your superiors and make a joint decision on the
marketing of new packaging that will compensate for the lost profit. The
process described in the previous example is simplified, but not intuitive and
people frequently lack the training to solve a problem this way.
Companies often take the easy road
when solving this problem by trying to find a person that has acquired all the
aforementioned skills. BE-terna's market experience shows that it is very
difficult to find a person who possesses a full skill set and that it takes 2-3
people to completely solve a single analytical problem.
business knowledge, data analysis and storytelling play a crucial role in the
BE-terna tackles the aforementioned problem by including the required
user training pertaining to the development of knowledge and skills in the
segments of decision-making, data reading and analysis, as well as the segment
of data literacy as an integral part of the implementation project.
Data Literacy is a training programme
that Qlik, one of the global leaders in analytics, marketed with the aim of
training various types of users who deal with data analysis in operative
business for high-quality problem-solving. The aim of the training is to equip
users with specific soft skills in order to facilitate the employees'
decision-making, which will ultimately benefit their company in terms of
The first generation of projects
implementing analytics tools emphasised data modelling, warehouse building and
a few other activities hidden far from the view of the end-user. Today, it is
the complete opposite, mostly due to technological development, business
operation speed and the training of end-users.
Less time and money is spent on
data modelling in BI projects, while more time is given to user interface
development, its intuitive design and the training of end-users,
to transform data into knowledge using the applications and make better
The aforementioned changes are most noticeable in projects
pertaining to the implementation of artificial intelligence in the company
operation. The results of one of the most recent surveys on AI adoption,
conducted by the McKinsey consulting firm showed that out of the 1000 surveyed
companies, the biggest difference between those that successfully implemented
AI-based operational changes and those that never got past the pilot project
implementation stage was that 90% of the "successful" companies spent
more than 50% of their investment budget on the so-called last-mile activities,
such as business process redesign, end-user training in communications,
decision-making etc., while only 23% of the "unsuccessful" companies
spent the same budget amount.
This survey by McKinsey is perhaps
the best indicator of the market direction in which clients' needs are headed
and clearly shows that people are paving a critical path involving success in
all data-based projects. The technological development with the cloud at the
forefront has made advanced algorithms accessible to almost everyone and
everywhere, but only humans can reap true benefits from the projects in
question, provided that they transform this information and data into knowledge
and successful business decisions. The culture, business climate and market
(under)development have all, to a certain extent, contributed to the fact that
we live in an environment in which the learning, growth and development of
employees is not a top priority. Companies that wish to emerge stronger or
simply emerge from the upcoming technological wave will have to change their
climate and data literacy will be a central factor in these changes.
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