The Value of the BI Consultant

More and more companies today are deciding to bring in additional external support by hiring BI consultants. This allows them to handle their technical requirements; and is especially valuable when a company requires specialized services or expertise.

BI is a technology-driven function that collects, analyzes and presents data in a visual and easy-to-understand manner. It is critical for reporting on key company information. Additionally, it often involves the measurement of different company processes and their results -both inside and outside of the organization.

An experienced BI consultant provides the expertise on an “ad-hoc” (as-needed) basis. Essentially, these experts can be flexibly placed with your organization and will immediately add value as an extension of your IT team.

A good Consultant is “Value Add”

A BI consultant adds value to a business by providing the additional support needed to improve reporting and enhance decision making. This leads to the identification of new business opportunities and reduced company costs.

However, a good BI consultant goes far beyond corporate reporting and often comes with a robust set of tools and lengthy experience that are used to compound the value of data within enterprise systems. BI can also be used to identify inefficient business procedures that can benefit immensely from re-engineering.

When strategically implemented, a business intelligence consultant has the power to push a business far beyond its competitors. They can exponentially boost internal engagement, brand awareness, profitability, and organizational efficiency.

Below are just some of the many roles carried out by a BI consultant:

  • Delivering expertise in design, expansion, and implementation of analytics systems and business intelligence platforms.
  • Providing assistance in the development of new and evolving BI reporting and analysis applications.
  • Designing and developing enterprise data warehouse systems to compound the value of business data.
  • Providing business teams with the technical and functional guidance needed to access company data when necessary. (Also called “data democratization”)
  • Providing business teams with optimal and cost-effective solutions that help in achieving current and future business objectives.
  • Coordinating with clients to understand and set plans to achieve the requirements, milestones, and deliverables of a project.

In-demand Services for a BI Consultant

A qualified BI consultant delivers comprehensive services that can be tremendously vital in understanding crucial analytics and business metrics. As a result, this helps in eliminating wasted effort, time and money. It also enables business leaders to make more informed and strategic business decisions.

To effectively deliver these services, a BI consultant concentrates on providing a particular work product, whether it is a solution or strategy; and managing the project to completion. Additionally, a BI consultant provides organizations with an abundance of options as it relates to business intelligence solutions and platforms, with minimal risk involved for the company.

A good BI consultant has an in-depth understanding and technical expertise when it comes to business processes. However, they are also equipped with tools and techniques designed to tackle a variety of complex situations your business will experience during each phase of the business life cycle.

The primary objective and outcome of these technological solutions are operations, optimization, resource efficiency, and better costs. The areas in which the expertise of a BI consultant can provide true benefit include:

  • The beginning of new business and the expansion of a current business
  • Upgrading of existing IT-Infrastructure as well as reporting software and platforms
  • Project management of important initiatives for the organization

Changes in the Field of Business Intelligence

The fundamentals of business intelligence have largely remained the same but there have been some noticeable changes in the last decade, which especially include a radical shift in access to data.

In the past, IT had strict control over the data and this often had a massive impact on the timeliness of projects that were completed. Therefore, individuals could experience daily issues with accessing the data required for making decisions. Now, there is a shift in data access. The majority of organizations are eager to get data in the hands of individuals who can do something beneficial with it.

Additionally, much better tools have emerged, which have enabled both BI consultants and their clients to collaborate and stay connected and aligned throughout projects. There has also been a rise of quicker, more-secure networks (i.e. virtual private networks [VPNs], and secure file transfer protocols [SFTP], etc.). These evolutions have allowed business leaders to have an increased comfort level to allow data to be accessed securely from outside the confines of their walls. As such, it has become less of a requirement for consultants to always be on-site -and yet another factor driving down the cost.

Key Trends

BI strategies have become much more customized this year. Businesses are now asking whether better access to business intelligence analytics will be needed; as a result, they are trying to determine the best solutions for their particular fields of business.

This year and next year will be the years of deep data discovery and data quality management (MDM). Companies will strive to have a secure, organized, and hygienic data environment, combined with multiple powerful and simple presentation and visualization capabilities. Furthermore, 2020 will be a big year for artificial intelligence and multi-cloud strategies. These key Business Intelligence trends will include:

  • Data Discovery
  • Data Quality Management
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics Tools
  • Data Governance and Trust
  • Connected Clouds
  • Digital Ethics and Privacy

The Future of the BI Consultant

By the end of 2021, business intelligence and analytics industries are set to attain a value of $26.50 Billion. Additionally, it will be 5 times more likely that companies who utilize BI analytics during their decision-making processes will make faster and more informed decisions to break away from competitors.

Software for business intelligence is developing rapidly as it becomes more and more of a necessity for many modern companies. The future of business intelligence will absolutely see an escalation in features that facilitate streamlined workflows, increased ease of use, and predictive capabilities. Additionally, there will be significant improvements in the following areas:

  • Integration: Business intelligence will increasingly intertwine with other third-party systems. As a result, this will create more complex processing of data, but higher value and more actionable insights.
  • Collaboration: BI tools will facilitate more teamwork as they become increasingly collaborative, and therefore good BI consultants will be a key part of that collaboration.
  • Data Productivity: Realtime and proactive “AI” features will automatically respond to inquiries and provide users with immediate and relevant data based on search, intent, and context.
  • Machine Learning: Artificial Intelligence will evaluate past data and supply the user with unique insights and phenomenal forecasting capabilities.
  • Data-driven Cultures: Implementing a data-driven culture includes providing employees with the necessary resources to incorporate business intelligence into daily processes.
  • Network Advancements: There will be an expansion in technology infrastructure to store massive amounts of data and provide improved support for BI systems and end-users.

BI Consultants Aren’t Going Anywhere

Companies no longer wonder whether data visualizations enhance analyses -this has now become accepted as fact. They are now on a quest to determine the best method of telling each data story.

Therefore, since organizations are increasingly deciding to secure additional external support, BI consultants will be critical to the successful completion of key company projects. As a result, they’ll be handling the technical requirements and providing much-needed services and expertise.

Experienced BI consultants will be experts that can integrate quickly into organizations. They have the power to provide immediate value to the successful implementation of new technologies.