Getting to Business Intelligence

The goal of every business intelligence project is to turn data into insights and action.

A great BI project enables you to make thoughtful, accurate, and data driven decisions that will grow your business. 

Unfortunately, you can’t just buy a BI solution and start getting insights from your data. There is a large amount of work that needs to be done to your data before you can start gathering insights. This is true across the board regardless of the BI tool you purchase.

If we compare BI to a restaurant, your data is like the raw ingredients. They need to be prepared properly to be used in the meal. The insights and analysis you’re hoping for would be like the meal you order and delivered right to your table. If restaurants worked like current BI solutions do, you would order a delicious sounding meal only to have someone hand you a bowl of vegetables, a slab of meat, and a knife and say “Enjoy your meal.” 

You don’t go to a restaurant to prepare your own meal! You also don’t buy a BI solutions to wade through the process of preparing your data everytime you want answers about your business.

In business intelligence, the bulk of time is spent gathering, preparing, and transforming data. To continue the restaurant analogy, this is the work done by a prep cook. The prep cooks prepare ingredients beforehand so the chef can focus her time and energy on creating delicious and beautiful dishes for customers.

Currently in BI, you have to do all of that prep work yourself again and again. We all know how that looks. You probably have data in a few different systems and a handful of spreadsheets. This data likely varies in its completeness and cleanliness, and isn’t ready for any type of visualization. It’s a pain. 

Worse yet, most people don’t have the time, or skills to do this data work, which is a major roadblock to becoming a data driven organization. Even for someone with advanced data knowledge and SQL chops, the process takes a lot of time and effort. This leaves very little time for you to actually analyze and get insight from your metics, which is the whole purpose of BI. 

We are solving this problem at Grow.com. We’ve already built the tools to help you prepare your data without SQL knowledge, but what about the repetitive work of preparing your data?

BI with Grow Datasets

We realized that too many people were buying BI because they wanted insights into their data, but were being told a version of the following: “I hope you know how to prepare your data. Oh, and we hope you enjoy it because you’re going to be doing a lot of it.” We knew that had to change. That’s why we made Datasets. 

With Grow Datasets, you only need to do the data prep work once! (and we even have a whole team ready to do it for you).  Once you have a dataset, anyone in your organization can leverage the work that was put into making your data look good again and again. With datasets, you’ll actually have the time to get insights to grow your business.

So how do datasets work?

You probably have (or want) a few sales metrics that pull from the same source but are configured differently. Currently, you have to fetch, clean, and transform the data each time you build a metric.

What if you could put all your sales data into one collection and then use that collection to power all your sales metrics?

Datasets are a collection of reports that contain data in a ready to use state. All the prep work can be done by an expert at your company and saved as a dataset. You just have to load in that dataset and start visualizing.

 

The problem with BI today

Sales data has to be gathered, prepped, and transformed for each metric. And even after you’ve done that work the data isn’t consistent leading to data trust issues.

BI with Grow Datasets

Your sales Grow Dataset can power all your sales metrics. Now you only have to do the hard work once. 

Your business and datasets

Datasets leverage the power you get out of your data. No longer is just one person in the company capable of building metrics and dashboards. Now anyone, regardless of data skills, can pull in a dataset, build a metric, and use data to get answers. 

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