On 5 July, the site http://discussions.idg.bg held an online discussion dedicated to the benefits of Business Intelligence technology. The event was organized by ICT Media and the company Balkan Services was the official partner of the meeting. Vladimir Rashev, Managing Partner of Balkan Services, participated in the discussion and emphasized the role that BI technology plays both to optimize the performance of sales departments and other employees and to "set the clock" to managers for what is happening in the company. "Business Intelligence is a technology that allows us to use the information of the company in order to understand if we are following our pre-determined strategy and goals.
Through BI we could gather in a single dashboard all the key indicators regarding the direction in which the company is moving, and it can be updated daily "- said Vladimir Rashev, adding that all companies are trying to connect their activities with their strategy. Internationally recognized companies are required to use such resources and their strategy and daily decisions are fully connected. However, this is not the case with Bulgarian companies, he added. Precisely this functionality of linking the activities of the company with its strategy, is one of the main advantages of this type of solutions. According to Rashev, every company that has a large amount of data could successfully use Business Intelligence software and to benefit from it. He gave as an example the sectors of retail and telecommunications, adding that in Bulgaria the implementation of BI software is still a new market which will be expanded in the future. "It is a very complex issue what kind of analysis should be made.
In our practice we have noticed that this task can often be outsourced to external consultants using their experience of working for other companies. They can offer the types of analysis, the method for calculating certain indicators and reports, so that ultimately the customer receives a complete application" - said the manager of Balkan Services, analyzing various aspects of BI projects. He explained that the team of the company can help the customer to choose the most appropriate indicators that are important for him, to select them so that they are balanced, and based on them to create specific applications that meet the needs of the client.
"We have already gained enough experience in the retail industry and have repeatedly encountered with problems of the retail companies, and so we have ready applications that can be implemented in this type of companies and the implementation will take place much faster than normal" - said Rashev and added that with the creation of BI applications it is more important who will build the application over what technology is used. One of the problems in the use of BI software, according to Vladimir Rashev, is that end users sometimes have difficulties with the preparation of the analyses they need. Especially, if they are managers and don’t have the time needed to learn to use a new technology. In that regard, Rashev explained that there is a trend for the emergence of a new type of staff – analysts, who know the business and the necessary information, in addition to the technologies that can provide this information. "These are people who can process every reference and analysis in the right format for end users, but can also take care of maintenance. They are also the people who give most of the proposals how to develop the system and who to a great extent digest and prepare the information. There can be one, two, three or more such people, or in a large organization there could be such a person in each department "- explains the BI specialist. During the discussion, he highlighted the issue of data quality in the company-customer.
"Very often we are faced with a problem where in the beginning, the end users resist the implementation of a BI solution" - stated Rashev, explaining that the reason for this is that they no longer have control over the way of preparing reports and results because BI systems always provide information by the same methodology and data cannot be changed. Another potential problem, according to the manager of Balkan Services, is the very quality of the data. He added that in the absence of a BI system, problems in the data are hard to detect, but after the implementation they become visible. "The way here is not to say no to BI so that we don’t see what problems we have with the data and information in our company. The solution is to use BI, so that we clear up the data and processes, and discontinue generating data that is not OK. In this respect, Business Intelligence can help a lot"- categorically states Rashev. According to him, an important advantage of modern BI systems is the possibility for managers and owners of companies to immediately see key indicators for their development, regardless of whether they are physically located in the company, or for example in another country. Moreover, they could set specific indicators and criteria, and be informed about them via email or sms, which gives them the security that they can monitor what is happening in the business at any time and from anywhere.