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Small firms must be wary of investments in BI

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Business insurance and business intelligence are becoming just as commonplace in today's fast-paced marketplace as firms hope to gather insights that help them learn more about their customers and industry as a whole. However, only one of the investments is proving to be worthwhile for companies. Domo, provider of a cloud-based executive management platform, recently released its The BI(G) Disappointment report, which looked at how business professionals are using data from BI tools and the successes and failures they are having with the mass amounts of the information they are interpreting to compile statistics and figures about their client base, as well as prospective customers.

BI tools not delivering the goods
Small-business owners cannot afford to waste money on tools that will not bring them a return on investment, and the survey demonstrated many firms are experiencing problems with their BI deployments. According to the study, more than nine out of 10 of respondents said they rely on information from big data streams to properly complete their work, while just 43 percent revealed they are able to access the insights they need to carry out their roles. Furthermore, 62 percent commented that they are unable to access the information they need in real-time, taking away from one of the supposed greatest benefits of BI: quick access to data to improve decision-making.

"In today's uncertain economic times, the need for trustworthy data is more critical than ever," said Josh James, founder and CEO of Domo. "Businesspeople need to make fast, well-informed decisions to stay ahead of the pack. But without access to reliable, up-to-date information, even the best-run organizations could be in serious jeopardy."

Sales teams need more information
Many small businesses have a sales staff that is comprised of just a few skilled professionals, and with the use of BI tools they would be able to compete with their larger counterparts. However, the study revealed 67 percent of all salespeople that took part in the survey are not happy with the current level of information they can use. Rapid reports are key to sales professionals as they must present the most up-to-date data to their prospects.

"When we set out to conduct this survey, we expected that data access would be a universal problem for CEOs," said James. "What surprised us, however, was how pervasive the problem is across roles and across industries."

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