For every £1 spent on Business Intelligence, the ROI is £13

Let’s bump that up- for every £100,000 spent on BI, your company should be seeing a return of around £1,300,000

“What!?” you may ask. “If I spend £100k on BI, I’m going get £1.3m back?”

Yes, that is the potential of a properly planned, properly communicated, properly deployed and properly managed BI solution.

Where a BI project has been implemented in an organisation, only 8% of employees are actually using BI tools

Let’s just work those percentages back across our last example.

  • £100k should return £1.3m to your organisation
  • But 8% of £1.3m = £104,000

So, now we are saying that if you spend £100k on BI, you will get your money back, but crucially you will only see a £4k profit. That’s not such fun reading.

80% of BI projects fail regardless of the technology

We think it would be fair to say that the second statistic above could be considered to be a failed BI project. Given we now have these statistics, this results in the following:

If you deploy a successful BI solution you should get 13 times your investment returned to you but most companies only have an 8% adoption rate and you have an 80% chance of failing.

Let’s be honest, nobody ever goes into deploying a Business Intelligence solution hoping to achieve either of the above statistics. It would make no sense. The amount of time and planning, along with the cost of the solution, to only then get a £4k return is ridiculous. And yet 80% of BI deployments are seeing this type of return.

Some little known secrets

Some things that are not shown in the statistics above is that the organisations who are seeing a x13 return on their initial BI investment had help. Do you think Usain Bolt got out of bed one morning and just started running faster than any other human being in the history of mankind? Of course not, he had help.

Admittedly he has a good platform to start from, but then he has been trained from an early age, and has kept training all his life. He also has had the help of the world’s best trainers and technology advancements to maintain the man he is today.

That analogy can also be applied to IT solutions. You need to have trained, qualified IT people within your organisation that have the skills and capabilities to understand hardware, software and can deploy any solution.

But the key difference is that BI is not a typical deployment, and it is not an IT led project.

That sounds weird doesn’t it – databases, software, hardware – but not an IT driven project.

A truly successful BI solution should have input from at least one person from every level of the company – from the mail room to the boardroom. It should be based on a really clear, well thought out, well defined vision. That vision needs to be so compelling that everybody at your company believes in it, and buys into it.

BI Success

Why are you doing it?

Remember how Usain Bolt didn’t do it all on his own, he had help. Another little secret is that the BI solutions that return the most profitable insights are the ones where the company has augmented their in-house skills with external BI experts.

An external BI expert is a specialist. They live and breathe BI day-in, day-out, every day of the year.

They know the pitfalls to navigate around, and they know the best ways to help you achieve your vision. They are passionate about making you the best you can be. And if they aren’t that passionate and inspiring about your world – then you have the wrong trainer! Having outside specialist help may cost a little more, but in the end which statistic do you want to be?

I know I want to be the guy who says I spent £100k and got £1.3m return. And I’m pretty sure my boss does too.


January 28, 2016