The new budgeting year is fast approaching, and you’re going to have a new focus on business intelligence. Understanding your data and how it affects your daily operations is an important goal. The question is, how much will it cost, and how will you pay for it? Before you go implementing a new BI program, you need to budget for it. Here’s how to approach a BI budget for the new year that will provide you with the resources you need.
The first thing you need to do is outline exactly what you plan on doing with regards to business intelligence. What will the scope of the project be? These are major factors in determining how much money to allot for the project. But perhaps the most important budgeting question is how will you implement your BI program? You have several options:
- Phases. Launch your business intelligence program slowly, one department at a time, until it encompasses the entire company.
- All at once. This can be a shock to your company, suddenly implementing major changes across the board. However, if your company is in trouble, and badly needs a business intelligence solution to pull it out of dire straits, then an immediate change may be necessary.
- Executive dashboards. Only C-level executives are given BI data.
- Clients only. Your clients are given the BI tools directly, to perform their own business intelligence reporting with regards to your business.
The type of BI rollout you choose will have a tremendous impact on your budget, in terms of where and when funds are needed. Have your BI program completely planned out before you budget, to provide you with a clear picture of exactly what you need, how much it will cost, and in what areas.
Once you have your basic plan outlined, there are three specific cost factors to consider:
- Subscription (licensing) fees
- Hardware / Hosting
Many organizations only factor in licensing fees, and forget about the other costs. This leads to inaccurate budget planning. Consider all three factors, researching what they cost on average and determining how much you’re willing to pay for each, in order to get a better estimate of how much to budget for your BI project
The cost of BI solutions varies depending on the company’s needs, so there’s no set rule of thumb to let you know how much you can expect to pay. Budgeting for BI can be a complicated matter that requires a lot of research, analysis, and self-reflection on the part of your company. However, it’s a necessary first step to implementing a program that will help you better understand your business and ultimately achieve better results. It may seem like a costly endeavor. But the cost of not implementing business intelligence can end up being much, much higher.