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8 Challenges of Implementing Business Intelligence in Finance — and How to Solve Them

Business intelligence software has emerged as a key tool for data collection and analytics for BFSI companies, helping them get maximum value out of their data, improve decision-making and stay competitive. With the global business intelligence software market projected to reach $27.36 billion in 2024, as reported by Statista, the incentive to adopt BI systems has never been stronger. 

However, implementing BI for finance can be as challenging as implementing any technology. Keep reading to discover which risks are commonly associated with developing and integrating a financial BI solution and how to navigate these complexities effectively.

READ: Maximizing Investments — Harnessing Data-driven Real Estate Strategies

Data quality and integrity

The bedrock of any BI system is data, and a BI solution is efficient as long as accurate information is used for analysis. Financial organizations handle enormous data volumes every day, which often results in inaccuracies and data silos. With low-quality data entering the system, the BI solution is prone to produce erroneous or unreliable analytics reports. 

Ensuring data quality management

For a BI solution to operate efficiently and produce valuable and accurate insights, it should both ingest quality data and provide robust data quality management capabilities to process inconsistent data formats and incomplete datasets. Thus, it is recommended to implement robust data governance practices to oversee data acquisition, storage and usage processes company-wide. At the same time, the BI system should allow for:

  • Data profiling to assess data quality and identify anomalies.
  • Data cleansing to correct errors and inconsistencies.
  • Data transformation and standardization to convert data into a standard format to ensure uniformity and consistency.

READ: Battling the “Data Wheel of Death” in Business Development

Data security and compliance

BFSI companies are ideal targets for cybercriminals due to the sensitive nature of the information these organizations manage. Therefore, protecting data within BI software from unauthorized access or data breaches is paramount. In addition, financial institutions must comply with multiple stringent regulations, like GDPR, PCI DSS or SOX, which require companies to have transparent financial reporting, established internal controls, and audit trails. 

Put security measures in place

When implementing a BI solution in the finance sector, ensuring data security and regulatory compliance involves a comprehensive approach that integrates technology, policies and employee training. As a part of this approach, it is advisable to:

  • Introduce advanced security mechanisms into your BI system, like role-based controls or multifactor authentication (MFA).
  • Set up continuous security monitoring and automated alerts for any suspicious activity.
  • Develop a clear incident response plan describing steps to be taken in case of a data breach or security incident within the BI solution.
  • Make sure your employees are aware of the most common cyber attacks, such as phishing, insider threats or malware, and know how to avoid getting tricked by cybercriminals in the first place.
  • Conduct regular compliance audits to verify that the way data is collected, stored, and analyzed does not violate its accuracy, integrity, and security and adheres to these regulations. 

READ: How to Protect Your Business Against a Data Breach in 2024

User adoption

Introducing a new technology does not always receive a warm welcome from employees. Resistance to change is common, as employees may be accustomed to traditional methods of handling data, like Excel, or they don’t understand how the tool benefits them. Another common reason for skepticism about new technologies is the lack of skills to operate the newly introduced software. That is why even the most powerful BI tool becomes a waste of investment if rejected by your employees. 

Fostering a culture of change

Implementing a BI system in finance may require significant changes in organizational processes and culture. Start with organizing workshops for your employees to communicate the reasons for implementing the BI solution. Demonstrate the new system’s capabilities to show how it will make their daily work easier and more efficient.

After implementing the system, conduct role-based training sessions for your staff, tailoring the training content based on their job positions. Some employees will only need the basic BI functionality, while others will need to learn advanced capabilities, such as creating analytics reports and dashboards or integrating new data sources. 

In addition, establish two-way communication with your employees, thus ensuring users can ask questions about software and leave feedback on the BI system usage. This way, you can monitor and adjust the software adoption process.

READ: 6 Ways to Create a Lasting, Thriving Company Culture

Long-term costs

As for any other sector, implementing and maintaining a BI solution for finance can be costly. Apart from the apparent BI implementation costs like software fees and the salaries for BI implementation specialists, companies should also consider hidden costs like user training expenses, potential upgrades to the existing IT environment and data management and migration costs.

Careful budget planning and iterative BI development 

Managing apparent and hidden costs associated with implementing BI software in finance requires a strategic approach. To develop a detailed budget that covers all the expenses incurred, conduct a thorough needs assessment and gather input from all key stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive understanding of software requirements.

Instead of a full-scale implementation, consider a phased approach, starting with core functionalities and gradually adding more advanced features. This way, you will be able to evaluate the impact of each phase before proceeding further, allowing for cost adjustments and optimizations. 

The bottom line

Implementing BI in the finance sector presents challenges, primarily centered around data management and its security, organizational change and unpredictable expenses. By addressing these challenges through strategic planning, adopting robust data management approaches, investing in data security mechanisms and fostering a culture of innovation, financial organizations are sure to unlock the full potential of BI.

If you lack the expertise to plan BI implementation, consider seeking advice from a BI consulting firm that can provide guidance on best practices for BI adoption and help navigate arising challenges.


Elizaveta Karpovich headshot in black and whiteElizaveta Karpovich is a Technology Observer at Itransition, a Denver-based software development company.

Harnessing the Power of Data: How Retail Business Intelligence Drives Customer Experiences and Boosts Sales

Data is fueling retail these days, adding a new dimension to understanding and anticipating customer needs. To maintain sales volumes and a competitive edge, traditional brick-and-mortar operators should start creating customer experiences that extend beyond the physical space. Let’s see how dedicated retail business intelligence solutions are used to harness business analytics and drive sales.

READ: How Brands Can Grow Customer Loyalty and Build a Positive Reputation in 2023

BI tools capture all consumer activities, track sales and inventory metrics and reveal insights about buyers, sales and inventory. These insights can then support strategic and tactical retail decisions.

As input, BI solutions use information from CRMs, databases, emailing systems, beacons and other sources. As output, they not only generate reports on the current state of business but also enrich them with advanced analytics, NLP queries and machine learning algorithms.

Proper use of BI insights can bring many improvements:

  • Knowledgeable, customer-centric staff: BI systems provide frontline staff with in-depth customer knowledge, which helps them personalize in-store service and increase the shopping basket’s value.
  • Immersive customer experiences: Using insights from business intelligence, retailers can craft unique experiences at every stage of the customer journey and enable self-service.
  • Targeted marketing campaigns: BI gives retailers the power to build strategies around unique information such as buyer pain points, purchasing patterns, modes of brand interaction and others.
  • Efficient inventory planning: Finally, retailers can use BI insights to get better inventory control by minimizing stock-outs, reducing product misplacement and preventing inventory build-up.

Let’s now look into each retail BI application in more detail.

1. Empower shop floor staff

Retail BI solutions help sales teams increase the store’s performance and build customer loyalty. By exploring customer histories captured through PoS and CRM and aggregated within a BI database, employees can gauge shoppers’ behavioral patterns and preferences. This way, sales associates can better understand of customers’ interests, purchase history and shopping habits and offer them personalized recommendations. 

2. Create immersive customer experiences

Personalized shopping journeys and customer service is no longer a nice-to-have but an essential requirement for retailers aiming to grow continuously. Thus, the ability to aggregate structured and unstructured data has become invaluable for understanding and envisioning customer needs.

BI tools enable a fine-grained funnel analysis that allows retail owners to review and improve customer engagement during every interaction. The access to customers’ preferences and purchase histories enables retailers to offer expected tailored experiences.

READ: 5 Tips for Overcoming Customer Service Obstacles as a Small Business

3. Optimize marketing campaigns

Business intelligence solutions help brands ask the right questions and define the most relevant KPIs:

  • What products are selling well?
  • What are the shoppers’ demographics?
  • Which stores are selling the most of a given product?
  • What are the trends in the sales of specific products?

Businesses equipped with retail business intelligence can better understand their audiences and tailor their marketing messages granularly. While actual sales happen in a physical space, traditional retailers can reinforce their brick-and-mortar revenue with online marketing activities. By collecting and analyzing information from social media, web browsers, user forums, or email campaigns, retail analytics helps predict purchasing trends and optimize in-store marketing activities.

4. Understand inventory dynamics

Smart retail business intelligence tools provide a central repository for all inventory and customer data pooled from multiple systems, such as PoS, warehouse management and ERPs, and can analyze it, uncovering weaknesses and opportunities.

Retail BI and operational intelligence help business owners refine inventory by:

  • Optimizing supply to reduce the risk of stock-outs
  • Improving inventory allocation across stores
  • Determining the most cost-effective way to get rid of low-selling SKUs
  • Creating accurate inventory forecasts using stock and sales data

When analyzing the retail business intelligence market, one can see that there’s no shortage of vendors and platforms to choose from. To find the solution for their needs, retailers should first conduct an in-depth assessment of their requirements.

  1. Establish clear objectives for your business intelligence use case
  2. Prioritize solutions developed for retail
  3. Implement a change management plan
  4. Ensure you have the right competencies to implement the solution or seek aid from external IT specialists
  5. Look for the vendor to provide strategic and technical support throughout your solution’s development lifecycle
  6. Develop BI governance and data quality policies

BI makes retail smart

The pressure on traditional retail from online stores and marketplaces is great, so brick-and-mortar companies need to upgrade their analytics. retail business intelligence can process real-time insights about retail operations and deliver insights to support business decisions, promote customer loyalty and increase business profitability. Non-adopters will continue to struggle, while those ready to embrace the BI approach will be well-positioned to thrive.


AlenaAlena Kuptsova is a Technology Research Analyst at Itransition, a software development company based in Denver, CO. She analyzes current digital transformation trends and explores the opportunities the emerging technologies bring to businesses across industries.