While every enterprise aspires to be data-driven, data requires some attention before it becomes meaningful. It derives its purpose during the transformation process – where it is converted from mere facts into contextual understanding. Organizations can use this newly-acquired insight and knowledge to not only fuel decision-making, but to propel the creation of opportunities.

All it takes is a little business intelligence.


Seven Steps for Transforming Data into Opportunities

When an opportunity is presented, data alone is not effective. Data by itself is just a collection of facts and statistics; it must be manipulated and transformed to make it valuable. This conversion of data into actionable intelligence is what many people call business intelligence – or BI.

Today’s marketplace is full of disruptors who are waiting to change business as we know it. When data is turned into BI, it can then be used to seek out and create opportunities proactively. These opportunities can impact your daily business decisions, both strategic and tactical, and help drive you towards your organizational goals.

There are seven steps for turning data into full-fledged business opportunities:

  1. Define the opportunity. When you are proactively looking for opportunities, you must have some sort of starting point. Although you may have an idea in mind, the beginning may be as simple as specifying a problem or challenge.
  2. Develop a strategy. Once you have defined a place to start, you need to create a plan for collecting data. This strategy may include data points that might support a hypothesis, especially if you are working on a theory.
  3. Collect the right data. Strategies are important because data is everywhere, and it can be overwhelming. You need to record data that is not only accurate and useful, but can be compared to other data points that you collect.
  4. Improve processes. This step may seem irrelevant, but part of preparing to tackle an opportunity includes streamlining processes and adjusting resources – particularly those within your Project Management Office (PMO). Every action involving data should be collaborative and controllable – enabling complete governance.
  5. Apply trends to analyze data over time. To convert data into information, you must analyze and manipulate it. By incorporating timelines with your data sets, you will be able to see historical trends that can then be used to make future projections and mitigate risks.
  6. Make decisions based on insights. Once you have BI at your fingertips, you will be able to see if a theory is correct – or if the analysis is pointing you in an entirely different direction.
  7. Strengthen your business case. After deciding where to act, you must sell it to the stakeholders within your organization. Utilize visualizations of your data to build a story around your decision. Stories can help stakeholders understand the entire decision-making process.

Tools to Facilitate Transformation
The PMO serves as the BI hub. It collects integral data, analyzes it, and then communicates its findings throughout the organization.
PMOs need robust tools to facilitate data transformation into BI. Microsoft’s Project Online gives PMOs an agile Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) platform for identifying, selecting, and managing projects while keeping them aligned with key metrics and strategic business objectives. Combined with Microsoft’s suite of analytics tools, Power BI, the environment can be used to connect hundreds of data points – driving analysis whenever and wherever you want it.
To further enhance Project Online with Power BI, Projility has created Hammerhead BI – a proprietary application that delivers pre-configured dashboards and analytics to improve overall PMO performance. It leverages the power of Project Online and Power BI with an expandable, pre-defined data model for out-of-the-box Project Web Apps (PWA) collaboration and teamwork.

It’s Time to Stop Waiting
With the right tools and planning, you can turn your data into legitimate opportunities that take both resources and risks into consideration.
It’s time to tell the disruptors in your marketplace that you are here to stay. Stop waiting for a knock on your door and create your own opportunities today!

Projility provides expert solutions for effective change. We offer enterprise portfolio and project management solutions based on Microsoft Project Server and Project Online, with tailored dashboard reporting, analytics, and decision-making tools via our Hammerhead technology. Projility also implements professional services automation systems established on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Project Service, and presents cloud-based strategies, migrations, and hosting solutions through Microsoft Azure. Contact us for more information.