A quick guide for beginners: how to choose a BI platform, implement BI analytics, and not screw up

BI (Business Intelligence) is a system that allows you to analyze data and create reports for business decision-making. It allows you to collect data from different sources, process it in large volumes, and present it in a form convenient for analysis. BI systems are used to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), analyze sales, forecast demand for goods and services, manage inventory, and for other business tasks.
Overall, a BI system is a comprehensive set of tools and technologies that work together to help organizations make better decisions based on data analytics. These components are:

Dashboards are visual representations of data that provide a quick overview of key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics. The dashboard displays visualizations—charts, graphs, tables, and maps. They allow users to easily track and analyze trends and make informed decisions.

ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) is the process of extracting data from various sources, converting it into a consistent format, and loading it into a data warehouse for analysis. This process is critical to ensure data quality and consistency.

Data Warehouse (DWH) - A data warehouse is a large-scale repository that stores an organization's historical data extracted from enterprise operational databases, aggregated, and transformed for ease of analysis. It is designed to support business intelligence activities by providing a central location for data exploration and reporting.

The choice of a BI platform should be based on the specific goals and objectives of the company, and not just because it is popular. It is important to consider all factors, such as functionality, cost, performance, and the ability to integrate with other systems - 1C, ERP, CRM, web portals. But don't just go after what's popular in the market, as this can lead to inefficient use of resources and poor system performance.


First, you need to determine what specific tasks will be solved using the BI system. In most cases, everyone has the same goal - to increase profits and reduce costs, but for everyone, this happens in different ways, depending on the specifics of the company. For example, increasing the cost reduction of logistics processes and storage; calculating various possibilities for stock reduction; search for the reasons for the occurrence of surpluses (volatility of demand, minimum lot size, long delivery times, long transit times, etc.); reducing losses arising from damage or depreciation of reserves, etc.


If the data is from different sources, users may need to use multiple tools to access the data. The BI system solves this problem, but you need to understand that for the successful operation of BI, you need to have access to relevant and reliable data. Therefore, it is necessary to determine what data will be used in the system and where it will come from: 1C, CRM systems, spreadsheet files, web services, etc. If each data source stores its data separately, then this can lead to problems with the integrity and relevance of the data, but a single store can solve these problems.

The data warehouse stores all data in one place, which makes it easier to integrate and update data, and provides more efficient access to data for users of the BI system.


There are many BI platforms, and it is difficult to choose the right one that will meet the requirements of the company. How to understand exactly what is needed? An experienced integrator (for example, we) can help with this - in addition to implementing BI systems, a good integrator will conduct a survey of the company's current infrastructure, determine the necessary criteria for the functionality of the system, and on this basis can evaluate BI solutions.


If you have doubts about this, then you can first develop a pilot (prototype): the integrator tests the system on real data to make sure that it works, performs, and meets the stated criteria. This is not a full-fledged implementation, but the implementation of a part, for example, of some small area or business process (purchases, hr-processes, financial analytics, etc.), and, accordingly, its cost is much cheaper. The pilot will give you and your staff the opportunity to test the system in combat readiness, decide on a platform before large-scale implementation, and help avoid errors, which will save time and money.


Develop an implementation plan: it should include milestones, deadlines, and who is responsible for each step. It is also necessary to determine who will support the system and its development in the future (by the way, this can also be entrusted to the integrator).

How to meet the budget? There are many solutions on the market now, both expensive and affordable, especially those that have just entered the market. The integrator will be able to choose a system for you according to your budget and conditions.

By the way, do not forget to take into account the reserves - there will be more data, and the number of users may also increase. Therefore, it will not be superfluous to do sizing—the selection of the optimal hardware configuration.


To use BI effectively, it is necessary to train users to work with the system - training in the basics of working with reports, filters, and other functions. Also, do not forget about the instructions for new employees - in case an employee forgot something, you can always refer to the documentation. An integrator can also help with this - they can create a user manual and an administrator manual for your system, and generally provide all the necessary documentation.


"Using BI allows you to reduce the cost of data maintenance, as BI automatically processes and analyzes data, which reduces the need for manual processing.

- BI allows you to quickly process large amounts of data and provide information in real time, which speeds up the decision-making process.

- helps optimize workflows, identify bottlenecks, and find new opportunities to improve productivity.

- Facilitates the monitoring and control of tasks and processes (for example, monitoring the wear of equipment for the timely purchase and delivery of components).

— BI helps the company better understand its business processes, which increases the level of transparency and trust on the part of customers and partners, which allows for better communication within the company and with external stakeholders.

For an organization that plans to grow and be one step ahead of the competition, a BI system is as essential as air.

The author of the article is Natalya Pushkareva
Senior Analyst, BI and RPA Implementation Department,
NFP Office, Perviy Bit

Natalya Pushkareva
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