BI4SME: Boosting Business Intelligence Skills for SME Growth
Business intelligence (BI) is a set of helpful technology tools and practices that facilitates informed decision-making process. It provides quality information based on the analysis of large amounts of internal and external data. As part of The EU commitment to the digitalisation of the economy, it states that “data-driven business models are the engine of Europe’s growth, industrial transformation and job creation.” As identified in the Forrester Research Report, (2018), the insights-driven businesses are growing at an average of more than 30% annually. To make decisions on time, the SMEs’ managers use mainly their experience, which implies a high risk of failure. Therefore, if the economy is to flourish and SMEs competitive, the skills for data-driven management must be promoted. Like any technology, BI is accompanied by some limitations that must be overcome in order for SMEs to take advantage of their benefits. BI systems are characterised by their difficulty and complexity to handle. Also, economic factors are the ones that make many SME’s administrations fail to use BI system, as it requires considerable funding. The majority of SMEs do not have a specialised IT department with adequate skills to operate it nor have enough resources to hire qualified professionals.
In the light of above considerations, the BI4SME project arises from the ambition to contribute to these emerging challenges by developing an integrated training strategy for the uptake of business intelligence skills by SMEs. Our ambition is to democratise the Business Intelligence technology to foster the SMEs’ competitiveness and growth across Europe. The project will enhance the skills and implement new tools that are adapted to non-IT professionals in order to provide an innovative learning experience on the business intelligence skills tailored specifically to SMEs staff. The new training programme will indeed target mainly managers and owners of European SMEs to boost the growth of their businesses and innovate. It will also aim at MBA students and early-stage entrepreneurs to equip them with a set of relevant skills for building successful businesses.