Why Small Businesses Find It Hard To Adopt Advanced Business Intelligence

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Small Business is permeated with visionary leaders who know everything about their own businesses. Sadly, this strength becomes one of the primary hurdles to growth as the team grows because growing requires a team with access to shared intelligence. In the podcast below Ed Kless and I have a chat about FreshBI and our experience in the hurdles faced by small businesses in adopting organizational Business Intelligence.


Three Barriers To Adopting Advanced Business Intelligence

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The Unknown

In Business Intelligence and other specialist areas the unknown is a valid barrier to success. Get in partnership with a team that is experienced and that offers rapid prototyping, risk-free contract and continuous value to your business.

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Technology in the form of PAAS (Platform As A Service) like the suite of Platforms in Azure, allow small biz to have access to some of the best technologies in the world, like Machine Learning, IOT and Distributed File Systems.

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With the advent of PAAS, the price of technology is now matched to the Time, Capacity or Processing your biz uses rather than the huge up front investments of old. 

Below Ed Kless And I Chat About Small Biz Making The Leap To BI

Welcome to the Sage Advice podcast. Energizing business builders around the world through the imagination of our people and the power of technology. 

Ed: Hi Everyone, and welcome to our podcast. I’m Ed Class and with me today is Craig Juta. Craig is the founder of Fresh BI, a company focused on high quality Business Intelligence solutions. For the past 13 years Craig has successfully delivered Business Intelligence solutions to businesses across Canada, the US and Africa. Craig’s career passions are found in high quality customer service, outcome focused project management and story-telling using business data. Welcome to the Sage Advice Podcast, Craig Juta.

Craig: Thank you Ed, I’m thrilled to be here. Thank you for the invitation.

Ed: Well first off tell us a little bit more about yourself and Fresh BI.

Craig: So, Fresh BI is a company that’s a boutique Microsoft Partner. Fresh BI uses Power BI mainly to unlock the value trapped in our customers' data and we help them to succeed in that way. Not only Business Intelligence but we help them to succeed in answering the right questions, the questions that match their mental models. Every company has a mental model that they live by and that they speak through every day and they aren’t always aware of that but if they sit down with us often and we talk through what that mental model is we, what we then do is we craft a suite of dashboards and a data model, a set of data models, that help them to match their data and the intelligence they’re getting from that data, to the existing mental models that they have. So, for instance if the sales team has a weekly sales meeting and that sales meeting has 6 questions in it that get answered, well why wouldn't you have your data or your artificial intelligence answering those questions for you instead of having to prepare, spend hours preparing for that meeting in the first place. So that’s the business that we run, our focus is very much on whatever is modern, whatever is innovative for our customers and we’ll have another conversation in a few months’ time about how we transformed this business into a subscription-based business.

And then to answer your second question, where does Craig fit in? Well, I founded the business with my friend Michael Boisvert and we founded the business about 4 years ago and I’m passionate about, about just this thing, working with data and helping businesses to grow and succeed. 

Ed: And why do you do what you do Craig?

Craig: I do what I do for money (laughter), no I’m just joking. I do it because I kind of…you know what I started off as an accountant, and I got bored very quickly and I noticed was there was so much repetition and I found passion in, I found passion in, in…in innovating, at that point.  I said, why repeat the same thing? Why not use technology to innovate and to improve the lives of accountants and then it progressed to improving the lives of executives and then we elevated it to improve the state of businesses so, I love that innovative process. You know.....it’s never the same....nobody on our team ever does the same thing on any given day. Maybe it’s the ADD in me but that’s why I do it.

Ed: And why is it that you think that small businesses have such trouble making the leap to Business Intelligence systems and even just machine learning?

Craig: So, there’s a few things. Number 1 is, 1 is the ‘Unknown’. So, technology is moving so fast.  For instance, 3 years ago machine learning, if you wanted to access machine learning 3 years ago you’d really have to get a team of coders to write the code behind that. Whereas now, it’s different. Now we can have, what we call Applied Machine Learning. In Applied Machine Learning the algorithms are already built for you, you don’t even have to care about what they do or how they were written. All you’re concerned with is how they can be applied to your business. So, that hurdle is not there anymore so much. So, the unknown is the one aspect. The other aspect of it is the technology aspect. Right, so 'Technology' is changing so fast as well. Again, the same time frames, we looked at 3 years back, if you wanted something that is modern in terms of business intelligence or anything, you’d need to have some kind of infrastructure to support that. Whereas now the infrastructure is really built for you. So, if you look at the industry, you’ve got something called SAAS, which is a 'software as a service', then we started seeing IAAS which is 'infrastructure as a service' and then something called PAAS which is 'platforming as a services'. Platform as a service' offers a whole platform that you can use for your business. It’s installed, it’s got licencing, and it’s applied to some aspect of your business, like machine learning. So, technology has been one of those hurdles as well.  And then 'Price' has been a hurdle as well. So, before the advent of SAAS and AAS, what you had was a huge investment into some kind of infrastructure. Whereas now I could have some of the most advanced data analytics, available to me through a very low cost. I can choose my cost. So, if I only use machine learning for one day of this month or 30 minutes per day over the course of the month, I can do that, I can cap my expenditure to that 30 minutes per day. So those are 3 areas, I think the unknown, the technology and the cost that have been hurdles but they’re very, those hurdles have almost been completely eradicated now.

Ed: And we have an exit question Craig that we ask all of our guests on the Sage Advice podcast and that is, who is a hero of yours, and why are they a hero?

Craig: Well I just, I just can’t get away from Mark Twain. I just keep reading his content, I love his content and my reason for this, being a lazy guy, is that he just gets to the point so fast, I like how with a few words he gets to the point.

Ed: Yeah, I can’t imagine what Mark Twain would have been like on Twitter.

Craig: (Laughter) We can only imagine.

Ed: And lastly Craig, how can somebody get a hold of you?

Craig: Yeah, www.freshbi.com . Let’s have a conversation...

Ed: Outstanding. Craig Juta thanks for being a guest on the Sage Advice podcast.

Craig: Thank you Ed.

For more Sage advice visit and subscribe at www.sageadvicepodcast.com


Author, Craig Juta

Speaker, Solution Architect - Business Analytics

Degree in Accounting and Information Technology.

Extensive horizontal experience in crafting business analytics solutions.


Team FreshBI is an innovation machine and the blogs that Craig writes mostly emanate from the innovations that FreshBI does for its customers


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