One of the greatest aspects of BI tools is that they continue to allow for flexibility over the long term. We don't have to just select one or two ways to measure our success and then be done with it. We can use various levels of success, failure, and anything in between to help determine our progress. However, just reaching our goals doesn't allow us to take the full potential of the tools that are available to us. So how do we improve beyond that?

BI lends itself to continuous, growing improvement from the start. Once we find ourselves reaching our original goals, we can often extend ourselves beyond that simple milestone. Okay, you've reached a certain number of orders shipped in a day consistently. Now, what about doing that in a half-hour less? And once that is accomplished, can it be done in a half hour less than that? Incremental improvement allows you to reach attainable and realistic goals. Eventually, obviously, you'll reach a point of diminishing returns, where you'll no longer get enough improvement for the amount of work you put in, but that point could be very far down the line.

This method of improvement also gives us an excellent opportunity to look at problems from different angles. Perhaps to reach your new goal, you've needed to change or rethink your methods for a specific task. This could easily put yourself in a position where you will find your new method applicable to other areas of your operation, and offer even more improvements there.

Too often we have the habit of "finishing" a project without returning to it. BI is not such a project. We call them "tools" for a very specific reason. We hope to constantly use and update our methods of using them and their application. If our goal is continuous improvement of our operation, mustn't we look to continuously improve our methods as well?