Many businesses inundated with data tend to tough it out with inadequate analysis tools because they are not aware of how or why business intelligence (BI) solutions can provide value. This article will cover the various ways BI and analytics in general can take your business to the next level and when the right time is to seriously consider implementing an analytics solution.
There are many definitions of BI, simply put, it describes a set of tools and technologies that transform your source or operational data into something meaningful for information delivery. This may include executive dashboards as well as query and reporting tools supporting business decision making.
Most businesses realize they have access to business transformative data – such as financial, CRM, customer behaviour and trends, and so on. Virtually endless possibilities exist which may be used to give executives a more global picture of what drives their business. This information is at their disposal to allow them to act more confidently and to support better fact-based business decisions.
Organizations can use BI tools to forecast or predict what drives the business – by aligning the strategic business plan to the ever-changing and increasingly competitive market landscape.
Some of the results of using a BI solution include, but are not limited to:
- Improved competitive advantage;
- Increased overall customer & employee satisfaction;
- Reduction in overall costs;
- Increased top line growth (gross revenues);
- Improved bottom line (net profits).
There is this misconception that BI tools are for big businesses. Thanks to many years of “trickle down” technology, BI is now more accessible than ever to small and medium sized firms.
Here are the 5 ways that a BI solution can transform your business:
Turning data into actionable insights
Data collection is the easy part. Deriving value from the information is the key. Paradoxically, you can have an abundance of data, but lack information. Once data has been transformed and aligned to the business requirements, users can derive meaningful and useful information ready to be acted upon.
If you’re lacking information, you may need help aggregating and analyzing data into actionable insights. This is where BI comes into the picture. The power of the right BI solution is that it increases businesses’ ability to identify and analyze trends and problems, uncover fresh insights, and optimize operations to meet business goals. BI is the key to unlocking the value in all that data.
Empowering business users and unburdening IT
Without access to a BI software, creating reports or dashboards usually requires a technical background which compels non-technical business users to be more dependent on IT. When IT controls company data, getting reports can become a chore. Constant requests to your IT department to change reports can lead to bottlenecks and decreased productivity. A robust BI solution will empower business users with self-service analysis, reporting, and dashboarding. This would essentially bring the data back to the users who actually benefit from analyzing data to meet business goals.
Managing any data volume without spreadsheets
A growing business reliant on Excel won’t take long to hit its scalability barrier. Even the most diligent Excel power user will be left working in a silo with no real self-service capability or real-time data sharing and updates. A BI solution offers data mashup from multiple sources (i.e., a “single version of the truth”) a global picture of your business rendering coherent analysis, reporting, or budgeting & forecasting with any amount of data a fast and easy task.
Easily adding data from new sources
A well-integrated BI solution will make managing multiple data sources and adding new ones a trivial task. Business users trying to compare or view information across different systems will quickly realize the ROI and the insight they could be gaining with a BI solution.
Getting to the bottom of what’s driving your business
Companies may lose sight of what’s driving their business. Although spreadsheets, reports, and charts may be crucial to operations, if key users aren’t getting the global health picture of their core metrics – those that drive the business, they are totally missing the point of why a BI solution is important. The real value of business analytics is to deliver clear and actionable data to guide business decisions. Those spreadsheets, hard to maintain reports, and tired charts won’t cut it any more. You need that picture that’s telling you what’s impacting your top line and bottom line KPIs so you can quick act on it.
The DDDM (data driven decision management approach) to running a business has been proven time and again to help gain competitive advantage. If you find that you will benefit from any of the above five points, then it’s time to investigate how a BI solution can help transform your business from running on experience, intuition, and guesswork, to running it with fact-based, coherent, and trusted data with intelligence.
Need help starting out or progressing your company’s BI journey? Contact NewIntelligence today to book your free, no-obligation assessment*.
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