What is Business Intelligence (B.I)?
Business Intelligence refers to the collection, processing and analysis of data and the presentation of findings, reports and queries to businesses, allowing them to strategise for the future in a faster, more informed manner.
Integrating B.I. software into businesses gives employees access to a variety of tools, applications and methodologies that collect, process, analyse and present data with greater insight, accuracy and speed. With this better-concentrated intelligence, businesses can make more informed decisions and action them more effectively.
Why is Business Intelligence important for businesses?
Business Intelligence is hugely important for businesses as it allows them to identify internal areas of improvements and problems to be remedied, whilst also informing better future business decisions through precise insight. Using B.I. allows for better operational decisions, more developed and informed strategies and tactics as well as improving performance.
There are 5 main areas in which B.I. nurtures business; firstly, it increases access to information, boosts efficiency, generates digestible data, collates consumer insights and puts companies ahead of their competition.
Increased Access to Information
Traditionally, data analysis has only been a job for skilled data scientists, statisticians and IT professionals, however, using Business Intelligence reporting tools allows people across the business to query and analyse business data with ease and confidence. By making information more accessible to the wider business, B.I. advances the knowledge and understanding for all employees.
The plethora of tools offered by B.I. software allows people to carry out queries, create reports and process analytics in real-time with instant results in digestible forms; for example, data visualisation software translates data into charts and other infographics. Even more complex forms of analytics, such as data mining, big data and predictive analytics become more accessible to users with B.I. software.
Boosts Efficiency + Productivity
Businesses are constantly trying to find ways to be more efficient and Business Intelligence improves upon this by making information sharing fast and easy. Firstly, by encouraging the sharing of information across businesses, B.I. creates a more efficient and productive workplace where time isn’t misspent recreating reports, reprocessing and reanalysing the same data in multiple departments. Instead, businesses can share accurate and useful data laterally, reducing the duplication of roles and tasks within the organisation.
Secondly, Business Intelligence increases efficiency by allowing businesses to identify problems within their operation and adapting quickly to remedy issues. For example, analysing data in a more advanced way can produce new perspectives on understanding a business and could reveal “bottlenecks” in operations where processes could be engineered more effectively and advance the company.
Digestible Data and Actionable Strategy
By making complex information and data easier to understand, Business Intelligence software facilitates the transition of putting knowledge into actionable strategy. Developing strategy and growing a business requires insight based on data analysis gathered through business intelligence and presented in clear forms.
By using B.I. to identify trends and patterns in your businesses data, new connections between different areas of the organisation can be made that may have been overlooked previously, creating new opportunities to strengthen the business through better organisational processes. And just as insight allows you to better action strategy internally, it can help businesses identify suitable opportunities for the future and consider the longevity of the organisation.
Crucially, the consumer insight that can be gained from integrating Business Intelligence software into a business is priceless, as it enables organisations to better cater to the most important aspect of business; the consumer.
By better understanding consumers’ needs, desires and trends businesses can develop products and experiences that better fulfil customers criteria and improve profitability.
Business Intelligence software collects data about consumers, analyses it and presents it in the most appropriate formats, which could give businesses insight into how to keep existing customers happy, finding ways to win new customers and improve customer service.
Ahead of Competition
By using Business Intelligence software businesses have greater access to a wealth of data and the ability to process it fast, giving them an advantage over competitors. If used constructively, BI solutions can help organisations spot trends, identify problems in operations and strategise for future business endeavours and keeping ahead of other competition in the market.
In conclusion, Business Intelligence helps businesses gain greater insight and better plan for growth (in spotting opportunities and strategising), whilst also encouraging internal improvements and greater efficiency. The ability to share information more easily and quickly enables users to stay more informed and focus energy on actioning findings rather than struggling to generate them.