Business intelligence (BI) is among the most-used buzzwords in the modern business landscape. BI usually refers to computer software or other tools that are used to collect complex business data and condense it into reports. The data collected may focus on a particular department, or it may be an overall view of a company’s status.
BI reporting tools may assist a company in many ways, including identifying profitable customers, understanding business returns on various products, and targeting trouble spots within the firm. Although big business intelligence systems can be complex, time-consuming, and costly, when implemented and utilized well, their benefits are significant, and are generally worth the effort and investment. Here are some examples of how BI can benefit your business.
Why use business intelligence systems?
Make fact-based decisions
Company-wide business intelligence technology can help management read and analyze detailed customer data, production data, financial information, and many other aspects of business, in different ways. The reports acquired from such systems help management make fact-based decisions, such as which products to focus on developing or manufacturing.
Improve sales and negotiations
Business intelligence systems and the reports they generate can be a great asset to any given company’s sales force. The BI can provide access to real-time data on sales volumes, trends, and improvements, along with customer preferences. The system is also ideal for identifying unexplored markets. Gaining insights into customer behavior is important, as it can help business negotiations and increase understanding of which products to introduce to the market.
Identify new opportunities
BI systems can help a business identify market trends and compare its strengths and weaknesses against competitors. Business intelligence systems also help decision makers respond to opportunities more efficiently, identify the most profitable clients, and assess customer complaints.
Many organizations spend time and resources looking for the right information from different sources. This becomes even more challenging when management is seeking an in-depth understanding of business trends. And once it finds the pertinent information, management still needs to convert, merge, and report the data appropriately. However, with the BI system, the information comes from a single system and can quickly be assessed and converted into reports. This saves time and energy and boosts efficiency.
Gaining a better understanding of company’s past, present, and future
This is the most significant advantange of the business intelligence system. BI systems can help a business better understand market stats over a given period. Data reflecting business progress can be used toward future planning to make the firm more competitive. Benchmarking such progress is also easier with a BI system in place. For example, the system can trigger alerts when inventory falls below the target level.
Running a firm can sometimes feel like gambling: Investors are expected to make their best guesses or go with their “gut feel.” However, neither of these should be the basis for a business plan. The right BI systems will give you the best platforms to make fact-based decisions, which should be your primary objective.
For more on this topic, see Disruption Ahead: The Big Trends In Business Intelligence Analytics.