Data is what you need to do analytics. Information is what you need to do business.John Owen
Companies float on a sea of information. In just a year, your sea will double its size, and in a few years, it will turn into an ocean – an ocean of data. Sooner or later, you will reach a stage where the choice of an analytical tool will be a critical one for the success of your company or department. After all, according to a study conducted by MIT, companies “that use data-driven decision making are, on average, 5% more productive and 6% more profitable than their competitors.”
Business organizations have always had specific performance indicators. However, in recent years, under the pressure of customer demands, turbulent competitive environments, and changing market conditions, organizations have begun to rethink and change the way they use their data. This has given rise to a new business information management and analysis solution – Business Intelligence (BI).
What is Business Intelligence?
Perhaps the easiest way to define BI, is to determine what it is not. To start, BI is not just software! Business Intelligence is inherently a process (containing both the strategical and technological side) that is ready to deliver accurate data to the right people and can support effective decision making at any time.
Gartner defines BI as an umbrella term that includes “the applications, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance.” Being more than just a software, it means that to build a reliable BI architecture, you must often rely on both your team and external consultants.
Are there any limitations?
A common misconception is that only big corporations can make use of and afford BI. In reality, according to a study in 2018, small organizations with up to 100 employees showed the highest rate of BI penetration or adoption. As the definition above implies, BI can be vital for every department in your company, regardless of its size. BI can help you with:
- better decision making
- improving operational efficiency
- increasing revenue
- increasing competitive advantage
- improving customer service
- better risk management
For instance, if you are part of a finance department, BI will help you define the most critical issues concerned with forecasting, reducing costs, and improving profitability. On the other hand, if you are responsible for Sales, BI can assist you with keeping track of key metrics related to revenue, sales targets, growth, performance, etc. BI also plays an essential role in your marketing strategy. McKinsey Global Institute reported that “data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, 6 times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result.” Thus, with the help of BI, marketing teams could focus on measuring the profitability of their campaigns and initiatives, as well as analyze market changes and discover new opportunities by exploring new market trends.
Last but not least, CEOs and their teams, who determine the course of the entire business, would be able to unleash the power of their whole corporate data via a single dashboard. As a result, just with a few clicks, they would be able to determine the direction and speed at which the company moves. Consequently, BI can be useful for every department and can bring value to the company as a whole.
So, how does BI transform your corporate data into meaningful information? Modern BI solutions handle a range of tools through which they perform numerous activities – from extracting data from various sources to creating intuitive visualizations that present it in a comprehensive way. These may include:
- Reporting and querying tools – assist you in retrieving data from your dataset
- Visualization tools – enable you to present your data and information in a visually appealing way
- Dashboards and metrics – one of the most effective tools for quick real-time analysis of metrics and tracking of key performance indicators (KPIs). Information can be presented in different ways, such as diagrams, tables, etc.
- Forecast analytics – advanced analytical models, based on historical and current data (most commonly used for large volumes of data) that can show you forecasts and trends.
Unleash the power of your data
The Business Intelligence industry has expanded exponentially in recent years and it is expected to continue growing. Relying on our proven track records in helping Fortune 500 companies, we at B EYE, can help you discover new opportunities and implement data-driven strategies. Our highly specialized, industry-based, end-to-end services let businesses evolve by assisting them in building optimal decision-making processes and achieving efficiency.