Business Intelligence is a subset of data management that allows businesses to derive actionable insights. BI (Business Intelligence) refers to data-related activities such as data mining, reporting, visualization, and querying.
We have all heard “Big Data is King”. But data isn’t enough to determine whether a business will succeed or not, it must be organized and contextualized to deliver valuable insights that can be actioned. The role of BI is to give context to raw data, without aggregation in context; data just isn’t that useful.
An example of BI is; slicing financial transactions that have been aggregated by some categorical data such as sales channel, product, and business division. With the division as an additional context, we can discover how individual practices are performing.
You can then for example add more context, such as previous year comparisons or budget to start building your Business Intelligence model based on questions your business needs answered.
Where Business Intelligence can Help
The information resulting from Business Intelligence has the potential to be an essential tool for your decision-making and strategy development. This information can be used throughout the company, from marketing and sales, to supply chain and finance. This information is used for tasks such as:
- Measuring marketing campaign results
- Gaining clarity into cash flow, gross margins, and operating expenses
- Capturing insights about staff and prospects to optimize HR processes and recruitment
- Tracking trends and supplier performance
- Forecasting revenues
- Optimizing call centre and depot staffing levels
- Uncovering new revenue opportunities and patterns
Process of Getting Started with Business Intelligence
Now that you know what BI is and how useful it can be to your business we’re sure you’re ready to jump into it! Let’s take a look at what data is used and how you can get started with your Business Intelligence journey.
Before being used in BI applications, raw data from different systems must be integrated, consolidated and cleansed using data quality management tools to ensure that BI partners are analyzing accurate and consistent information.
From there, the steps in the BI process include the following:
- data preparation, in which data sets are organized and modelled for analysis;
- analytical querying of the prepared data;
- distribution of key performance indicators (KPIs) and other findings to business users; and
- use of the information to help influence and drive business decisions.
BI data can include historical information and real-time data gathered from source systems – Enabling your BI tools to support your strategic and tactical decision-making processes.
Benefits of Business Intelligence
BI supports business objectives by giving a holistic view of all the information a business collects and helping stakeholders understand and action said information.
Advanced BI systems employ machine learning algorithms, which analyse vast amounts of data, sending alerts and recommendations to decision-makers upon request or when atypical data is cataloged—giving you an opportunity to react and adjust in real-time.
One of the most significant advantages offered by BI tools is that they enable non-technical team members to take advantage of the data-driven insights business intelligence provides. Making it easy for everyone in the organization to know, understand, and action what is happening with the business performance now.
Lastly, from an insights standpoint, BI tools can help an organization track and report on key metrics that drive the business’s success.
What You Should Look for in a Business Intelligence Solution
To make business intelligence an effective solution for your business, the solution has to be as user-friendly and accessible as possible for all levels of employees throughout an organization. Here are some things to look out for:
- A Single Platform: Consider a solution that offers a single, integrated platform of applications. This ensures compatibility and eliminates the need to search for tools.
- In the Cloud: A business intelligence solution should be easy to access by users across your enterprise and on the road. A cloud solution offers the highest potential for accessibility and availability.
- Connected: Most business intelligence solutions can connect with one or more data sources. Consider a solution that offers prebuilt connections.
- Augmented Analytics: You want a smart solution that can make business intelligence easy through simplifying and automating tasks.
- Data Visualisation: Many smart solutions come with data visualization, which provides the capability to automatically transform data into pie charts, graphs, or other types of visual presentation
- Mobile: In today’s fast-paced world, business people need access to intelligence around-the-clock, no matter where they are. So consider a BI solution with mobile capabilities.
TIC-IT Telecoms are experts in Business Intelligence Solutions and can help you gather data and create visual dashboards that will give you visible results and actionable insights.