Decision making in any area of life or business is best done with all the pertinent facts on hand so that it can be informed and trusted. In the world of business, these facts are termed business intelligence and it provides a meaningful platform from which a company can formulate accurate and beneficial decisions to ensure ongoing success. In this article, we consider how business intelligence guides decision making followed by the benefits of having the intelligence at hand.
How does business intelligence guide business decision making?
We can liken business intelligence to the complete medical history a doctor takes when presented with an ill patient. They then garner more information by conducting tests to ascertain parameters that will affect or enlighten a diagnosis. Likewise, business intelligence provides accurate information on a business’s current state that will affect and guide decision making so that it will be more beneficial and experience greater success.
Comprehensive analyses, data mining and reporting of different areas of operations provide data that comprise business intelligence. This data is obtained through a variety of tools, processes, technologies and applications such as Google Data Studio, Adobe Analytics, Tableau and Microsoft Power BI. These applications automate data-mining and conversion into reports so that information is presented in a quick and interpretable way that can be easily shared with relevant parties. The information gained can involve markets and industry trends, company financials, customer service and satisfaction, and inventory management and sales, for example.
So now that we have outlined what business intelligence is, let us take a look at the benefits of using it to guide decision making.
Make smarter decisions
So much of business decision making relies on experience, acumen and a “hunch”. However, when a manager needs to back their decisions then they need accurate data. When it comes to internal operations, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions serve as a valuable link between management and what is happening on the shop floor, so that they are informed at all times on aspects such as productivity, customer preferences and purchasing behaviour, sales cycles, revenues and market trends.
Increased customer service and satisfaction
Gaining information on customer purchasing behaviour that can help guide decision making and provide a data-driven customer experience is vital in keeping them returning for more. Here’s how you can leverage online inventory management to increase customer satisfaction.
Gaining data around operational processes is vital to making decisions that increase productivity. This occurs because information can give insight into where the bottlenecks are and how to better organise processes to increase efficiency.
Increased accessibility and transparency
Another benefit of business intelligence, or perhaps rather a consequence of it, is the ease of increased accessibility and transparency of information. BI is usually displayed on easy-to-understand dashboards so that multiple people in the organisation can access crucial information quickly and easily.
Achieve better ROI
What do we consider all these things for? To increase profitability and ROI so that the company grows and we can continue trading. Business intelligence can assist businesses with better understanding and improving sales efficiency, sales deal conversion rates and even customer experience and satisfaction. This informs businesses on how to better optimise sales, convert interest to sales and provide after-sales support that grows the customer base and subsequent revenue.
There is no single path to increased business profitability, but with the help of business intelligence, it becomes easier to create an informed strategy for success.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.