If you have a business then you undoubtedly have an endless amount of data about your business. But what about analysing and reporting on that data? Sometimes creating meaningful answers from your piles of data can be challenging and time-consuming. When you have data pilling up, the data doesn’t end up being very helpful.
An insurmountable stack of unanalysed data can put a halt to your sound business decisions. Without the right data to guide you, business decisions can lack depth and reason. Luckily, business intelligence can step in to make sense of your data and steer your business decisions in the right direction.
What is business intelligence?
Business Intelligence (BI) brings together a variety of tools, technologies, applications, and practices to analyse your business data. The end result will be decipherable data that can clearly guide future actions for the business. Decision-makers of the business, including executives, managers and owners can use BI to their advantage. BI can help your company amalgamate and analyse data to produce insightful and important metrics that can be understood by all. With BI, you’ll have a powerful asset to work with you. It is capable of running queries against your current data, developing reports, and producing visual explanations of your data.
Benefits of BI
Catering results for each audience
BI can sculpt the results for the right audience. If you’re a decision-maker and want to plan future inventory stock purchases based on market demand, BI can create a report to support your parameters. If you’re an inventory manager and you need to see how much inventory stock was left on the shelves in 2016, 2017 and 2018, then BI can cater the results to an operational level. BI can be applied to look at specific inventory stock levels and when you had stock-outs and how often there is deadstock.
BI can analyse historic data and look for patterns and trends. When BI identifies this, it can help you address the market. It’s not just patterns for seasonal inventory stock. Rather, it can analyse economic trends like interest rates and human resourcing demands to help you determine whether it’s the right time to invest in hiring new employees.
Easy to understand
One of the best aspects of using BI is its ability to simplify complex amounts of data. This information can be imperative to decision making, but if it’s too convoluted, it won’t be useful. If you need to make decisions quickly, you don’t have time to forage through mounds of information. Rather, an elegantly simple and informative snapshot can expedite this process and make decisions happen fast.
More knowledge of your customer
BI can help you get to know your customer better. BI can assist you with understanding how your customer interacts with your business and can do it in real-time. Bringing together data from sales, marketing, customer services, finance, research and development and operations can all be done through BI.
When you align data from all of these areas, you’ll be able to piece together the whole picture of your customer: what channels are the most valuable customers shopping on, how do they pay for the products, what shipping method, what are they buying and in what frequency. The possibilities seem endless!
If you want to make better decisions for your business, look to BI to guide you.
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.