Technology has created a range of new business intelligence tools that provide SMEs and large enterprises with the same opportunity to utilise the power of big data for business growth. The purpose of business intelligence is to optimise strategic decision-making within your organisation.
With the help of this technology, organisations can improve their business decisions by analysing data to identify trends and solutions, keep business information up to date and in one centralised location, leading to better business decisions, improved inventory control and greater financial performance.
What is business intelligence?
Business Intelligence (BI) is a combination of tools, technologies and applications that help organisations to collect, integrate, analyse and present raw business data into easy to understand, insightful and actionable business information.
These BI tools are made up of data mining capabilities, analytical processing, querying and reporting functionalities that help to optimise internal business processes, improve operational efficiency and identify market trends.
It is crucial for organisations to have a good grasp of important business data and BI tools enable companies to do just that because they monitor and measure business performance and metrics. The real-time centralised access these tools provide available to all users enables them to interact with and evaluate information from anywhere at any time, helping them to make smarter, data-driven decisions.
The benefits of business intelligence
As mentioned, the primary benefit that business intelligence tools provide is to assist corporate leaders, business managers and other operational personnel in making better, more informed, data-driven business decisions.
Reporting is based on accurate and timely information that helps companies more precisely measure the performance of their business processes. BI tools help organisations make informed decisions on strategic issues because of key information they provide on current and historical company performance along with data on future trends, expected demands and consumer behaviour.
BI tools also assist with driving revenue by identifying inefficient business processes and by highlighting cost-cutting opportunities and other business opportunities to gain greater competitive advantage and improve overall profitability.
Business intelligence tools enable organisations to link every customer touchpoint, giving immediate access to a single customer view, ongoing service requests, where the customer is currently positioned within your sales cycle and previous purchase history.
Based on this insightful data, segmenting customers becomes much easier with businesses able to offer targeted and personalised customer experiences specific to the different customer groups. It also enables business owners to optimise inventory control and resources to continue to meet growth objectives while maintaining their current customer base.
Choosing the right BI tools
To reap the greatest benefits from business intelligence you need to ensure you are investing in the BI tools that are right for your business. The business intelligence tool you choose should provide your organisation with:
- The agility to process data in a way that helps users to understand exactly what is happening in the business and help managers define strategies for future growth.
- Cost-benefits that sit in the context of what the company can afford but that also has the features and functionality the business needs.
- Usability through the seamless use of the BI tool, the system must be simple to use and easily accessed so no time is wasted performing the various functions.
Choose a system that will automatically analyse both the content and the context of data collected.