Business intelligence can benefit businesses in a range of ways. One of the main benefits is that it allows businesses to see data in real time. This can help businesses to speed up their decision making processes, and subsequently can help them to improve internal processes, make better decisions and improve the efficiency of a business.
Business intelligence has a number of benefits but how do you know whether it will work in your company? Keep reading below to find out everything you need to know about business intelligence and why it is vital for business success:
What is Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence is a technological term that covers computing, data and analytics within business operations. More than a specific thing, business intelligence is instead an umbrella term that encompasses the methods and processes of analyzing, collecting and storing data from business activities or operations in order to optimize performance. Each of these things comes together to give managers and company owners a clear view of how well a business is performing. This allows them to make better decisions.
Some examples of business intelligence include:
- Reporting – data analysis is shared with stakeholders. This allows them to make important decisions and draw conclusions
- Data mining – this uses statistics, databases and machine learning to spot trends in large datasets
- Performance metrics and benchmarking
- Querying – this allows you to ask data-specific questions
- Descriptive analytics – you can use preliminary data analysis to find out what is happening within your business
- Data preparation – gathering information from a range of data sources, identifying the measurements and dimensions and preparing it for data analysis
- Data visualization – turning the data you’ve analyzed into a visual representation, e.g. a graph, chart or histogram
- Statistical analysis – gathering the results from descriptive analytics and looking at them in a more detailed way, e.g. seeing why and how trends are occurring
Business intelligence helps businesses to make better decisions by showing them historical and real-time data about the business. It can also help a business to run more smoothly and efficiently as it offers performance benchmarks.
The Role of Business Intelligence in an Organization
The overall role of business intelligence is to improve all areas of a business by improving access to the company’s data and then using this data to increase the profitability of the business. Businesses who use business intelligence practices can translate the data they’ve collected into insights. They can then use these insights to make better business decisions that not only increase revenue but also increase productivity and growth.
The Main Benefits of Using Business Intelligence Practices in Your Business
Some of the main benefits of business intelligence include:
- It allows you to make better decisions – Business managers or owners need to have a good understanding of what their business data is telling them. As most people already know, information doesn’t always mean intelligence. This is particularly true if the information you have is stored in different areas of your business. The main goal of business intelligence is to gather all of the information you’ve collected into one place. This information is then converted into analyzable insights. Having this up-to-date information available will not only allow you to make better business decisions, but it will also help contribute to superior financial performance.
- You can smash marketing and sales goals –Business intelligence can provide your salespeople with the tools they need to identify customer trends and measure customer activity. This is extremely important if you want to exploit any cross-selling or up-selling opportunities. Your marketing team can also greatly benefit from business intelligence through improved visibility of sales information. This information can be used to create more targeted marketing campaigns. Your marketing team can also use business intelligence to track and measure campaigns and make sure future campaigns are as effective and profitable as can be.
- It can increase your customer knowledge – One of the main reasons businesses intelligence is so important for your business is that it allows you to understand your customers wants and needs. Businesses who don’t have this information will likely find themselves falling behind their competition. In this modern era, the reality is that people are less receptive to being sold to. The typical customer journey from their initial interest in a product to the point of purchase has changed a huge amount over the last few years. Engagement is now more important than ever. Businesses need to find ways of drawing their customers to them instead of relying on outdated techniques based on the hard sell.
- It allows you to improve your customer experience – Businesses who want to retain and attract new customers will need to provide their customers with a good customer experience. Business intelligence gives you real-time access to customer opinions, ongoing orders and previous purchases. This allows you to improve your customer service response and it also allows you to notice when prospective customers are in ‘buying mode’. Not only that, but it helps you to spot danger points where a failure in customer service might risk undermining a customer’s experience. Businesses can use the information they’ve collected to work out the typical profile of your most profitable customer. This helps you to make sure you’re applying resources correctly and attracting the right type of customers.
- It can increase productivity – Business intelligence can help businesses improve existing processes, automate routine tasks, and bring new levels of prioritization and organization into the workplace. The productivity and efficiency gains can be huge, including better use of salespeople’s time, a more responsive customer service, and a closer measurement of marketing campaigns and product development cycles. Business intelligence centralizes all of your data. This can make it more accessible and can reduce the amount of time your employees spend on administrative tasks.
- It can improve accuracy and compliance – Research has shown that some of the trickiest parts of implementing business intelligence include finding out where your data is held, working out which pieces of information are important, and deciding who should be able to access this information. Without knowing the answers to these questions, businesses are at risk of making bad decisions. So, not only does having your information spread out across different departments make it virtually impossible to have a complete view of your customers, it also affects data accuracy and consistency. This can have a negative impact on every area of your business. Centralizing your data can help to expose inaccuracies and improve transparency within the business. What’s more, data protection regulations around the world are slowly tightening their rules around the storage, usage and capture of personal data. This means that it’s more important than ever that businesses keep up-to-date and accurate data about their customers.
- It can increase your ROI – Businesses who manage to achieve all of the above points should see a huge increase in the ROI (return-on-investment) within their company. This can include sales deal conversion metrics, managing day-to-day efficiency and customer experience right through to modelling, analyzing and producing future growth strategies. Businesses who don’t have the correct insights or disciplines can easily fall back to old ways of doing things. This could be devastating to your company. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of businesses using smart technologies to inform, track, manage, measure and guide customer experience. This helps to embed the idea that every employee is responsible for making sure they put the customer’s needs, wants and interests first.
Business intelligence can help to improve every area of a company as it improves their access to real-time, accurate data. Businesses that make use of business analytics can turn the data they receive into insights about the company. The insights gathered can be used to make better business decisions that increase revenue, accelerate growth and improve productivity. If you want to know more about the benefits of business intelligence and why you should consider studying for an MBA in Business Intelligence then click here.
The Future of Business
Over the last few years, we’ve seen some huge changes in the business world. As we implied above, most businesses are choosing to move away from department specific solutions and towards business-wide decisions that help them to keep all strategic and tactical activity tightly aligned with their current objectives. Business intelligence can provide business owners and managers with a clearer understanding of how well their business is doing and it allows them to see whether they’re meeting their goals.
We are living in the age of technological progression. Digital advancements have revolutionized our everyday lives and one of the biggest impacts felt has been in the world of business. Companies now have access to data-driven strategies and tools which allow them to understand their customers better than they’ve ever been able to in the past. But, lots of businesses are still not taking advantage of these amazing tools. If your business is still not using business intelligence, then why not look into it today?