What is Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence, or BI, comes in many forms. In its simplest level, Business Intelligence can be described as any type of software technology that is used to help business owners, executives and managers look at data to make better decisions. With a proper BI system in place, business owners and managers will get access to the right information at the right time and in the right format. BI can provide a company with data resources that consequently help it achieve its business goals by guiding timely strategic decisions.
How Does BI Help a Business?
Many small businesses are reluctant to put BI into practice. Common reasons for this are that BI programs are time-consuming to set up and therefore expensive. Another reason is that small businesses are not clear on the benefits of using BI.
The potential benefits of Business Intelligence programs include:
- Analyzing your marketing efforts may help fine-tune your spending hence increasing your return on investment (ROI)
- Identifying the cost of customer acquisition
- Determining customer retention rate
- Tracking and managing employee turnover and attrition rate
- Measuring staff performance
- Accelerating and improving your decision-making process
- Identifying trends in past performance that might otherwise go unnoticed
- Gaining a competitive advantage over business rivals
Attempts to analyze data without BI can be clumsy and as a result, not very useful. Too often information is simply tabulated on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. It is time-consuming collecting the data and tedious putting it together in a way that’s easy to grasp. What’s more, the results are not always accurate or insightful.
Every modern, data-driven organization needs some type of BI tool to help shift from running the business on intuition to running it with intelligence. Do you want greater insight into your business? Then it’s time to investigate how BI can help transform your data into information you can act upon.