Customizable, responsive, dynamic, reliable, automated, predictive – these words describe important benefits and features of today’s leading business intelligence (BI) software solutions. Additionally, there’s no doubt the human aspect, like customer service or relationship building, are crucial to furthering business development. That said, we believe measurable benefits and results are what really matter the most in creating and sustaining a successful business. Read on to learn more about how BI can help you.
If you’re making serious business decisions, you need the data to back up your reasoning. Having an effective BI solution is like having an expert consultant, a data scientist, and a fortune teller all rolled into one. Be sure to choose a BI solution that does all this and more for you.
The majority of SME’s (small and medium-sized enterprises) emphasized improved access to data when they decided to integrate a BI system. This access means the ability to collect, analyze, visualize data, and then make informed business decisions.
How can BI software help you?
From our own research and experience, we’ve collected the most common reasons why companies purchase BI software. They are to:
- Save resources – raw materials, manpower, time
- Increase profits
- Reduce guess work and stress
- Identify new opportunities
- Create long term stability
- Gain a competitive advantage
It’s easy to see that these driving forces are in fact exactly what every business owner wants. And BI can deliver them. With these needs in mind, a BI system can be formulated. In order to meet these demands, a BI toolbox needs to be diverse and include:
- Reporting and alerts
- Statistical analysis
- Planning and forecasting
- Predictive and prescriptive analytics
- Time series analysis (cumulative indicators, comparisons, etc.)
- Data visualization, dashboards, graphs, charts
How does BI differ from ERP Systems?
Implementation of new business processes generates a mess of unstructured data. This mess can be managed by an ERP system. However, we are trapped with the same problem: all of our data is in one place, but we cannot effectively answer a time sensitive question or resolve a time sensitive issue despite having relevant data on hand.
All this leads to uninformed and outdated decision-making, which of course consumes significant human resources, and in turn as we all know, increases overhead and lowers profits. This is where a BI system comes in. ERP solutions may offer benefits at an operational level, but BI solutions are what give high level analysis and insights. In other words, ERPs provides efficiency and BI offers agility.
BI gives us the opportunity to formulate questions based on discoveries from past data and then find answers to current and future concerns. Whether it’s traffic data or keeping our assets up to date, each authorized person has immediate access to the information or can receive it in the form of a scheduled report or near real-time alert every single day. If the data exists there are limitless possibilities for inquiry, discovery, and insights.
Data Islands, Alerts, and Notifications
A BI system can also be the answer for data island problems, when data is stored on a separate system, or systems with limited external synchronization options. A common example: the service records of a machine park and the purchase data of its related parts are stored in separate software systems. Trying to calculate the total cost in this case can be a real hassle. A BI software solution can connect to both systems simultaneously. BI takes internal and external data and through its process delivers a final “intelligence” that empowers organizations to act.
BI systems can have preventive features as well, for example if we want to monitor if and when certain events occur. We can set up notifications for when a process’s cost is too high within a given period or when some of our products are approaching the end of their shelf life.
Think about this in a different way. Let’s say you have a fleet of vehicles, it’s super simple to set a weekly alert notifying you when they need to be serviced. Every company has processes that need to be done cyclically, weekly, or monthly. BI can simplify these and essentially put them on autopilot, again saving valuable time and resources.
Revolutionizing How Business Is Done
BI software is an indispensable tool for many levels within an organization. Whether it be executive, management, team leaders, or shop floor workers, they can all have access to data relevant to their responsibilities. These can be reports, alerts, or customized dashboards displaying suitable data visualization. Most of the reports are available online, so they can be viewed and analyzed anywhere in the world.
Real-time, action-ready, agile, proactive, customizable, and not to mention business and user-friendly, BI can make your data come alive while providing stability. Let BI help you get ahead and make your company be the best it can be.