In 2023, where data is crucial, Business Intelligence (BI) is super important for smart decision-making. If you’re new to BI, this guide is for you. It focuses on the common questions asked by new BI users, anchoring on the software’s purpose while exploring other pertinent areas, such as what it is and what it can do for your business.
As we explore this tech-driven era, we’ll talk about the basics and the latest trends in BI. Let us shed some light on how BI can unleash the power of data, helping businesses thrive in a competitive world.
Business intelligence encompasses tools, technologies, applications, and practices for collecting, integrating, analyzing, and presenting an organization’s raw data to generate insightful and actionable business information. Embracing these data-driven solutions enhances organizational resilience amid pandemic challenges. For instance, BI includes collaborative tools and project management features crucial for teamwork and productivity in remote work scenarios.
As a discipline and technology-driven process, BI involves activities such as
Having understood the purpose of business intelligence in a business, it’s crucial to delve into its key benefits. Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics play a pivotal role in helping companies navigate fragile supply chains, enhance customer engagement, and support workforce adjustments amid pandemic disruptions. The potential benefits of BI programs encompass:
Business intelligence tools serve as data-driven decision support systems (DSS), often interchangeably used with briefing books, report/query tools, and executive information systems. These tools empower business users to analyze data independently, reducing reliance on IT for complex reports. This direct access to information allows users to support business decisions with concrete data rather than relying on gut feelings or anecdotes. Considering the increasing importance of cloud BI, with 54% of companies deeming it critical, exploring its applications for your business could provide a competitive edge.
Business intelligence software systems offer insights into historical, current, and future business operations, primarily utilizing data stored in data warehouses or data marts. These systems leverage reporting, interactive pivot-table analyses, visualization, and statistical data mining. They address various business data sources such as sales, production, and finance, supporting tasks like business performance management. Additionally, these systems engage in benchmarking by collecting information about other companies within the same industry.
Effective sharing of information is crucial for the success of BI projects, starting with top executives and extending to salespeople who, driven by the need to stay updated on sales trends, readily embrace user-friendly tools they can trust. BI systems empower employees to modify practices, enhancing teamwork and individual performance, particularly within sales teams. Disparities in team performance prompt efforts to elevate laggard teams. Engaging salespeople as BI advocates can be instrumental in encouraging wider organizational adoption, as they enthusiastically share the benefits and improvements experienced in their work through BI tools.
To successfully implement Business Intelligence (BI), companies should assess their decision-making processes and identify the information executives require for confident and rapid decisions. Considerations should include the preferred presentation format (e.g., report, chart) for relevant information. BI systems must offer contextual insights, explaining the factors influencing business outcomes. It’s crucial to address user concerns and skepticism, as BI’s success hinges on user acceptance and strategic implementation, which can fundamentally transform how companies operate and make decisions. CIOs should be attentive to users’ feelings throughout the process.
Remember, BI is about more than decision support. Due to improvements in the technology and the way CIOs are implementing it, BI now has the potential to transform organizations. CIOs who successfully use BI to improve business processes contribute to their organizations in more far-reaching ways than by implementing basic reporting tools.