As much as we’d prefer it to be, Business Intelligence is not your business becoming so smart that it will take care of everything—so you can retire to a lavish resort for the rest of your life.
However, it is this sort of … just without the lavish resort part.
Business Intelligence (or ‘BI,’ of course) is concerned with your business becoming smarter and making your life a little bit easier.
It is a process driven by technology. It involves sophisticated systems gathering and analysing data—then taking that information, presenting it, and informing your business for decisions into the future.
What does BI do?
Business Intelligence has a triple-pronged approach. It analyses data from past, present and future contexts—then reports on where a business has been, where it is currently, and where it is going. All of these components show those involved with a business about the best courses of action for its prosperity.
So, where does the data come from?
The data is extracted from a variety of sources, notably those involved with Customer Relationship Management and Enterprise Resource Planning. The BI system will take all of this data and store it, sometimes into a ‘data warehouse’ if there is a large amount from a variety of locations.
Then what happens?
The BI system will convert the data into a usable structure—and then the real fun begins (if this kind of thing is your definition of ‘fun,’ that is). Processes such as Data Mining, Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), Semantic Analysis, and Predictive Analysis will occur, getting to the nitty-gritty of what you really need to know about your business.
How do I use this data?
A Business Intelligence system is then able to report on all of this data in ways such as Visualisations (graphic representations such as charts and graphs); Dashboards (highlighting key performance indicators); Reports (text descriptions); and Scorecarding (numerical comparisons).
Do I need to be a genius to use it?
Business Intelligence is named as such because it does so much of the work for you. Whereas this realm used to be inhabited by the IT department, it is no longer so restrictive. While it would probably still be an idea to have an expert on-hand, contemporary systems are particularly user-friendly.
What are some of my options?
There are plenty of applications available to explore the world of Business Intelligence. This list is just the tip of the business iceberg: Dundas; Sisense; Domo; Grow; Yellowfin; Tellius; Board; ClicData; Looker; Chartio; Targit; Halo; Birst; IcCube; ReportPlus; Izenda.
So, I should utilise Business Intelligence for my business?
BI is incredibly adept at keeping you in the game with your business rivals. It can help you notice trends as they happen, spot problems before they get out of control, increase efficiency and revenue, streamline decision making, and propel your business overall.
Unfortunately, the days of your business literally running itself are probably still a little way off. But, if you want it to work as best as possible, then Business Intelligence is a no-brainer.
If you are thinking about implementing a Business Intelligence system, we are Dando.
Contact us on 1300 932 435 or firstname.lastname@example.org