business intelligence software | 7 mins read

Business Intelligence Software- The Brain Behind Every Successful Operation

business intelligence software the brain behind every successful operation 1646287776 6434
Archita Wagle

By Archita Wagle

What is Business Intelligence Software?

The Business Intelligence system first emerged in the 1960s as a way to share information across organizations. Companies would use periodic surveys based on predefined areas to understand their consumers, estimate revenue growth and make informed business decisions for future growth.

Modern business intelligence can be defined as a combination of business analytics, data mining, and data visualization which can help managers and employees make better business decisions based on hard data.

What is business intelligence software?
Business intelligence software, also know as BI software, is a collection of tools used to turn massive amounts of data into meaningful data driven, business insights. These insights are typically in the form of charts, graphs and dashboards. BI software transforms internal data into analytics to analyze how different functions affect a business.

A BI solution can help a business like a restaurant collect data from multiple data sources in real time; monitor quality and standards; be compliant with the local laws; identify trends that can impact the business and create reports that identify and issue alerts on potential problems.
BI software can improve results for key functions, such as inventory management, employee scheduling and loyalty programs to increase profits and ensure you are running a streamlined business. Overall, BI software speeds up decision making, improves internal processes and operational efficiency, spots problems, identifies emerging trends and helps a business develop stronger strategies.

  • Business analytics is a combination of skills and tools that help a business measure and improve its core functions, such as marketing and customer service, among others. It focuses on the larger implications of data.
  • Data analytics processes huge data sets to find patterns and trends to support business decisions with data insights. It is also referred to as data science, data mining or big data analytics.

Key BI Tools

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There are various business intelligence or BI platforms for different business needs. Firms providing data services opt for self service BI or companies looking for data analytics opt for data visualization tools. Business intelligence tools are software applications that gather and process unstructured internal and external data to help create reports, dashboards and data visualizations.

BI tools find information through queries and prepare reports that can help employees increase operational efficiency, identify trends and opportunities, leading to better decision making. BI solutions help managers explore various scenarios that help mitigate risk and improve collaboration. BI tools use the latest machine learning algorithms to predict future trends and give the company a competitive edge.

BI analytics platforms combine several data sources to dig deep into the why, how, and what next of a business. They offer insights into its daily operations and performance.

BI tools and their functions-

  • Ad hoc analyticsa process to answer specific questions.
  • Real time BI is an analytics platform in which real time information is delivered to users by feeding business transactions into a real time data warehouse.
  • Operational BI uses real time business analytics to integrate data with operational systems for immediate use.
  • Open source BI are software solutions that do not require a software license.
  • Data visualization software like Dundas BI helps in detecting patterns and correlations by providing visual context.
  • Self service analytics platforms like Tableau focus on providing support to the end user and allows them to be more involved in their own data analysis.
  • Software-as-a-service BI like Microsoft Power is a subscription and cloud based, BI solution for businesses.
  • Trend Analysis tools are used to predict and analyze business data to forecast patterns and view relationships.
  • Data mining tools use databases and machine learning to uncover trends in large datasets.

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Difference Between Reporting and Business Analytics Software

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Often, the terms reporting and analytics are used interchangeably. But there is a difference between business reporting and business analytics.

Reporting can be defined as organizing data into summaries to monitor performance of different areas of business'. An analytics platform explores data and reports to gather meaningful insights which can be used to gain better understanding of a business and improve its performance.

Reporting is taking available information and putting it together in a way that is easy to understand. It. is specific and accurate and helps the business make better decisions. Business analytics adds value to existing data or creates new data through an automated process or a manual analysis. Analytics is uncertain as you use it to find a way to the final answer.

Reporting organizes gathered data using tools such as graphs, while business analytics is the process of organizing and analyzing data. A business can use an app like Zip POS dashboard from Hubworks office solutions to collect various reports across different apps and consolidate it in one area for business analytics.

How Can BI Software Cut Labor Costs?

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In the restaurant restaurant, labor comprises 50% of the budget. In order to maximize revenue and increase profits, it is necessary for a business to manage staff better. It can do this using BI solutions to analyze and act upon labor information. This improves productivity and controls labor costs.

BI tools automate data collection and report generation, reducing the time and cost of employee training and development. Business intelligence can also optimize costs by analyzing a restaurant's performance with the number of employees on hand. It can then suggest adding or reducing staff as needed.

Intelligence tools provide real time information on labor. They also combine labor data with other information to match labor capacity and productivity to reallocate resources as required. BI tools can also pinpoint problem areas to ensure that a business will put the right person in the right place at the right time to meet customer expectations and boost revenue.

BI software can use historical data to schedule the right mix of staff for different shifts. It can help a business reduce labour cost by establishing a standard work schedule, measuring actual performance, identifying deviations and their reasons, and suggesting corrective action.

How Can BI Software Cut Inventory Costs?

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Inventory is a significant cost restaurants have to bear. It can easily consume 50% of a company's capital investment. Having the right stock enables a company to increase its return on inventory investment without compromising service.

Business intelligence software can help a business manage its inventory as it has tools for inventory analysis, planning, and control. BI tools can analyze historical data for buying patterns and customer orders to help businesses optimize supply quantities and inventory allocation.

BI solutions reduce the risk of stock-outs as they analyze safety stock and sales data to provide accurate sales forecasts. BI tools also reduce wastage by identifying inventory with a slow turnover by measuring sales and customer demand and reducing its stock order. Tools like Zip Forecasting from the Hubworks business management app store allows operators to accurately forecast for sales.

With a business intelligence software, a business can improve inventory levels by controlling inventory costs, improving service with the right product availability, prevent inventory build up and reduce waste. BI tools can also help a business by determining the most effective way to get rid of slow-selling inventory through discounts that worked well in the past.

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How Can BI Software Build Customer Loyalty?

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Now is the age of customer-focused marketing and companies need to develop strategies to build customer loyalty. Loyalty programs can be used to offer personalized benefits to customers. A business intelligence software can help a restaurant build brand loyalty and gain more traction.

BI tools can help a business know if its service met the customer's expectations. It offers real time visibility of sticky issues and enables the restaurant to act before customers can post a bad review. A BI solution can help a business monitor customer experience, questions, doubts and feedback on social media platforms and stay up to date with customers' likes, dislikes and requirements via data analytics.

Business Intelligence can help enhance forecast accuracy and set limits to mitigate past events that could influence future customer demand. BI solutions can help a business track which loyalty program worked well in the past and create personalized programs to draw in new customers. BI software can help a business track and evaluate the success of promotional activities to gauge customer reactions.

Business Intelligence Software FAQs

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Q. What is big data?
A. Big data is used to define massive quantities of data that grows exponentially. It can't be stored or managed by traditional data management tools. Social media is a form of big data as almost 500 terabytes of new data are added just to Facebook on a daily basis. Big data can be structured, unstructured or semi-structured.

Q. What is the cost of Business Intelligence Software?
A. The average cost of BI software is about $3,000 annually for the basic plan. You can also reduce the cost of business intelligence software by going for a cloud-based option as it reduces the money spent on hardware for storing data.

Q. What is natural language processing?
A. Natural language processing can be described as giving computers the ability to understand text and spoken words in much the same way humans can. Businesses are using natural language processing as part of BI tools to better understand customer intent.

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