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The Importance of Business Intelligence Systems in Your Company

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Sanchari Chatterjee

By Sanchari Chatterjee

What is a Business Intelligence System?

If your business needs better tools to aid decision making, or to implement more efficient business processes, you are in need of a business intelligence system (BI) to propel growth. Business intelligence helps an establishment use smart tools to make better business decisions and take informed actions.

Business intelligence software is a balanced mix of strategy and technology. It helps establishments by collecting historical data and analyzing data sets in a methodical manner. This data analysis ultimately interprets a business's past and present performance and helps it make better decisions for the future.

Modern intelligence tools and business analytics help establishments convert their data warehouses (data management system designed to support business intelligence tools) into actionable information. This is done with the help of tools such as data visualization, data analysis, reporting, etc.

Best Business Intelligence Features to Look For

1. Predictive analytics- The future is unpredictable, but you can come close to knowing it with the right information system. This is what BI software will do for your businessorganize and study all your past and present records, data sets, information hordes, and help you make the right choices with predictive analytics or 'what-if analysis'. The right BI tools can ease the job of business management by presenting analytics and scenarios to improve decision-making.

2. Data visualization- Gone are the days when you would sit down with piles of records, invoices, data sheets and engage in some exhaustive number-crunching to figure out your business operations. Business intelligence systems can analyze data and convert data sets into pie charts, graphs and visually appealing, easy-to-understand reports.

3. Data warehouse- Data warehouses are data management systems that store and manage large data sets to assist the business intelligence systems of an organization. With technology advancing every day, data warehouses are now becoming invaluable for the analysis of data. This lies at the centre of any BI system.

4. Executive dashboard- The BI software will also help you with interactive and user-friendly dashboards that present analytics and insights in a format that is easy to decipher. The fast and easy user interface will also assist in making quick business decisions.

5. Performance management- Not only analytics and insights, the BI software will also assist you with better performance management by helping with decision making, plugging gaps, wastage and identifying trends to improve revenue.

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Why Do You Need a Business Intelligence Software?

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With every passing day, businesses are getting more and more dependent on data driven work and decision making across the board. Big data is everywhere and is only likely to surge in the coming days. This is where data analytics and business intelligence comes into play for businesses of all shapes and sizes. In order to make sense of your data sources and the large volume of data you are constantly gathering, you need a methodical BI system.

From measuring the results of your marketing campaigns, to getting insights into the cash flow, purchase orders, supply chain and profit margins, business intelligence software will make all these tasks a breeze. On the other hand, your workforce management and human resources tasks can also be assessed and optimized with BI systems.

Another important function of business intelligence is forecasting revenues, supply orders and transactions that help businesses take predictive actions before running out of time. Data science will not only help you better understand your current operations but also predict future events, needs and demands for you to make pre-emptive decisions.

What to Look for in a Business Intelligence System

1. Single platform- Business users with multiple tech tools and software solutions may often find their large data banks becoming a labyrinth. However, a comprehensive, common platform for all your business operations, powered by business intelligence tools for data analytics and tracking, can make sense of all the data collected over time.

2. Self service BI-
A business intelligence system cannot be too complicated for business users who will be handling it on a daily basis. So, look for a user-friendly self service BI system that has an easy drag-and-drop interface, visualizations and a guide to making the business management process smooth.

3. Analytics- Look for augmented analytics tools that use machine learning to find smart and easy solutions for your business needs. The augmented analytics tools must be able to systematically collect, interpret and analyze data in order to assist in the automation process.

4. Mobile BI tools- While most business management tools such as inventory management, supply chain management, point-of-sale systems (POS), etc. now come with mobile apps to give increased mobility to business users, business intelligence software cannot be restricted to the desktop. These apps provide business owners of today with the flexibility to remotely monitor and operate their establishments.

5. Data visualization- Instead of sheets and piles of data, people prefer to look at pie charts, graphs and visualization of data sets. And business intelligence systems employ excellent data visualization tools that not only make the software usable, but also attractive to look at.

A BI System Can Help With Better Decision Making

If you are a business owner, you will find often yourself at the crossheads of decision making. Irrespective of your scale of business operationsbe it a small establishment or a large chain, you will find yourself swamped with data sheets, spreadsheets, reports and other paperwork. A business intelligence system can help you make sense of these huge piles of data.

The right BI software will not only help you make sense of your data sets, it will also answer some of the critical questions a business owner is faced with. With business intelligence tools, you won't have to struggle with questions like, "How is my business performing", "What is the current market trend?" or "How can I make my business grow from here?".

The intelligence software will answer all these questions and give you insightful reports and analytics to assist you with your next step.

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Benefits of Business Intelligence System

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  • Business intelligence systems are designed to make the decision making process smoother and data driven. While work experience and judgement calls drive businesses, you can get some additional assistance with the use of data science and information systems to make better decisions.
  • It all boils down to one core aspectdriving revenue and growth. And with all its features and tools, BI software is designed to increase your business' efficiency and optimize it for speedy growth.
  • If you are out in the market selling your product, you will need to identify current market trends to stay ahead of the curve. And this is what business intelligence tools will do for you. They will analyze the market situation, sales patterns, and competitors, and identify trends to help you make the right call.
  • BI tools not only study your sales data, profit margins and reports, but also that of your competitors. This will help you gain a competitive edge over your business rivals and get ahead of the game.
  • With deep knowledge and understanding of your customer base, intelligence systems will help you personalize your customer service.
  • Business owners can increase the productivity and efficiency of their workforce and business systems by clearing bottlenecks, refining business processes and automating several tasks. BI software will also give you insights to these gaps and show you how to plug them.

How to Drive Profits with the Right BI System

Business intelligence tools can help business owners drive their return on investment (ROI) in a number of ways. From increasing sales efficiency, to analyzing sales metrics and improving customer experience, intelligence systems can improve profit margins in various ways.

BI systems will integrate with your tech tools like your Point of Sale (POS) system, inventory management system and warehouse management tools in real time and gather the reports, analyze data and present you with insightful solutions. BI software will help you with predictive analytics and real time analytics of your sales data, inventory data, etc. to show you how your business is performing. The conversion metrics will offer you comparisons of your return on investment and revenues and help you make improved business decisions that drive growth.

Moreover, with an in-depth study of the market scenario, you can also look at the tactics employed by competitors and understand market trends. This will also help you generate revenues better than competitors, when used well.

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