Many small business owners and managers have been slow to adopt Business Intelligence (BI), mainly due to lack of knowledge of what exactly BI is, it can be time-consuming to review and there is a concern that it really has any benefit for them. The truth is, it should be an integral part of any operation.
A very short but fitting definition is: “Business Intelligence is essentially timely, accurate, high-value, and actionable business insights, and the work processes and technologies used to obtain them.”
Why should you care about BI?
It’s not only for enterprise companies – virtually every small, mid-sized and large business can benefit from BI. There are many upsides to BI solutions, and companies should be adopting them, here are seven reasons why.
1.Boost productivity. Through traditional data gathering methods, users need to compile and analyze data and write related reports. This can be incredibly time consuming, especially for small businesses that may not have the employees to do it. With a BI program, you can pull data and create the reports at the click of a button thus freeing up time and resources allowing employees to be more productive on their own tasks.
2.To gain sales & market intelligence. Whether you are a sales person or a marketer, you probably like to keep track of your customers – probably using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution to help you. A CRM solution collects the data about your customers and tries to make sense of it, presents it to you in various tables and charts. That may include the entire sales cycle, from winning new customers, to servicing and tracking existing customers, to providing post-sales services.
3.Results closer to established goals. How many times have you established a set of seemingly reasonable goals for a project or other venture, only to end up with an outcome that is drastically different? With BI you can keep track of information, and have it accessible by parties that need it, when they need it. BI goes a long way in helping achieving what you aim for.
4.Return on Investment (ROI). Through better strategic awareness, faster reporting, decreased operating costs/lower overheads and access to better quality data and information, BI can positively influence a company’s ROI.
5.Gain insights into consumer behaviour. One of the main advantages of investing in BI and skilled personnel is the fact that it will boost your ability to analyze the current consumer buying trends. Once you understand what your consumers are buying, you can use this information to develop products that match the current consumption trends and consequently improve your profitability.
6.To improve visibility. If you want to improve your control over various important processes in your organization, BI will improve the visibility of these processes and make it possible to identify any areas that need improvement.
7.To turn data into actionable information. A BI system is an analytical tool that can give you the insight you need to make successful strategic plans for your organization. This is because such a system would be able to identify key trends and patterns in your organization’s data and consequently make it easier for you to make important connections between different areas of your business that may otherwise seem unrelated.