How do you go about solving a puzzle? Do you stare at the jumble of obscured pieces with no idea of what the bigger picture is supposed to be? No – you seek out the edge pieces first to create a framework for a workable project. Similarly, Business Intelligence creates useable information out of seemingly discordant data. The tech world is constantly evolving; rather than you tearing your hair out over data hieroglyphics, Business Intelligence applications decipher information for you and provide a full picture for improved decision making.
Business intelligence (BI) is an enveloping term for software applications, tools, and substructures that enables an organization to analyze raw data and provide clarity of information. Best practices in this specialty include data mining, analytics, spreadsheets/charts, dashboards, and reporting. The utilization of this data should assist in identifying trends ahead of the competition in your market, give insight into client behavior and buying habits, and correct compliance or operational inadequacies.
Since BI alters the structure of data processing, we find governance and self-service analytics to no longer be feuding concepts, but complementary. Additionally, data is being democratized and analytics become agile, no longer a niche for analysts alone. This post by Julia Scavicchio outlines 10 Strategic Benefits of BI, pointing out that by allowing employees of any level to understand analytics, companies go through positive, long-term change starting at the bottom and working its way up, boosting efficiency in the workplace.
The IT department used to be a crutch organizations leaned on for any tech-related need, but now the relationship between business and technology has grown to a bond of familiarity. While data harvesting and analysis become more user friendly, IT gurus can move on to ensuring the protection and authenticity of information instead of spreading themselves thin on anything their company assigns them. An article by Tom Drake explains that “the technology is not just about gathering intelligence but about making sense of data in a way that can be quickly grasped.” Self-service analytics are motivating tools to drive your business.
With this democratizing of data attracting a new kind of user to analytics, visual representation almost serves as a language. The array of applications that BI offers collects and analyzes data before presenting information in reports and visualizations. These are to be used to enhance customer service and raise profits through timely action and well-informed judgements. Good BI systems need to provide context for these users, and it needs to be transparent so that sources are trustworthy and provide return on investment. If users are skeptical of a technology system, they won’t use it. Simple as that.
At its core, BI is still a reporting system, not a processor, but its clarity gives factual back up to decisions that otherwise would be founded solely on intuition or guesswork. Relying on faulty or missing data means a larger risk for your company’s bottom line. When these analytics are employed properly, businesses gain a competitive advantage on upcoming industry or market trends and can better serve their client base. Piece by piece, business intelligence puts together the big picture and delivers results.