Living in a technology-driven world, you can observe and experience how quickly everything that surrounds you, including your competitors, undergoes a digital transformation. What most companies find inevitable to regain their competitive advantage is data. Without collecting and properly analysing data about your business, you will soon lose your customers and be left behind. Luckily, there is a tool that can help you and it is business intelligence. If you wonder how business intelligence can help you to remain competitive, continue reading.
What is business intelligence
Even though its name may be confusing, business intelligence is one of the hottest technology trends. It is a set of tools, applications, operations and technologies that gather data and present it in a graphic form for you to explore it. Visualising data is an excellent way to make it easier for you and your company to understand the current state of your business.
However, business intelligence does not do the job for you. It does not perform the data analysis itself but rather enables you to gain information about your organisation, run queries against that information, generate comprehensible reports and thus draw conclusions. Presenting data in a graphic form, it helps you to learn about your company and spot business opportunities which you otherwise could have missed.
How does business intelligence work
Automation makes the process of collecting and analysing data and translating it into insightful information smooth and easy but the results are extraordinary. The tool gathers all the data about your organisation and presents it in the form of dashboards, charts, maps and graphs so that you can analyse it. That way, it shortens the time you would normally spend on mining, merging and translating data and yet provides you with real-time insights on your business.
The important thing to mention is that business intelligence gives you access to information concerning business operations and customer behaviours happening right now and not in the future. It does not predict future opportunities but enables you to do so – basing the predictions on processes and decisions made so far.
Benefits of business intelligence
Buying a business intelligence tool is a great way to discover new things about your company. For the development and implementation processes to be successful, you need to know exactly what kind of data you want to collect or are already collecting and what kind of insights you want to receive. Moreover, using business intelligence enables you to:
- Eliminate guesswork
Running a business, you should never make important business decisions based on your gut feeling. That way you may be slowing down the growth of your company or even risking its future. With business intelligence, you gain comprehensive and reliable real-time insights about your organisation, which allows you to make accurate, data-driven decisions. This removes the need for making the best guess.
- Improve efficiency
Obtaining important business metrics requires hours of looking for information from within multiple databases. However, collecting data does not equal gaining deeper understanding of your business, there is still lots of merging, reporting and analysing the results. A business intelligence tool performs all of those processes automatically, providing you with accurate real-time information and saving you time which you can now spend on more challenging tasks.
- Track your customers behaviours
Every company relies on their clients. You do not need to run an online store to be interested in your customers, their behaviours and opinions. Tracking every stage of the entire sales cycle and gaining insights into your customer behaviours allows you to quite literally turn information into profit. With business intelligence, you can discover your customer preferences and thus meet their needs.
- Spot new opportunities
Another advantage of business intelligence tools is that they give you actionable information which helps you to create successful strategic plans. It allows you to see how efficient (or not) your business processes are and gives you the possibility to spot whatever may be slowing down your company. You can also learn more about your customers, their behaviours and the entire sales cycle, which enables you to take different approaches and discover which one is the most beneficial for your company.
- Work from anywhere at any time
As all of the valuable insights are stored in the cloud, any member of the organisation can access them whenever and wherever it is necessary. You no longer have to spend time on sharing updates as everyone can view real-time information without the need of searching through endless amounts of files which, by the way, you no longer have to create as business intelligence does all that work for you.
- Increase sales
By gaining insightful sales information and learning about your customers, you can address their needs and thus boost your sales. Business intelligence collects and analyses data concerning the behaviour of your customers, the efficiency on every stage of product development processes and market trends. It is also helpful in improving your post-sales customer service, which has a great impact on building your own brand and gaining new customers.
- Save business history
One of the most important features a business intelligence tool can offer is prescriptive analytics. The solution itself does not predict the future trends on the market or customer behaviours but it helps you to estimate future predictions based on historical data. When you store enough information, the tool can merge, analyse and display key trends from the past and get you insights of which business operations have led you to past success.
- Turn goals into results
With accurate real-time information, your company is able not only to establish reasonable goals but to actually achieve them. Business intelligence provides you with better quality data which enables you to develop better strategic awareness. Automating data collection, you can also reduce operating costs and estimate how big you need your team to be in order to handle challenging tasks. Overall, you learn what kind of goals your company is capable of achieving and what is keeping you from turning them into results.
TO SUM UP
The business intelligence tool is an inevitable solution which helps you to make data-driven decisions and thus gain a competitive advantage. It helps you to explore and understand the nature of your company. Analysing data presented in a graphic form boosts the productivity of your company and enables you to grow.