You may have heard the term of Business Intelligence or BI, but what does that really mean ?
There are several different definitions of BI but to put it simply: BI is about to deliver relevant and reliable information to the right people at the right time with the goal of achieving better decisions faster. To do this, BI requires methods and programs to collect and structure date, convert it to information and present it to improve business decisions. BI takes a vast amount of data generated by businesses and present it in a meaningful and actionable way. While these are a simple concept, BI is actually a large and complex field including performance management, analytics, predictive modeling, data and text mining and a lot more…
Why do business intelligence?
Imagine Business Intelligence functioning like a grocery store ! When you enter a grocery store and are looking for a specific items then you do not need to find an employee to ask them where to look. Instead, grocery stores are organized into aisles and signs that make the store relatively simple to navigate. Now imagine the items in the store are like your businesses data and you need to collect information on production, billable hours and sales goals. You are likely to go to three different experts and ask them where you can find this information then you will go to someone else and have them compile it for you. BI is all about taking your messy information and turning it into a tidy and accessible grocery store.
The image below shows some charts of an organizational data after being extracted:
The image below shows some charts of an organizational data after being extracted: This enables you to navigate your data on your own and find what you need without relying on others. Organizations no longer have to dig through complex webs of linked spreadsheets, analyzing the data manually and mashing together reports, instead, employees can use BI systems to request the information. Using BI offers significant advantage when trying to make strategic decisions, having any time access to organized data means that you can:
Discover inefficient business processes and hidden patterns.
Identify areas of strength and weakness.
Discover new opportunities.
All of this will contribute to a better understanding of your company’s operations and challenges.
Let’s look at a retail exemple.
You are the manager of a retail chain that has both stores and online shops, you offer your customers a loyalty card which they can use it in the stores or enter into their online account. The card associates everything the customers buys in-store and online with their unique account number into your organization’s databases. Through the use of business intelligence methods and software, you are empowered by having the ability to run analytical reports on massive amounts of customer information which can enable you to :
Understand how loyal they are to your brand.
What product they buy and how frequently.
If they have a preference for visiting the store or buying from the online store.
What does this give you ?
the ability to understand or even predict and individual customer or segments needs, preferences and habits, anticipate new opportunities to sell, deliver better service or even provide targeted marketing campaigns. In short, you are able to understand your customers very well based on their historical transactions and behavior and use that information to increase your sales or differentiate your brand by providing better or unique services.
So in closing, the term business intelligence refers to a group of tools and techniques that collects and organizes your data and presents it in a way that is useful and make sense. If you want to have efficient access to accurate understandable and actionable information on demand, then Business intelligence might be right for your organization.