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What is Business Intelligence?

What is Business Intelligence?

Running a successful business is a challenge, no matter the size of the organization. Whether large or small, companies are a complex set of operations and equations. And to make matters more complicated, the modern business is now smarter than ever before.

Business intelligence (BI) has revolutionized how any organization can use the data it produces to secure knowledge and advantage. Data is commonly generated concerning customer behaviors, operational performance, finances, and numerous other areas. Technological advancement surrounding BI allows a business to harness this data to create awareness that has critical implications for growth.

BI can assist in identifying ways to increase profit or assess the trends of customers. It can also compare data with competitors or shed light on market trends. Data generated using BI can also discover operational issues, track performance, and optimize operations. These technologies can even offer predictions on future success.

Modern business operations now depend on intelligence to strike a competitive advantage. In this article, we examine an understanding of what constitutes business intelligence and how it works.

Why is Business Intelligence (BI) Vital?

A business that operates smarter is more likely to succeed. Even further, BI is quickly becoming a new standard for companies. The question is less often about whether or not a business implements BI; the question is more about the extent to which a business harnesses BI’s power.

BI is essential to modern business for a variety of reasons. With most solutions able to generate data analysis in real-time, a company stands to accelerate their ability to answer customers timely and respond to issues as they arise. A business can mitigate concerns in minutes rather than waiting for the damage to occur. This advantage quickly leads to improved customer satisfaction and refined operational efficiency.

Better intelligence also results in better decisions. BI can extricate facts and transform data into information that can be acted upon and consistently trusted. This ability to access and understand data contributes to more accurate and timely strategies according to trends and patterns in data that can support prioritization and resource allocation.

In the end, faster reporting and more dependable strategizing will increase the ROI for any size business. BI will help companies illuminate and achieve goals while promoting productivity and using data to discover new revenue opportunities.

Business intelligence definition

Business intelligence has been an evolving concept. Early forms of BI involved the information shared between various organizations. As computer technologies progressed, the meaning of business intelligence changed along with it. Eventually, computer-based models for making business decisions led to data being used for insights that could impact the current and future circumstances of a business.

Modern definitions of business intelligence can involve functions that use technology, skills, and applications to inform business decisions based on data. This can include data collection, aggregation, analysis, and presentations that influence how decisions are made within a business environment.

BI has the capacity to use various types of software and services to farm data and leverage it into an awareness that businesses can utilize. Tools employed in BI’s effort can be used for numerous purposes, primarily for strategic action and assessment of a business’s operating status. BI resources can transition data analysis into reports, dashboards, summaries, graphs, charts, maps, and various other presentations. These insights can offer detailed awareness of the state of the business. BI may also refer to a spectrum of resources that provide information for optimizing strategic and calculated business decisions.

Business intelligence examples

Many businesses are underutilizing BI resources. This can commonly result from BI requiring too much manual input. For example, small companies’ common shortcoming is to gather data by manually inputting it into spreadsheets on a cloud drive. Essentially, these cloud drives become a warehouse of data for the business. Such an operation is rarely sustainable for an organization. Data inevitably grows broader and more complex, or an organization’s operations develop into more dynamic environments.

Modern BI tools are designed to efficiently and affordably manage an ever-expanding warehouse of data. These tools are not only easier to work with; they are also more secure and more straightforward to use. Much of the operations with BI technologies can also be automated.

Here are three examples of companies that used BI tools in diverse ways to benefit their business.

REI

As a co-op, REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) relies heavily on membership. They faced a challenge in tracking membership metrics that involved large amounts of data. Monitoring and analyzing metrics such as acquisition, retention, and reactivation were critical to future strategy decisions. This data impacted deciding whether to further invest in physical retail stores or generate more digital opportunities for their members. The company was also able to gain insight that influenced other areas, including shipping methods, member lifecycles, and product category assortments.

Reddit

Reddit is a social media website that has grown to accommodate over 430 million visitors per month worldwide. The focus of the company on aggregating news and community discussion relies heavily on the tool of BI. They faced a massive amount of data congestion that hindered their access to critical business indicators, such as brands or products mentioned on the platform. BI tools allowed Reddit to push through the blockage to data and capture essential sales growth.

Chipotle

This now-famous American restaurant chain has more than 2,400 locations worldwide. With such a massive scale of restaurants, Chipotle encountered difficulties producing a unified view of their many sites due to insufficient data sources. By incorporating BI tools, they were able to gain a wide-ranging and centralized perspective of all restaurants, empowering them to optimize operations through clear and efficient reporting.

Resources

The benefits of BI resources are broad and essential. A company or enterprise stands to reduce costs, improve productivity, increase security, and ensure critical data is accessible and accurately analyzed.

Implementing and maintaining a set of BI tools for your business can be complicated and require support. Specialists at Network Coverage can assist in this essential and ongoing process.

We provide BI services that include ERP management, data collection and reporting, dashboard development, performance reporting, and various other essential elements for your BI solutions.

For experienced advice and support on designing and implementing effective BI systems, you can explore expert technology solutions for business strategy by setting up a consultation with Network Coverage.

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