What is Cloud-Based Business Intelligence (BI)?
What is Cloud-Based Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence (BI) is becoming a more popularly-utilized business tool in companies of all sizes. While the strategy of collecting and analyzing data to predict outcomes and make business decisions was traditionally reserved for larger corporations, even smaller businesses now are seeing the benefits of prioritizing a BI-forward strategy.
Traditional business intelligence methods were built using query-based executive information software, reporting tools, or hard-copy briefing books. They were also typically reserved for corporations or other higher-complexity, higher-revenue companies. However, as smaller companies have recognized the importance of using data to inform business decisions, cloud-based business intelligence options have opened opportunities to offer technology to a wider range of companies.
What is Cloud-Based Business Intelligence?
Cloud-based business intelligence is a category of online software that integrates with your business systems and technology to produce real-time data and reports. Rather than requiring physical hardware installs, cloud-based business intelligence software is based on the cloud.
Instead of being hosted on an internal hard drive or server, cloud-based business intelligence software is hosted on one or multiple external servers that distribute the software to the business via an internet connection. This means it can provide up-to-the-minute information on any approved device with an internet connection.
What are the Benefits of Cloud-Based Business Intelligence?
Because cloud-based business intelligence software is based online, it has a number of benefits compared to traditional business intelligence software, including:
1 – Simpler Integration
One of the first benefits businesses will experience with cloud-based business intelligence versus traditional business intelligence is that it’s easy to set up and integrate with your existing systems.
Integration is the term for connecting systems so they can transfer data unilaterally or bilaterally. For business intelligence technology to be most effective, it must be able to integrate with your full suite of business tools and systems. From these systems, the business intelligence software will pull and combine real-time data into reports and projections.
In cloud-based business intelligence software, integration is particularly simple, especially with other cloud-based systems such as QuickBooks, Salesforce, Hubspot, Basecamp, and more. This saves significant setup time while ensuring you can receive real-time, detailed, full-data reports at any time.
2. Improved Scalability
Another reason business owners choose cloud-based business intelligence is because of its scalability. Not only does a more scalable solution mean smaller businesses can access this tool when they may not have been able to afford a traditional option, but it also means that fast-growing businesses will not quickly outgrow the solution.
This type of software also often has more features and options that can be added as a business grows—without requiring additional hardware. In short, it can scale in size or complexity to grow with a business.
3. Better Elasticity
Another benefit of cloud-based business intelligence is elasticity. Cloud-based business intelligence means you’re not relying on your in-house servers and processors to manage and present data. Instead, the systems run on external servers with much more vast resources. They have the ability to provision or de-provision resources automatically to manage workload and can handle an exceptionally large amount of data, making cloud-based business intelligence a great fit for companies who are experiencing growth in size or complexity.
4. Real-Time Reporting
The crux of business intelligence is that it depends on accurate, real-time data for reliable, actionable information. Where traditional business intelligence often required queries to populate reports or manually pulling data from multiple sources to combine in a separate environment (at which point the data may become quickly outdated), cloud-based BI populates these reports automatically and in real-time. This gives businesses more accurate business intelligence for more informed and strategic decisions.
How to Get Started
Taking on the task of implementing a cloud-based business intelligence system can feel daunting. However, by going through an expert outsourced IT service, you have a partner with vast industry knowledge who will take the time to learn about your company and help pick the best cloud-based BI system for you. They will also help set up and integrate the program with your existing systems, train your users, and support and troubleshoot if you run into challenges.
Speak with an IT expert today to learn more about how Network Coverage can help.
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