The Top 10 Reasons to Invest in Business Intelligence
The basic goal of BI technologies is to allow for the easy digestion of volumes of often raw business data. The investment results in turning an unending stream of zeros and ones into information that will assist your business in moving forward. BI technologies are utilized to provide views of past and current business operations and even project them into the future.There are a myriad of reasons why businesses make the decision to invest in Business Intelligence, here are the top 10:
Knowledge = Power
Business intelligence generates and analyzes an incredible amount of data (often stored in a data warehouse). With greater access to data comes a greater understanding of the workings of your business. If you’re running your business operations and strategy from a more informed place, the benefits to the bottom line are inevitable.
Minimize Guesswork and Gambles
All too often, business decisions are made on guesswork, gambles, and gut-feel. With so much at stake for your business, your employees, and your own future, it’s incredibly important that you minimize the risks that such an approach to decision-making poses. Business intelligence gives you the data and tools to do just that, shifting you to a data-driven, quantitative decision-making process.
Quicker Decision Making
Are your competitors reacting to changes in the market faster than you? According to a Forbes survey, companies who utilize BI analytics are 5x more likely to make faster-than-average decisions. A well-designed business intelligence system will allow you to gain instant responses to almost any business-related analytical query. You can then use these responses to make an informed decision in real-time.There’s no need to fish through a filing cabinet or a bunch of Excel files to get a very limited sense of the best course of action. Companies who utilize BI analytics are 5x more likely to make faster-than-average decisions The State of Big Data | Forbes
Trim Your Business’s Fat
One of the quickest and most effective uses for BI is cost-cutting. A good BI system allows you to quickly and easily identify areas for cost savings. For product-centric businesses, your first port-of-call should be your inventory. Your BI solution will help identify low-turnover or idle products. Similarly, supply chain analytics will quickly identify opportunities to optimize your spend on items that end up in your inventory. This is true for all types of businesses from manufacturing to healthcare. BI allows you to identify and measure the inefficiencies in other areas too, such as procedural systems and employee costs.
Better Understand the Past, Present and Future
By looking at stats over a given period, you can get a good sense of where your business was, is, and where it might be headed. Descriptive analytics uses data mining to look at the past to reveal what has happened in your business. Predictive analytics combines these stats with forecasting techniques to reveal what could happen in your business into the future. Prescriptive analytics uses simulation techniques to offer advice on these predictions.
Efficient Data Collection
One of the most dramatic ways that BI improves the the efficiency of your business is through data collection. Traditional data collection and collation is an incredibly time-consuming process. You first need to pull data from a variety of sources, identify the relevant information, then convert, merge and report the data for analysis. This is often done using error prone manual processes, which leads to excessive management time determining the validity and accuracy of the data. A good BI system automates this entire process, allowing you to focus on the outcomes of the data rather than the data itself.
By centralizing all relevant data into your business intelligence system, you can put governance processes in place to control what information your company's decision makers can access based on their role within the company. This also ensures that everyone is accessing is current, accurate, and uniform data across the business. The BI choir sounds better when everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.
Easily Visualize Data
A good BI system will offer the option to quickly create graphs, charts and matrices that are endlessly helpful in communicating complicated information. Why does this matter? Cornell University researchers found something interesting; if you present a scientific claim in pure words or numbers, 68% of people will believe that the information is accurate and truthful. But if you simple graph with the claim, that number rises to a stunning 97%. Why? The visual serves to confirm the claim. It makes complex information easy to digest.
Identify Systemic and Procedural Issues
By investing in a BI system for your business, you’re granting yourself access ailed insights into your business’s performance. Identifying bottlenecks and procedural issues is made far simpler, allowing you to quickly and easily streamline your operations.
Gain Insight into Customer Behavior
With the combination of internal and external data that forms the basis of any good BI system, you can constantly analyze the behavior of your customer base. Are sales of a certain product or service drying up? Are there changes in your customer demographics? You can use this information to pre-empt trends, future-proofing your business.
So where should your journey begin to determine if your Business should invest in BI?One important step is to get to the next level of your Business Intelligence understanding. You can start with our guide "What is Business Intelligence," which will help you make determinations about:
Investing in Business Intelligence
Ensuring success for a BI initiative
Measuring the ROI Business Intelligence
Major trends shaping the future of Business Intelligence
If you are ready to discuss your specific challenges or what CSG can offer, you can contact us to learn more about how to start implementing your solution.