Business Intelligence, or BI, is the discipline of acquiring, arranging and applying company data. It’s gaining momentum because it’s a low-cost, accessible way of using data to inform your operations. With so much data available to us nowadays, it’s an ordeal to find, organise and make sense of that data. Business Intelligence helps filter out the static and helps you interpret the data.
If you’re not already implementing BI in your business, allow me to give you a few reasons why you should.
The five benefits
It keeps all your information in one place
Do you save your operational data in different spreadsheets and applications? If so, it’s likely costing you hours of your time to find all the right data and to put it all together to make sense. Business Intelligence solutions allow you to connect many data sources to each other. A BI solution saves you hassle looking for, and organising your data.
It helps you make better business decisions
Connecting different data sources also makes combining data easier. And you can use this recombined data to gain new insights. Insights about your most or least successful products. Or about the number of orders or signups per day. Or per geographical location. Insights about materials used in, or people working on a single project.
You get the idea… Whatever you would like to know to make a well-considered business decision: business intelligence gets you there. You’ll go to battle well equipped to lead your company to new, commercial heights! I admit, it sounds a bit over-the-top. But if you start using a BI-solution, you’ll at least know you’ll never miss an important insight ever again!
It gives you quick and accurate reports
Using insights for decisions that affect the future are important. Reports to assess what happened in the past are just as important! In fact, they usually go hand-in-hand. Business Intelligence software is very good at generating quick and accurate reports. You can make preconfigured, periodical reports (daily, weekly, monthly… etc.) or generate them at will. Business Intelligence offers excellent capabilities for fast and consistent overviews of past data.
It visualises data for fast interpretation
Visualising information is not always as easy as it should be. Getting a graph or pie chart out of Excel, for example, requires a few extra steps. And not everyone is savvy with computers.
Let Business Intelligence software do the heavy lifting for you. It’ll present the data you request on a well-arranged silver platter. This way, you won’t have to worry about the clarity and readability of your information. Instead, you’ll be spending your time making decisions based on that data.
It is cost-effective
Business Intelligence used to be the playground of big companies. With a lot of staff and large data warehouses, you’d be able to do something akin to Business Intelligence. This has changed considerably over the past years. These days, Business Intelligence software is often provided as a SaaS-solution. This means it works with subscription models.
Generally, there are several types of licenses. For the self-employed and for SMBs, individual licenses are usually the best solution. Bigger companies and enterprises -who often have a lot of users- often have to request a quote. Individual licenses for Business Intelligence software generally cost around €10 – €20 per month per user. Spending this money saves you a ton of hours working out details, helps you make important decisions and improves your workflow.
In conclusion: Business Intelligence makes for an efficient, agile organisation If you add it all up, Business Intelligence is a sold investment, no matter your company size or the industry you’re in. There isn’t a company in the world that does not work with spreadsheets and databases. If you can connect those data sources and derive trends and other relevant insights & reports from them, you’ll always be ready for the future!