Business Intelligence Software Guidance – With a projected growth rate of 30.6% by 2025, the use of business intelligence across industries is becoming very widespread and urgent. From traditional sectors like banking and healthcare to thriving domains like Edtech and InsurTech, business intelligence has found a use case in every sector you can think of.
For businesses and entrepreneurs aiming to be a name in the future, it is an undeniable fact that they need to understand what business intelligence is and how they can incorporate it and benefit from it.
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In this guide, we’ve provided you with an A-Z list of the details you need to incorporate business intelligence into your operational model with complete confidence.
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While we’ll start with the basics of what business intelligence means, we’ll look at different aspects of technology to then look at the role technology plays in helping businesses succeed.
Business intelligence, or BI as it is commonly called, uses services and software to turn data into actionable insights. The organization uses these insights to make better tactical and strategic decisions.
Use cases for BI in a corporate setup can be seen in how a company that wants to better manage its supply chain uses BI to identify the cause of delays and where there are variations in a shipment journey. Moreover, the technology can be used to track member retention, generate sales reports, and display the status of customer journey prospects.
There are several BI tools like Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, etc. that collect and analyze data sets to then present analytical findings in the form of a summary, report, dashboard, chart, map, etc.
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Now, even though business intelligence has been established as a key part of achieving business goals, there is still some misunderstanding about the importance of BI and business analytics. Let’s answer that today.
The biggest difference between business intelligence and business analytics lies in the questions they answer. BI focuses more on descriptive analytics, which provides a core of current and historical data to show what is happening now and what happened before. It answers the how and what side of the business so managers can iterate on what works and change what doesn’t.
Business analytics, on the other hand, explores predictive analysis. It uses data mining, machine learning and modeling etc. to know the probability of future outcomes. It answers the why side of a business question, helping managers make the right predictions and predict the outcome of a new business decision.
Also known as automated intelligence, this is a type of business intelligence that involves generating reports from a data warehouse or data source. It improves business processes by analyzing predefined data sets that are relevant to a specific process and provides a historical view of the data. In addition, the strategic intelligence model offers a basis for planning, goal setting and forecasting, etc.
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Strategic BI emphasizes displaying output in graphs and charts to show opportunities, trends, and problem areas. It works on four main parameters:
This type of business intelligence is related to operational and transactional data sources. One way to identify this type is to see if the data generated from the analysis directly helps the operational task. Operational BI provides relevant, time-sensitive information to operations managers and front-line customer-facing employees to assist them in their day-to-day processes.
Since operational BI is highly task-oriented, there is less need for graphs and charts. An example of this would be if someone in the operational domain wants to notify a member of the customer base about charges, the schedule will not work well. All they need is a short message.
This is the reason why communication devices like instant messaging, email and whiteboard etc. Play a key role in operational BI. The output one gets from operational business intelligence consists of schedules, invoices, shipping documents, and financial statements.
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Although business intelligence is used in many ways by businesses for many purposes, the process is more or less the same for all industries –
Enterprises can deploy different types of BI tools depending on their business BI use cases. Some of these tools include:
A dashboard is a simple digital interface that provides a graphical representation of data. Dashboards are an effective way to disseminate BI information to business users to enable effective decision making.
This mainly includes the organization’s operational systems such as customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management (SCM).
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Extract, transform, and load (ETL) tools are the primary means of data integration for business intelligence. Other integration methods that can be used include data virtualization, data profiling, and data cleansing.
The benefits of BI in business are widespread. Every domain has a technology use case. Let’s delve into them.
Fast and accurate reporting: With BI, employees can use custom reports or templates to monitor KPIs across a variety of data sources, including operational, sales and financial data. These reports can be generated in real-time and used by businesses to act quickly.
Gather business insights: Businesses can easily measure their revenue, employee productivity and department-specific efficiency through BI tools. It can help uncover a business’s weaknesses and strengths while letting them know what’s working and what’s not. In BI platforms, businesses can even set up alerts to monitor the movement of KPIs that matter to them.
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Better customer satisfaction: Business intelligence tools can provide enterprises with an inside view of their customers’ patterns and behaviors. Since the tools are designed to track customer feedback in real time, they can help them retain existing customers and reach new ones by taking timely action and anticipating customer needs.
Identify new opportunities: Identifying trends and creating data-backed strategies can give businesses a competitive edge. Employees can integrate external market data with their internal sales journey to identify trends in both customer experience and market conditions.
Better operational efficiency: Business intelligence platforms integrate multiple data sets that help the entire organization across domains. What this results in is that managers spend less time tracking information and focus on creating timely and accurate reports.
For employees, this means they can focus on how their performance impacts short- and long-term business goals.
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Better Income: High income is the ultimate goal of any enterprise or startup. Data collected from BI tools can help businesses ask better questions and identify weaknesses in a timely manner. BI tools can help you analyze revenue gaps while highlighting ways to expand margins. All of this together can help businesses develop better strategies for where budgets should be spent to generate the most revenue.
A leading social media company is using BI with artificial intelligence (AI) to combat potentially dangerous and inappropriate content on its platform. Algorithms together proved to identify 95% of terrorism-related accounts.
Technology is also used by them to improve the overall user experience of the app. Business intelligence tools see live feeds and sort them by subject. They also use this data to improve search capabilities and identify videos/content that users will be interested in.
The company uses business intelligence to identify various vital aspects of the business. An example of which can be seen in the increase in prices. BI-led algorithms track traffic conditions, journey times, driver availability and customer demand – all in real time. This dynamic pricing feature is also used by hotels and airlines to adjust the price based on customer needs.
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Major retail brands like Walmart are using BI technology to understand the impact of online behavior on in-store and online activity. By analyzing the simulations, Walmart can understand customer purchasing patterns, such as how many people searched for furniture and then purchased it from the Walmart app/website on the same day. This way, they can pinpoint busy days and exit points in their customers’ journeys.
Through a combination of its mobile app and popular loyalty card program, Starbucks captures the purchase data of millions of customers around the world. Using this information and BI tools, the company predicts purchasing trends and sends personalized offers about what the customer prefers via email or app.
This system helps to attract existing customers to the stores more often, which leads to higher sales volume.
The home improvement company uses business intelligence to combine what customers tell them with actual online and in-store behavior. They use data to discover insights that drive in-store staffing and product assortment. Technology facilitates sales management as well as customer service. Lowe’s, for example, uses predictive analytics to load trucks specific to different zip codes, so the right store gets the right type and quantity.
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