Benefits of Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence (BI) is a kind of business software solution designed to facilitate the use of information within a company.
Although BI needs can vary in different business sectors, and many tools are industry-specific, most BI software provide a similar core suite of capabilities. In BI software the data is gathered from CRM, ERP (SAP, PeopleSoft, etc.), Excel sheets, text files, legacy systems and data warehouses throughout the ETL process etc., proceeded according to company's needs and can be presented in a way understandable by business people.
There are many Business Intelligence tools available on the market but sometimes a company can simply use Excel's Pivot Table tool for basic analysis. However, professional Business Intelligence tools usually allow to cleanse and standardize data and display the results of the analysis using dashboards and scorecards in a way that is understandable for business people in an optimized, standardized, centralized and scalable way.
There are some reasons why Business Intelligence is a number one investment by a company according to many experts. When properly implemented and used, Business Intelligence tools can bring many benefits to a company and improve its performance.
Main outcome of using BI software
First of all, it allows to use the gathered data more effectively and transform it into beneficial information that can be employed to increase company's competitiveness and visibility on a market. With Business Intelligence software you can obtain a new or more specific view on corporate data and perform data mining, which helps your company uncover relationships and patterns present in data gathered so far.
Secondly, Business Intelligence efficiently supports management processes. Comparing to non-BI environment, correctly implemented Business Intelligence assists data-based management and develops access to information customer activities, current trends on the market and supply chain matters more effectively and provides more consistent results.
When using Business Intelligence you obtain reliable information and only 'one version of the truth' which improves recognition of the current market conditions and allows quicker and more relevant decision making. By combining actual strategy and information collected by a company, BI tool can help build management framework and create a coherent set of key performance indicators to monitor the progress. Key performance indicators can then be presented in a simple, user friendly graphic way.
Business Intelligence also makes information collection and dissemination faster and more efficient, which increases flexibility and accelerates company's adjustment to market demands.
Finally, scorecards established using Business Intelligence, can help predict how a company will perform financially in the future. Additionally, BI allows to monitor the indicators through balanced scorecards so if they are decreasing, a company is able to implement preventing actions to try to regain its position on the market.
Modern Business Intelligence
In today's fast changing, turbulent and impredictible economy, where 'extraordinary is ordinary', having a typical Business Intelligence system which provides only tools for reporting and analysis is not enough.
Modern Business Intelligence platforms, also referred to as Enterprise Performance Management systems provide visual dashboards, planning and budgeting solutions, scorecards, event monitoring, efficient in-memory OLAP engines for data analysis, advanced reporting features, mobile access, discussion, workflow components and more...
Summarizing, Business Intelligence is a process that works for any size company to support data gathering and processing, data-based managing, and fact-based decision making for successful performance on a crowded marketplace. The BI approach works so well because it integrates business process perspective and customer perspective, and provides a way to quantify all the value drivers, not only the financial ones.