Business intelligence (BI) is more than a buzzword. Implemented effectively, businesses can leverage intelligence frameworks to reduce redundancy, deliver insight and drive better decision-making.
So, what exactly is BI, and what are the operational benefits of business intelligence? Read on to learn the answer.
What Is Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence is the process of turning collected data into actionable insights.
To accomplish this goal, companies use a mixture of tools and technologies capable of cleaning, curating and correlating disparate data sources. Common processes include data mining, data analytics and data visualization.
In practice, these processes are used in concert to turn raw data into actionable insight. For example, an organization might have multiple data lakes related to customer purchasing. On their own, these data lakes represent untapped potential; insight is available if companies can connect the dots and understand key relationships.
This is the role of business intelligence. By mining data for relevant information — such as the volume of customer churn — and then analyzing this data for common correlations that suggest key trends, it’s possible to produce data visualizations that help , internal teams and customers see what’s happening, when it’s happening, and determine why.
Eight Benefits of Business Intelligence
The top eight advantages of business intelligence include:
- Reduced complexity
Disparate data sources are naturally complex, especially as companies leverage multiple storage mediums such as on-site servers, collocated data centers and the cloud. Add the increasing use of mobile devices and the uptake in hybrid work environments and the complexity becomes an ongoing — and ever-increasing — challenge.
BI tools make it possible to sift through multiple data sources simultaneously, in turn reducing complexity and increasing visibility.
- Improved data access
Data is only useful if companies can access it where and when they need it. However, with data stored across multiple silos that often leverage different platforms, data access becomes a constant struggle.
As a result, IT teams might spend a significant portion of their time attempting to bridge the gaps between these data sources, rather than leveraging their insights. Robust data intelligence frameworks make it possible to streamline data access across the organization.
- Enhanced productivity
Better data access combined with relevant data insights can lead to enhanced productivity.
Equipped with accurate data, companies can create visualizations that speak to current trends and help IT teams and C-suite executives determine where business operations are working as intended and where improvements are necessary.
We’ve heard from our customers that having everyone on their account management, leadership, or technical teams interact with a unified dashboard has had astonishing benefits to their productivity. Spending countless hours downloading reports from separate systems and trying to put them all into one manually can feel like a waste of time.
Instead, using BI means being able to interact with the data, drill down, and digest what is going on provides a better understanding of business results. Knowledge derived from subsequent reporting empowers the team to demonstrate their positive impact for customers and uncover new (quantifiable) business priorities.
- Right time, right data
Data is dynamic. Every customer interaction, every warehouse delivery and every product sold generates a host of data that offers potential for business decision-making — if companies can get to the data they need when they need it.
Here, the right BI tools make it possible for staff to find the appropriate data when they need it, in turn allowing them to act ASAP.
- Increased data quality
Poor-quality data leads to poor-quality outcomes. For example, if stored data is out-of-date or isn’t properly placed in the context of customer behavior, businesses might take actions that hurt rather than help their ROI.
Business intelligence tools make it possible to ensure data quality through in-depth analysis and comparison, in turn improving outcomes.
- Empowered decision-making
Often seen as the biggest benefit of using business intelligence, decision-making can improve significantly with robust BI. By providing C-suites with clear data visualizations based on relevant and accurate information, they can make decisions that are in the best interest of the business at scale.
In other words, getting the whole picture makes it possible to drive better decision-making.
- Lower costs
Business intelligence solutions can also help lower total costs. Here’s why: By using accurate and complete information, companies are less likely to make mistakes that in turn require them to backtrack on key decisions, rerun analyses and reevaluate data sources. The result is time and money saved. This is especially critical as companies look to launch new applications and services across multiple touchpoints; data about consumer use patterns and potential pitfalls can help keep costs under control.
- Trend insights
As customer preferences evolve and market forces shift, it pays to know what’s coming next. While business intelligence isn’t a crystal ball, it can help offer insight about emerging trends that let companies set themselves up for success. In addition, in-depth trend analysis allows companies to create short- and long-term business plans that build on current data sources but are agile enough to adapt as trends shift.
How MXOtech Can Help Businesses Build Better Intelligence
MXOtech makes it possible for companies to make best use of business intelligence features and benefits.
This starts with a deep dive — our teams partner with clients to create a BI roadmap that focuses on delivering key results by providing services and solutions that fit clients’ needs. This allows us to build business intelligence systems capable of delivering data collaboration, integrating disparate data sources and delivering actionable insight to drive better decisions.
Ready to build a better BI program? Make it happen with MXOTech. Get in touch today.