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Business Intelligence: What it is and How it Can Help You

2 minute read

Business Intelligence, or BI, in short, has become one of the top buzzwords mentioned on social media, at conventions, and by industry influencers. As a result, it might have lost some of its apparent value and significance.

In this guide, we’ll explain what Business Intelligence really is and how your business can benefit from incorporating BI in your decisions.

The simplest explanation of Business Intelligence

BI is a combination of business data and professional experience that can lead to better decision-making.

Business Intelligence is an ongoing process that makes use of various tools, technologies, and personal knowledge and intuition to present insightful information and help decision makers take reasonable action.

You could compare BI to weather forecasting. The more accurate a forecast is, the more benefit those who read it get from it. Just like Business Intelligence, an accurate weather forecast makes valuable use of both technologies to gather and analyse data as well as experience forecasters.

The main benefits of incorporating BI in your decision-making

Your business stands to benefit the most from using Business Intelligence properly. Just like a weather forecast, BI does not offer any absolute guarantee. However, if done properly, it can help you get things right much more frequently than not.

Here are the five key benefits of proper Business Intelligence:

  1. It provides you with useful information to make better and quicker decisions.
  2. It increases the efficiency of your business by identifying vulnerabilities.
  3. It allows you to exceed your customers’ expectations by predicting their desires.
  4. It provides a forecast of consumer trends that allows you to plan for them accurately.
  5. It identifies threats and opportunities that can drive sales and reduce costs.

Business Intelligence is not a crystal ball or a fortune teller. It’s a process by which you truly understand your business and market, including your customers’ wants and don’t wants.

Truths and myths of Business Intelligence

One of the major myths about BI is that it’s expensive. Whilst it might cost your business to ignore this process, you’ll find that with the appropriate and affordable software, the process of Business Intelligence is already half done.

Large tech corporations, such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google, owe a big part of their success to Business Intelligence. This revolutionised the demand for BI among smaller businesses, and today, through CRM and other management software, SMEs can benefit equally from data acquisition, analysis, and visualisation.

Another major myth of BI is that it’s a nice-to-have for some businesses, but not others. We wonder, however, which serious business that hopes to stay in operation for the foreseeable future would not consider customer satisfaction and risk mitigation as essential.

Finally, a common misunderstanding of Business Intelligence is that it’s something finite or a process that has a beginning and an end. In reality, this is a process that your business can scale according to its needs and should never stop as long as your business is operational. 

It’s ok to get help to develop your Business Intelligence strategy

There’s nothing wrong with trial and error if your business can afford the errors. However, to save time, money, and frustration, you should speak to a Progressive team member to help get you started. 

Our team can explain the benefits of BI for your specific operations and even identify the modular solutions to start collecting, analysing and understanding valuable data instantly.

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