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What is Business Intelligence and why is it essential?

The current digital age has transformed the way that things work across the board, and the world's digital transformation has accelerated due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.


What some people call the 4th Industrial Revolution has impacted everyone and those who have been able to adapt to the changes and appearance of new technologies, have had a competitive advantage against everyone else in their industries.


Today we have access to tools that allow us to know more about our customers and business than ever before. The data is out there, you just have to learn how to find, collect it, and make use of it. This is why business intelligence is the key to an effective modern business strategy.


What is business intelligence?


Business intelligence is the strategies and technologies used by companies to analyze data and business information. In other words, it allows businesses to have a comprehensive view of your organization’s data and use that data to drive change, eliminate inefficiencies, and quickly adapt to market or supply changes.


So, what exactly is business intelligence? Business intelligence is not just a thing, it is a range of activities and processes related to collecting, storing, and analyzing data to optimize performance and help make better and more informed decisions. Over the past few years, business intelligence has evolved to include more processes and activities such as:

  • Data mining: Using databases, statistics, and machine learning to uncover trends in large datasets.

  • Reporting: Sharing data analysis to stakeholders so they can draw conclusions and make decisions.

  • Performance metrics and benchmarking: Comparing current performance data to historical data to track performance against goals, typically using customized dashboards.

  • Descriptive analytics: Using preliminary data analysis to find out what happened.

  • Prescriptive analytics: Using data to determine an optimal course of action.

  • Data visualization: Turning data analysis into visual representations such as charts, graphs, and histograms to more easily consume data.


Why does business intelligence matter?


After more than 2 years into the pandemic, many organizations reduced significantly overall spending trying to "salvage the ship". During this period, however, organizations increased spending in analytics programs, reallocating funds to invest more heavily in business intelligence initiatives.


Business intelligence enables businesses to know what's happening in real-time, why it's happening, how to stop it or capitalize on it, and how to predict what will happen next. Today's business landscape is more competitive than ever and businesses realised that being able to access actionable data is a competitive advantage leading you to grow your customer base, improve employee productivity, and create a better product.


Here are just a few examples of insights and advantages that can be provided through business intelligence:


Senior Leadership

Business leaders can quickly overview their operations in one place with easy-to-understand and clear insights. Easily visualize cash burn, sales pipeline, revenue, customer engagement, and more.


Sales

BI can help improve sales KPIs drastically through better visualizing of customer and business insights, like sales cycle, conversion and churn rates, tracking the pipeline, and others.


Customer Success

By obtaining a 360 view of the customer, Cs teams will have a better understanding of them and will be able to identify opportunities, potential friction, and maintain a good level of business health.


Finance

Finance teams can access relevant information rapidly to give them a better understanding of the state of the business and financial metrics. BI can help save a lot of time spent in analysis and reporting and eliminate tedious and repetitive tasks.


Marketing

Marketing teams can access their KPIs in one place so you can track engagement and performance, conversion rate, cost per lead, and other analytics while improving your ability to create segments and target the right audiences.


Main Benefits of Business Intelligence:


Provides fast answers to any business query

Business leaders need information that is backed by evidence or data can have access to it anytime they need it to make decisions. Using BI information services, they can drill down the information to their specific information needs instantly.


Enables real-time analysis with quick navigation.

Since BI tools often integrate different data sources together, employees can have a 360-view of the business in real-time. As transactions happen, they can be served relevant insights that allow them to timely respond to customers' requests.


Discovers cross-selling and upselling opportunities

BI can generate reports on customers’ preferences, shopping purchasing records, shopping trends, and customer demographic profiles, helping create segments or identifying opportunities. This information is especially useful for customer success, marketing, and sales teams.


Reduce the risk of bottlenecks

With the information provided by BI tools, business leaders can see the specific areas that have bottlenecks and can take corrective action. Visual reporting and dashboarding and real-time monitoring can be very helpful in improving the efficiency of business processes.


Improve Decision Making

BI tools normally provide insights about all the different functional areas of the business at a centralized platform. Using the right tool, business leaders have access to actionable data from multiple platforms that allows them to make faster informed, and data-backed decisions with a high level of confidence.


How to best take advantage of business intelligence?


A key factor in today's business intelligence is technology. Modern technology allows you to use tools that will reveal more actionable data, provide clear insights, and facilitate strategic decision-making. These tools are called "business intelligence (BI) solutions" and using the right tool and using it well can shape the future of your business.


There are many complex and sophisticated tools BI tools available in the market, like Tableau, Microsoft's Power BI, or Qlik Sense, but these are very expensive and require an experienced and dedicated team to manage.


A more functional business intelligence platform like Micado's Customer 360 will eliminate the need to manually gather, record, and organize your data. It will do everything for you: tracking and reporting relevant metrics; interpreting data in a more visual, easy-to-understand way; and collecting everything in a sleek dashboard that can be shared with your team, leadership, and stakeholders.


We are swimming in a sea of data and only those with the right tools to properly access their data and take action from it will be able to stay afloat and see the benefits to their business. If you are ready to increase productivity, stay competitive, and enable the entire company to make faster, smarter decisions with the data collected, reach out to us for more information or to demo Customer 360.