Business Intelligence (BI) is a buzzword that many bloggers and bigger companies have been throwing around and extolling the benefits of for a number of years. Many small business owners and managers have been reticent to adopt BI mainly due to lack of knowledge of what exactly BI is and if it’s really for them. The truth is, it should be an integral part of any operation.
BI can be defined as the ability to turn a company’s processes into data that can be analyzed and converted into knowledge that is delivered to the right stakeholders at the right time and through the right medium. There are many upsides to BI solutions, and companies should be adopting them, here are five reasons why.
- Boost productivity. Through traditional data gathering methods, users need to compile and analyze data and write related reports. This can be incredibly time consuming, especially for small businesses who may not have the employees to do it. With a BI program, you can pull data and create the reports at the click of a button thus freeing up time and resources allowing employees to be more productive on their own tasks.
- Access to better info. With the increasing amount of data available to companies, manually tabulating and assessing data is no longer feasible if you want to remain ahead of your competitors. BI software can be set up to accumulate and monitor relevant data that’s available when you want it.
- Competent decision making. The reason many business projects fail is because critical decisions are made without the best and most objective information available. BI processes help you monitor past and present performances of nearly all operations, while giving you a solid base with which to make future predictions. Essentially BI helps SMEs make better informed decisions.
- Results closer to established goals. How many times have you established a set of seemingly reasonable goals for a project or other venture, only to end up with an outcome that’s drastically different? With BI you can keep track of information, and have it accessible by parties that need it, when they need it. BI goes a long way in helping achieving what you aim for.
- ROI. Through better strategic awareness, faster reporting, decreased operating costs/lower overheads and access to better quality data and information, BI can positively influence a company’s ROI.