As explained by TechTarget, business intelligence (BI) is a technology driven process for analysing data and presenting actionable information to help corporate executives, business managers and other end users make more informed business decisions.
From a range of tools, applications and methodologies, BI enables organisations to collect data from internal systems and external sources, prepare it for analysis, develop and run queries against the data, and create reports, dashboards and data visualisations to make the results available to corporate decision-makers, as well as operational workers.
So why is this important to you and your company? Because it is an area that has already made a significant impact in the business world, and even if you don’t pay attention to it – your competitors will (and some already are).
This article from Business.com says that there are many owners so comfortable with their old way of doing things that they are afraid to make changes – but if you are one of those who have put off adopting BI tools up until now, now is the time to finally reconsider.
It comes down to the subject of productivity, and that is something at the forefront of many business leaders minds:
How can I make sure the output of our organisation is as efficient as possible? And how can we simply do business better than we are right now?
Of course you could guess, but assumptions don’t always work out, so the best way to plan and move a business forward is by having the right data and analytics to back-up strategies and their implementation. And this is where BI comes into play.
So what are some real key outcomes that organisations can get from using BI? Here are some overseas examples;
- Restaurant chains Hardee’s, Wendy’s, Ruby Tuesday and T.G.I. Friday’s are heavy users of BI software. They use BI to make strategic decisions, such as what new products to add to their menus, which dishes to remove and which under performing stores to close. They also use BI for tactical matters such as renegotiating contracts with food suppliers and identifying opportunities to improve inefficient processes.
- Employees of the City of Albuquerque in the US, used BI software to identify opportunities to cut cell phone usage, overtime and other operating expenses, saving the city $2 million over three years.
- With the help of BI tools, car manufacturer Toyota realised it had been double-paying its shippers to the tune of $812,000 in 2000.
From increasing ROI, to uncovering flawed business processes, identifying cost-cutting ideas, accurately predicting future trends and discovering new business opportunities, the realm of BI has almost no bounds, and it is a tool that should not be overlooked by organisations wanting to grow and achieve greater success in 2016.
Keen on further knowledge on how to manage IT in your business? Download: An essential guide to IT for SME business – Risk, Security and Productivity