Preamble : The Importance and Role of Business Intelligence (BI)
Businesses are moving at neck-breaking speeds and so is their competition. For these businesses to have an edge in the market, every decision they make must be informed. Irrespective of the industry, every business has access to a lot of data that they can leverage to their advantage. But unfortunately, very few do.
In a world of constant change and uncertainty, BI is a critical tool for helping organizations stay ahead of the curve. Business intelligence combines the insights from data collection, preparation and analysis with visualization techniques to deliver actionable information so leaders can make informed business decisions.
In today’s business world, your company cannot succeed without a culture of BI. It provides you with the insights and capabilities to make better decisions, manage operations more effectively, and ultimately serve as a reliable partner for your customers.
Top 7 Reason BI Play's a Significant Role in Shaping Organizations Data Driven Strategy
The human mind is better at understanding pictures and visuals than plain text and numbers. When we look at a table containing a few text labels and numbers, our mind doesn’t interpret that information quickly. It takes some effort for our brain to even understand what is being presented to it.
But when the same data is presented in a graphical form, our brain not only quickly understands, but also quickly observes any patterns in the data. This is the power of data visualization and the primary reason why data visualization has become so popular in recent times.
Here are the top 7 Examples of Fruitful Impact of having a great business intelligence system and team in place is crucial for any business.
1. Ability to gain customer insights
With effective business intelligence, businesses can better understand their customers by analyzing their buying patterns and creating user profiles.
This helps them to create better products and product experiences for their customers. One example where a business can leverage the power of BI to understand their customers is customer segmentation.
2. Improved business operations visibility
Organizations that leverage business intelligence will have better control over their business processes. They have better visibility of what’s going on in the organization.
Having an active vigilance over the processes and standard procedures helps to rectify any error rather quickly. This also helps the business to become prepared and not reactive.
For example, for a logistics company struggling with delayed deliveries, knowing where and why the delays are happening, could prove quite valuable. This kind of insight into their business operations could help the business to largely improve their services.
3. Get Actionable Insights
The most important thing while taking any business decision is to have enough data to back the decision. With traditional reporting, it’s not as easy and convenient to get actionable insights as it is with business intelligence.
Actionable insights are those metrics that actually enable you to take any action, rather than just a ‘feels good to hear’ number. One example of an actionable metric is the % of customers who abandon their carts rather than the number of transactions metric.
This metric gives us an idea of where the customers are dropping off and enables the business to take the necessary action to try and reduce the cart abandonment rate.
4. Improved efficiency across the organization
Having a proper business intelligence system in place considerably improves the efficiency of the overall organization. This in turn positively impacts the overall revenue of the organization.
By making meaningful data accessible across various teams in the organization reduces the waiting time on the report requests and increases the productivity of all teams in the company.
Data should be accessible by everyone and not be limited to a few privileged teams. This helps everyone in the company to stay informed and make knowledgeable decisions.
5. Real-time data availability
A business intelligence system provides near to real-time data at all times. This in turn reduces the risk of any possible human error while preparing any critical data reports.
Having access to real-time data enables the business to stay informed about the health of the company at all times.
This helps the organization to take data-backed decisions every time they need to make one. No more waiting till the report from the analytics team arrives!
6. Better Marketing & Product efforts
A business intelligence system enables the marketing team of the organization to create better marketing campaigns that provide better Return on investment (ROI) by providing them a convenient way to access data regarding the current and past campaigns.
It also provides key metrics such as customer acquisition cost (CAC), cost per lead (CPL), click-through rates of the campaigns (CTR), and many other crucial metrics required for a successful marketing campaign.
BI Teams also empower product teams with actionable telemetry data for Products, Usage and Customer Journey that enables people to enable better processes in place and remove roadblocks in product that abandons customer's nirvana moment.
7. Gives the business a competitive advantage
Apart from all the benefits of using business intelligence, another great benefit of using BI is a competitive advantage.
Business Intelligence enables businesses to have insight into what their competitors are doing and enables them to make informed and educated decisions for plans.
Also, a company that keeps an eye on its internal systems at all times, stays ahead of a company that doesn’t.
Now that we clearly realize Business Intelligence is a must have for any organization to survive in today's fast paced data driven environment, where Going Concern is much more determined by the pace of Technological development instead of traditional financial solvency.
Let's look into tools and technologies that are enabling the BI Landscape. Let's divide them into three major areas of concern.
1. Data Delivery, Storage & Processing
2. Dashboards, Stories and Analytics
3. Predictive Modelling and Forecasting
We will try to cover them in the same order for your better understanding of the field.
Data Delivery, Storage & Processing:
The first process into the Business Intelligence is the conveyor belt of Data Ingestion
Processing and Storage for BI Consumptions. The major processes involved are connecting various traditional and modern data sources, Extract | Transform | Load data from & to storage to delivering datamarts for BI tools to consume.
Below are the Top players known for their modern stack of connections, processes and automated data mangement and datawarehousing facilities. Mostly modern BI tools are friendly to connect with them.
2. Dashboards, Stories and Analytics:
As soon as the Cleaned & Validated Data is recieved from Database in the form of Datamarts, BI tools come into play to present Exploratory data analysis, refreshing up established KPIs, Analytics and Charts.
This happens in a blink and with the first sip of tea from Marketing Manager here comes the latest reports refereshed from yesterdays progress of key campaign run of facebook along with impact on sales data where required target accounts are met.
This all magic happens courtesy of below vendors bringing latest Data crunching technologies to our desks at nearly $10 - $100 per user per month.
3. Predictive Modelling and Forecasting
Business Intelligence tools help achieve diagnostic and descriptive analytics quickly at scale, however there more to analytics with next stages involved to predict the future.
Here the most advance player come into play who deploy latest cutting edge Machine Learning Technologies to production on practical business use cases. Below are some vendor enabling some wow-factor stories in various industries world wide from predicting inventory demand to predicting the next crime street to modelling the expected churn.