If you have a lot of data but don’t know what to do with it, consider using a business intelligence tool to unleash a vast array of growth opportunities.
BI is an innovate way to take the information a company already has and use it to understand consumer trends and optimize business practices so it can perform at its greatest potential.
Let’s learn how you can get ahead with these types of new technologies and use them to better understand and digest business data with.
What is a Business Intelligence Tool?
Business Intelligence tools are types of software that are used for data discovery. They gather and process massive amounts of unstructured data from internal and external systems, with the purpose of preparing it for analysis and increased efficiency. These systems can be anything from documents and health records, to emails and files, to sales summaries and inventory reports.
BI tools can collect data in such a way that users can submit queries to find specific information for reporting, dashboards and data visualizations, and use it for improved practices.
How can Business Intelligence Tools Help Companies?
For a business to grow and succeed, it must be in tune with its inner workings, right?
These tools help companies understand industry trends and analyze data so they can make educated and strategic business decisions in real-time and optimize operations for the long run. They are useful for companies of all sizes, regardless of any complexities they may come with.
BI tools can present complicated data in such a way that any business can use it to:
- Increase profits
- Achieve accelerated, smart growth
- Operate more efficiently
- Identify new revenue and business opportunities
- Improve decision-making processes
- Detect real KPIs
The primary goal of a business intelligence tool is to change the way users think about data and how they use it. They make it accessible to all types of users – not just analytics experts – ultimately improving company operations and increasing employees’ confidence in their scope of work.
However, they’re not all about crunching numbers.
What Kind of Information Can You Get?
In addition to the bevy of financial information, BI through software like SAP Experience Management can help business owners understand how their customers and employees are feeling by delivering better, more personalized experiences to make them happy.
You can dig deeper into the inner workings of a company to learn how customers perceive the business, learn how to turn problems into opportunities, change the future of your company, and improve the overall experience.
In this case, operational data such as costs, revenues and sales, demonstrate what is happening internally. The experience data mentioned above can help you understand why things are happening. Together, they allow you to analyze and understand gaps in experience and figure out what to do to fix them.
You can also insert business intelligence into processes, anticipate needs, and quickly apply solutions to meet demands through business models, products and services catered to your customers.
Software like Tableau allows users to study, visualize and share big data to quickly solve problems, and is easily integrated with sources like Oracle, Google Analytics, MS Excel, MS SQL, and more. Software such as MicroStrategy is powerful in recognizing new opportunities, improve opportunities, and monitor trends.
Regardless of the software you choose to use, BI can play a pivotal role in measuring your company’s performance and progress toward goals.
Here are 5 ways you can use data with business intelligence tools.
1. Increase Sales & Profits
Perhaps the most obvious take-away one may find with business intelligence tools is the ability to use data to improve profit margins. BI can help you pinpoint what’s working and what isn’t from a sales perspective. With this information, you can capitalize on the successes, and improve areas that aren’t performing as well as they could be.
Sales data is invaluable, both from a broad perspective and an individual customer perspective. Awareness is key, and if you know what your customers are spending the most money on, you can develop new concepts and products that are based off what is already trending.
If you know what your customers aren’t as interested in, you can spend less time focusing on those areas and more time on what has a greater probability of selling.
In the end, you’re looking at improved financial management across the business. Not only will you be able to grow your revenue streams, but you’ll have a better grasp on managing your expenditures. The results? Happy financial statements.
2. Gain Customer Insights
The fast-track to success is through your customers. Meeting their needs should be top priority because they are what drives business and growth. Without customers, where would your company be?
BI tools help identify your niche market so when it comes time to adapt to specific needs, you know where to start. Data helps classify customer behavior and patterns, allowing you to leverage what you have learned to maintain your existing clientele, and even tap into a market you may not already be reaching.
The more you address their desires and continue to provide what they think they need and what they don’t yet know that they need, they happier they will be. The happier they are, the longer they will remain dedicated to your products, services and brand.
3. Cut Unnecessary Inventory Costs
Find out where you have an excess of inventory as compared to customer demands and you’ll be able to cut back on product and save money on overhead. Too much stock is not a good thing.
If you aren’t outputting what you are inputting, you’ll have a hard time swimming your way to the top. Excess inventory costs money, both in acquiring it and in maintaining it.
BI can use company data to analyze your supply and make sure your inventory sits where it should. A good tool will have an easy-to-use dashboard allowing retailers to visualize what they have in stock when they are preparing to order more inventory (or off-load what they no longer need).
It will help them make an educated decision in terms of what to scale back on, and what to scale up on.
4. Simplify Complex Reporting
Isn’t it annoying to have to count on someone else to provide you with something that you need to get your job done? Particularly when several others are also counting on these people for their tasks? Time is money.
Most BI solutions are user-friendly, allowing even the most non-techy person to find the information they need and to pull detailed reports. Rather than calling on IT, why not do it yourself?
Accessible reporting not only frees up your IT team but also streamlines processes for the rest of your employees, allowing them to make data-driven decisions using real, relevant information. This will both save the company time and money on unnecessary labor, while making your team more efficient in their functions and more capable of analyzing important diagnostics and data.
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from using business intelligence tools when it comes to big data, from financial management to customer experience. There are several software options out there, it’s just a matter of identifying the best solution for you and your company based on the information you require!