Digital solutions and data are among the most important resources that any business has. As legacy systems fall out of favor, and more businesses continue to embrace digital transformations, these businesses have more opportunities to leverage data to their advantage. In other words, advancements in business intelligence (BI) are making it easier than ever for companies to grow.
What is business intelligence? BI refers to all of the apps, tools, and practices that a business uses to improve its decision making and optimize performance. Businesses of all kinds and sizes need to be well informed when making alterations to the business processes, and for this to be a reality, they need the most accurate and current information possible. Business intelligence solutions gather this data, and they can produce summaries or even interactive visualizations to give business leaders and shareholders an “at a glance” understanding of what’s going on. Here are just some of the advantages of using BI platforms and how they can help your business grow.
Learn what really drives your revenue.
Every business has a target audience, but there are always ways to reach them more effectively. You may even be surprised to find out that a significant portion of your revenue comes from customers outside of your intended audience. Business intelligence lets you pin down exactly where your profits are coming from and let you figure out what issues need to be addressed to increase them further.
Create better marketing campaigns.
No business succeeds without effective marketing, and a marketing information system (MIS) can help you use your market research to the fullest. In fact, an MIS is often combined with a market information research system (MRIS) to automate the research process instead of having to wait for manual researchers. An MRIS pulls data from your business, public information about competitors, and data from government and financial reports, and it produces summaries of all relevant information.
Your MIS uses a combination of this market research and internal data as well as data from your specific industry and data from government databases to produce reports that are sent to your marketing team. This system keeps your marketing team informed constantly, so they can determine the best approach. Best of all, the data collected from these systems is yours to keep, and you can use trends you’ve uncovered to influence future decisions.
Use more effective inventory tracking.
Customers expect convenience in all areas these days, and that includes getting their packages quickly. Part of proper BI is staying informed with inventory management software. This goes well beyond just knowing what you have in stock. Advanced inventory management can also inform you of what your suppliers have in stock and where shipments are located. This way, you can judge how long, on average, it takes your shipments to reach your customers and determine if the process needs to be sped up to ensure customer satisfaction.
Take advantage of easy data analytics.
Without a business intelligence platform, it’s likely that your researchers and tech team would have to create unique code for any data visualizations. With a BI platform, end-users can instantly create data visualization and get an easy understanding of what you’ve been researching. This type of interactive reporting allows for easy filtering of results during meetings with business leaders and shareholders, and data can even be compared to present KPIs to determine how efficient your processes actually are.
Utilize self-service data exploration.
You can also create custom reports about your business that aren’t derived from any single application or collection of applications. You have control over exactly where you collect your data from and how you receive the results. You can define layers of your report and use a graphical interface to build reports on demand. These custom reports can grant you even deeper insights into your business than the other options.
These are just some of the biggest advantages of using business intelligence platforms. Every business is unique, and you can likely find even more ways to derive insights and improve your processes.