What is BI?
In simple terms, Business Intelligence is a process that can be used in analyzing the data and delivering actionable information, which can help the decision-makers in making well-informed business decisions. With the BI process, the organization can collect the data from the internal as well as external sources, analyze it, and create easy-to-understand visualizations, and a BI dashboard. The goal of BI initiatives can drive better business decisions focusing on increasing revenue, improved operational efficiency, and competitive advantages. Business Intelligence uses data analytics and business analytics as bits and parts and is not the whole process.
How does Business Intelligence benefit any business?
It can act as the foundation for any short and long-term business strategies. The world today is data-driven, where companies are overloaded with data. Adopting new technologies can be a difficult task, but with BI software and tools, it usually pays off even if the result reflects after a while.
BI tools help companies to monitor trends, adapt to market conditions, and improve decision-making. A few of the important aspects where BI proves to be a worthy investment are as below:
- Gain Customer Insights: Investing in Business Intelligence gives a greater ability to observe and analyze different trends that might affect the business decision-making. This information can be used in introducing new products/services, improvising the existing ones, or redefining the company’s bottom line.
- Visibility: The visibility of the functions can be improved with the use of BI systems. With the help of BI, the areas of improvement can be identified easily and the organization can be well prepared in advance.
- Actionable Information: The right use of a Business Intelligence system serves as a tool to identify the key patterns and trends that would affect the organization. Understanding and implicating the required changes in the process, allow the decision-makers to be more informed and thus act accordingly.
- Sales Insights: One of the most important tasks of the sales team is to keep the track of their customers, which is majorly done through CRM software. A BI system can help them right from the scratch- identifying new customer segments, tracking and retaining existing ones, and providing post-sale services.
- Real-Time Data: Manually compiled reports can be prone to human error and might get outdated by the time of decision making. BI systems allow the users to have real-time data through different means including visually attractive dashboards.
Use of Business Intelligence in Human Resource Management
The HR Department revolves around several functions in their basket ranging from hiring to firing. Any HR role is multifaceted and it demands a lot of unique skill sets. Business intelligence meets these needs in a variety of ways.
- Hiring: Hiring means a lot of data to get through and find the right candidate. BI systems can be used in the identification of key traits required for an ideal candidate. It can analyze the position and the key skills required.
- Performance Management: While hiring is only the first step, performance management and tracking is the most important part. Analyzing the performance with the help of a BI system can indicate the success or failure of the onboarding process. By aggregating the industry data, HR will have a better overall picture of the success of employees and allow them to identify the areas that need a push, maybe in the form of training, motivation, or rewards and awards.
- CSR: BI Systems can be used to drive corporate social responsibility activities, which also fall under the radar of the HR Department. This can be done by correlating employees’ interests and the possible wider impact on the company and community. Such activities can also boost employee morale and the company image and also give back to the world.
- Culture: Internal culture is an important element of the company, by giving the workplace a spark and aid building brand image externally. The HR department remains hyperactive when it comes to maintaining culture. BI systems can help to drive the culture by using data to identify the needs and suggest possible solutions. It includes analyzing the results of employee satisfaction surveys, comparing the productivity levels, and analyzing exit interviews to know what exactly went wrong in the process.
Use of Business Intelligence in Sales and Forecasting
A company takes several actions to stay ahead in unstable economic conditions. Forecasting is one of the effective ways for that, provided that it is used right. Real-time analytics allows the company to understand the behavioral data to predict possible future reactions. There are many Business Intelligence software that assists in shaping the growth strategies and positively impact the efficiency and effectiveness of forecasting.
- Accuracy: The forecasting should be able to answer queries relating to the 4Ps of marketing- Place, Price, Product, and Promotion. Data accuracy is the key to the right forecast to optimize procurement and increase profitability. BI systems can operate in real-time and give the most up-to-date data. When a company has an accurate visualization of the historic data and then projects the most possible accurate future revenue.
- Comprehensiveness: Multiple data storage locations are one of the most common problems of many businesses. Different applications are used to store data from different departments, which can create confusion at the time of building forecast reports. A Business Intelligence system can store data from multiple sources/departments in one location and thus making it easier to access. This also enables sales managers to build comprehensive, high-value reports.
- Clarity: For any sales forecast it must be clear and readable. The report would indeed be complex, but the output should be understandable. A BI System helps in presenting complex data in a simple and easily understandable comprehensive way through visually appealing dashboards.
- Timeliness: Salespeople spend weeks building the sales forecasts reports, which includes days of tracking every single data, compiling them, and sorting them. BI software with simple interfaces and functionalities enables the users to cut the time involved in building the report and makes everything automated and real-time. As a result, data compilation is expedited, allowing salespeople and sales managers to draw insights quickly and produce timely forecasts.
Use of Business Intelligence in Marketing
Business Intelligence is now becoming a routine for marketers, due to the number of tools that enable analyzing business metrics. Marketing teams can take advantage of this data in organizing their campaigns, aim at a more precise target audience and plan better revenue generation.
- Customer Identification: Integrating an entire business into one centrally managed solution can be done with Business Intelligence. Customer data can be gathered from different CRM, email marketing, social media marketing campaigns, and websites. BI software can be used to list the customers by the frequency and size of the customers. This can significantly impact the business market area, as the multiple platforms and channels are now used as a bridge to connect with businesses and customers.
- Customer Behaviour Trend: The main aim of any marketer is to give personalized offerings. BI Tools can help the business in crafting tailored marketing ideas to meet customers’ needs. BI software can source the data to understand how customers interact with the product/service and what factors entice them for purchase. With these insights, marketers can execute relevant personalized campaigns which can help in controlling customer acquisition costs and gain better customer engagement.
- Competitive Analysis: Companies use BI reporting to gain insights regarding the industry and the top competitors. With this data the business can alter its efforts to overtake the competition, by making changes in price, increasing marketing budgets, or targeting a different demographic. Comparison of website traffic or social media engagement can also be done with the help of BI Systems.
- Effective Marketing Models: With data like market insights, customer behavior, competitive analysis, the marketing team has all data that will let them work on making the company’s business model. BI Tools can help in enhancing the competitive and market intelligence and allow the sales team to scrutinize the internal and external data.
Even though the concept sounds tough, it is not. It seems to be tough as many companies lack the necessary skills and tools, which makes them fail to understand the exact application of it. Implementing Business Intelligence within the business can help the companies in improvising their decision-making by showing them the historical and the present business data.
When a business has data and necessary skills, it can prepare analytics on it. With supporting tools, they can intuitively present the data to the stakeholders or decision-makers to get to a strong decision. The business can leverage the BI to set performance benchmarks and competitive goals to ensure a smooth and efficient process. The use of BI can identify different ways of increasing profits, analyzing customer behavior, optimizing operations, discovering market trends, or spotting issues and problems. In simple terms, we can say that with the application of Business Intelligence, one can make decisions based on insights over instincts.