Why should you implement BI systems in business?

Does your business have BI systems? Find out what they are, how they work and whether they are right for you.

Business Intelligence, or BI systems, use different tools to pick up, explore and make use of data. For example, a company has multiple channels to get applications and it is important to collect the only sales statistics or advertising campaigns that embrace various sites and you need to compare their performance. All these operations can be configured with BI solutions.

Raw data from different sources is changed into convenient and understandable analytics by means of BI. BI systems can be used in any industry or field of activity – both at the company level as a whole and for departments or individual products. In this article, we will consider why you should use business intelligence planning to succeed.

How BI systems work

For an ordinary user, the principle of operation of a BI system looks simple: data sources are connected to the system, then the information is sent to a single repository and processed, and then displayed in the form of ready-made reports.

Data sources are various systems – cloud (Oracle Cloud, Google BigQuery, Microsoft Azure, and other web connections), file (Excel, XML, PDF, and other spreadsheet files), and relational (SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle).

To benefit from the BI solutions, the user does not need to have special knowledge in IT. Using a clear interface, you can request the desired report and access analytics. The system will create a simple dashboard – an information panel on which the visually presented data is distributed by meaning.

The data is interactive, for example, a user can enlarge and rearrange it.  He also can check sources of data and explore analytics in depth. There are different ways to show the data – reports, graphs, etc.

Behind the simple use of the system are complex data processing operations and the formation of advanced analytics. The BI solution includes:

  • Data integration and cleansing (ETL) tools. ETLs extract information from external source systems, transform it, clean it, and load it into a single repository.
  • Analytical data warehouse. This is an information base that can structure and analyze data.
  • Data mining tools. These tools process data and analyze it in different slices. The system identifies dependencies and trends. In this case, a variety of information processing methods can be used: from statistics and forecasting to semantic analysis.
  • Data visualization tools. These are the reports that users work with. Depending on the tasks, reports can be built according to the approved format or be analytical. When building analytical reports, users independently set the list of displayed indicators, sort data, and build filters.

BI systems support a variety of business decisions, from operational to strategic. With the help of technology, huge amounts of information are analyzed. But the user’s attention is focused only on the key analytics factors that allow you to model options for subsequent actions and business decisions.

It is important that any company can adapt a BI system to fit their needs. For example, choose data sources, set the principle of information processing, and determine the reporting format.

BI systems are especially useful when they combine market intelligence with information from a company’s financial and operational sources. The combination of external and internal data gives a complete picture of the situation in the business. Such a picture cannot be obtained by analyzing a single source and limited analytics.

Why implement BI systems in business

Companies operate with huge amounts of data. For example, they count expenses and revenues, determine net profit, analyze traffic and the number of applications, and track production output. The data for analysis is stored in various formats and various systems.

To use the data, specialists first collect all the information in one table, then arrange it and keep only the important indicators, and then compare the indicators with existing data. Such work takes tens of hours a week. At the same time, when the report is generated, the indicators may lose their relevance. In addition, analysts may make mistakes or collect incomplete data. The final report may not be useful.

It is impossible to manually collect and process all company data. Some of the information remains unprocessed. A company may accidentally miss customer orders, fail to learn about production failures in a timely manner and lose money due to ignoring problems.

The main tasks that the BI system helps to solve include:

  1. Collection of data from different sources, their structuring, and storage in a single system.
  2. Analysis of large amounts of data to form and validate hypotheses or to develop business decisions based on analytics.
  3. Modeling possible solutions to check their influence on the final outcome and predict future developments based on available data.
  4. Formation of operational and strategic reporting, including notification of the deviation of indicators from acceptable standards.
  5. Preservation and systematization of knowledge with a view to subsequent transfer to new employees, so that the experience is preserved and the quality of work is steadily improved.

The overall goal of BI is to enable businesses to make informed decisions based on complete analytics. A company that implements BI will have complete, accurate, and organized data.

Thanks to BI systems, companies do not need to hire data scientists – the system will collect all the “raw” data, process it on its own, and automatically show information that you can work with.

How to understand that a company needs to use BI

Any company in any industry can use BI. You should especially think about the implementation of BI systems if:

  • You need to integrate information from multiple sources
  • It is necessary to provide operational access to business data
  • The number of users who need access to information or analytics has increased
  • New products are introduced
  • There are updates in the IT environment
  • It is not possible to track the activities of the company in certain areas
  • The company is growing rapidly

BI systems can be a valuable tool for decision-making and strategy development. The data obtained can be used in a variety of areas: marketing, sales, supply, and finance. For example, you can:

  • Measure the results of marketing campaigns
  • Analyze cash flow, operating expenses, and gross profit
  • Predict income and operations
  • Receive information about personnel processes
  • Visualize the number of site visitors in dynamics
  • Track potential customers through sales channels
  • Segment the audience by demographic characteristics
  • Research customer behavior and sales trends
  • Carry out financial planning and forecasting
  • Measure and predict financial performance

Business intelligence planning takes the company to a new level. Constant monitoring of data allows you to make smarter and more timely decisions.

Availability of historical and current data helps to build correct forecasts for the business. Employees’ real-time access to analytics and operational data improves the quality of work while reducing labor and time costs.

Could BI be right for you?

Business Intelligence turns multiple disparate data into actionable information for business leadership and management, hypothesis testing, and decision making. Companies that use BI strategies have accurate, complete, and organized data.

This helps to assess the current state of the business, identify problems and opportunities, and plan for future development. Inoxoft is a reliable company to implement BI strategy as this tool allows to increase profitability, optimize internal business processes and find new ideas to succeed.