Business Intelligence (BI) describes the processes and methods of collecting, storing and analysing business data and using the insights to optimise performance. BI software and services transform raw data into actionable insights which can be used to inform business decisions.
Some examples of what BI can do include data mining, predictive modelling, descriptive modelling and decision analytics. In fact, BI makes it easier for businesses to collaborate, track performance benchmarks, spot trends and use historical and current data to assist in making the most intelligent business decisions.
With so much data now being collected, BI is an important tool for companies to make data more meaningful and accessible, both of which make data more useful and effective.
What are the benefits of increasing collaboration for businesses?
Collaboration is an important and essential way of working, regardless of business size or industry. Collaboration means working together to address issues or to achieve goals, to create a more significant output. Benefits of collaboration include:
- Fuelling innovation
- Creating unique and inventive experiences
- Empowering through knowledge-sharing
- Driving better marketing, sales or economic outcomes
- Better communication
- More satisfied clients and customers
- Embracing employee strengths
- More efficient and effective processes
How can you leverage BI insights?
Lots of data is great, but without structure, analysis and filtering, it can be meaningless. Business Intelligence can turn unstructured and meaningless datasets into those that can be analysed to support strong decision-making. Here are just some of the ways you can use BI to ensure you get value out of your data:
- Keep close to your business goals and objectives. Tie analytics back to the core goals of your business to make sure you're not reporting on metrics that are, in the end, insignificant or unimportant. Strategically-aligned insights are also easier to translate as they relate directly to the things your business is already focused on. This in turn, helps your people collaborate on the most important objectives of the business, using insights to support their decisions.
- Make it easy. When you're choosing a BI software solution, choose one that is user-friendly to encourage uptake in the business. Acknowledge that many employees are not 'data-minded' by using software that creates actionable insights, like dashboards, charts and other visuals, easily available. Accessible, valuable data across teams will encourage collaboration around the same insights.
- Add context. Insights aren't really insights without background or context. In fact, without context, observations can bring up more questions than answers. Consider adding background information, historical data references or comparisons to add context to your insights, wherever possible.
- Be clear. Communicating insights productively is key to their understanding, actioning and fulfilment. Get clear on the message you want to convey and back it up with visualisations and other supporting materials to articulately communicate your insight. This signals that it has been well thought out and warrants attention.
What are some other ways that companies are using BI?
BI comes in many different flavours and companies are using it for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to:
- Analysing strategic drivers
- Risk analysis
- Measuring, tracking and predicting performance (financial, sales, marketing and more)
- Optimising processes
- Budgeting, financial planning and forecasting
- Customer relationship management
- Analysing trends, behaviours and patterns
- Improving supply-chain effectiveness
From an IT perspective, what do you need to consider before you can use BI?
IT will be involved in any BI implementation - governance, knowledge transfer, data integrity and the actual roll-out included. But the BI strategy doesn't necessarily belong to the IT department. So while IT is a key part of the team, for BI to be successful there must be support across the entirety of the business.
As with anything to do with data, the security around BI needs to be scrutinised and this will generally fall to the IT department. Considerations include data encryption as well as authenticating permissions and access. Beyond the security of the data is the power of BI to analyse data that can unearth network flaws or inconsistencies, as well as potential technical issues. At Kyocera, security is paramount.
Now you know how BI can improve the meaning of data, the focus of collaboration and informed decision-making, why not check out the BI software solutions available?
Wondering about other ways businesses are improving collaboration and accelerating business growth? Download our Breaking Down Silos ebook.
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