Potential of Business Intelligence in 2023: Concepts, Tools & Techniques
With data playing an increasingly important role in business success, it’s essential for organizations to leverage the wealth of digital insights at their disposal.
“Without data, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway.”
~ Geoffrey Moore
Studies show that 85% of company executives believe that leveraging big data can drastically improve their operations.
Business Intelligence (BI) is the key to turning these insights into actionable steps that can drive real results. By analyzing and interpreting the data relevant to your business goals, strategies, and initiatives, you can uncover trends and patterns that can help you make measurable improvements.
Business intelligence utilizes business analytics, data mining, data visualizations, data tools and infrastructure, and best practices to assist organizations in making more informed decisions.
It consists of a set of tools that help to convert raw data into useful information which can be used to back up decision-making. Moreover, BI offers reporting features, tools for recognizing data clusters, assistance for data mining practices, business performance management, and predictive analysis.
The ultimate goal of Business Intelligence is to give assistance for decision-making. In fact, BI tools are often called Decision Support Systems (DSS) or fact-based support systems as they provide business users with instruments to analyze their data and extract relevant information.
“The core advantage of decision-making tells you something about the world that you didn’t know before.”
~ Hilary Mason
Business Intelligence tools are a must-have for companies that want to gain a competitive advantage in today’s market.
By sourcing their data from a data warehouse, companies can make sure that the data is cleansed, consolidated, conformed, and stored in one convenient location. This way, the BI tools can focus on analyzing the data and make use of AI and other capabilities as a part of business analytics.
With Statista predicting a 149-zettabyte data explosion by 2024, harnessing the power of big data has become a necessity for companies looking to stay ahead of the game.
- Business intelligence provides a wide range of instruments and strategies to ensure sound and accurate decision-making.
- The most prosperous businesses take advantage of BI to quickly and cost-effectively comprehend growing volumes of data.
- BI-powered, data-driven decision-making helps organizations remain pertinent and competitive.
Why Do Business Intelligence Concepts And BI Solutions Matter So Much In Today’s World?
With more and more data being produced every second it is increasingly becoming harder for humans to manage and comprehend it efficiently.
As mentioned earlier, our world is flooded with digital data, but if you don’t use it to your benefit you’ll soon fall behind the curve, and within a few years your venture will become redundant.
With that said, digital data is extremely powerful for making decisions and improving corporate efficiency but only if you know how to handle it correctly. That’s where the BI and its concepts come in.
To quote Jay Baer:
“We are surrounded by data, but starved for insights.”
To emphasize the importance of Business Intelligence solutions and tools in the modern age, here we have listed the major benefits of leveraging on the power of BI.
- It Saves Organizations From Drowning In Data:
The vast sea of data can be either the greatest opportunity in the world or simply a huge headache. On one side, there are currently more sources of data than ever before. On the other hand, there is more unwanted clutter than ever standing in your way of finding useful information.
Nonetheless, without BI your business has a very serious risk of drowning in data.
- Provides Game-Changing Insights:
With the power of BI tools, you can gain groundbreaking insights that can provide game-changing solutions enhancing the company’s internal and external communications, data analysis, finances, objectives, marketing, and overall revenue.
- Predicts Upcoming Trends:
The next key benefit of BI is its ability to predict future trends. Online Business Intelligence technologies and systems provide a practical way to anticipate future events.
This allows us to set strategies to either stop disasters from happening or seize the opportunity of possible trends before our rivals. These tools and solutions provide digestible patterns and information.
- Helps Set More Accurate Benchmarks:
By utilizing BI-based Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you can formulate better actionable goals for your organization.
This will ultimately expedite your company’s overall success as you’ll able to develop more competent and realistic strategies, and then productively work towards achieving those important benchmarks.
- Offers Outstanding Data Visualizations:
You’ll be able to create an effective narrative and share your findings more efficiently by using data visualization tools. This will maximize the chances of success of your organization, further enhancing its productivity.
Image Credits: Zoho Analytics
BI solutions help you do all of that and more. Thus, Business Intelligence concepts and solutions are necessary for the plethora of information we are sinking in. They are crucial to eliminate the noise and find something worthwhile.
Understanding The Core Concepts Of Business Intelligence:
- Raw Data
Data is the first element of any integral BI solution. This information could include everything from annual sales figures to the keywords used in your most recent advertising campaign to benefit and salary tables to profit and loss accounts.
According to the manner in which each distinct data set is gathered, a company’s data is often housed across a variety of databases (through CRMs, ERPs, flat files, APIs, etc.).
As a result of this fragmentation, today’s BI solutions include a variety of data connectors that allow users to consolidate all of their databases into a single centralized data warehouse, allowing them to work on each insight concurrently and improving cross-database analysis.
- Data Warehouses
As discussed above, data warehouses are the logistics platforms that connect all the databases together. This is a zone that has recently witnessed great advancements with the introduction of cloud-based BI tools.
The traditional method of creating a data warehouse frequently consisted of a jumble of numerous Excel sheets, outdated mainframe-style databases that had to be accessed by technicians, paper-based records, and proprietary program databases.
After discovering how challenging it was to utilize all of these dispersed data sources, people started integrating databases using warehouses and systems.
- Data Access, Analytics, and Presentation
After getting all of your data connected and able to “speak to each other” the next step of BI is to make use of that data.
This requires gaining access to the data, examining it for significant trends, and presenting it in a format that is easily comprehendible.
Since the days of Excel, data presentation has advanced considerably as well. There are now intuitive, clear dashboard examples available that can provide you with the information you require at a glimpse.
- Data dashboarding and reporting
Elaborating on our last point, the most crucial element of an interactive dashboard is consistently tracking, monitoring, and reporting the data.
You can set goals, discover patterns, identify trends, and learn insights that encourage growth and improvement by having access to a flexible, adaptable, data-driven online dashboard.
Furthermore, BI-based dashboard reporting is ubiquitous, enabling you to sign in, analyze data, and share information from anywhere in the globe, 24/7, on a variety of devices.
Apparently, these are the four BI concepts that are a surefire way to data-driven success. Now, let’s talk about the tools and techniques required to make practical use of these concepts.
What are Business Intelligence tools and techniques?
Predictive modeling, data mining, and contextual dashboards or Key Performance Indicators are just some of the most common BI tools. Here are more tools and how they’re used:
- Data mining
- Model visualization
- Predictive Modeling
Business Analytics is a BI approach that digs into the data to uncover hidden patterns and insights from past and present discoveries to support useful data-driven decisions.
Generally, understandable data visuals, KPIs, analytics measures, and other data points that affect decision-making are included in interactive collections of role-relevant data.
This method looks for trends in massive datasets using statistics, database systems, and machine learning. Pre-processing of the data is also necessary for data mining. Data mining is utilized by end-users to build models that identify trends.
Extract Transfer Load (ETL):
In order to prepare the data for reports and analysis, this tool extracts the data from data sources, transforms it, cleans it, and stores it in data warehouses.
The model visualization technique turns data into graphs, histograms, and other pictorial representations to promote accurate insight comprehension.
Online Analytical Processing (OLAP):
With numerous dimensions and multiple points of view, OLAP is an approach to solving analytical problems. OLAP is helpful for completing activities like budgeting, financial forecasting, and CRM data analysis.
This method makes it feasible to forecast a value using a variety of statistical models for particular data sets and attributes.
This tool involves collecting information using various sources and software to uncover insights. Reporting offers observations and recommendations regarding patterns to make decision-making simpler.
BI dashboards and scorecards are a swift and effective way to measure KPIs and show an organization’s progression and if it’s successful in accomplishing its objectives.
Trends in Business Intelligence:
While business intelligence is constantly changing and improving, four trends—artificial intelligence (AI), cloud analytics, collaborative BI, and embedded BI—are revolutionizing how organizations use large amounts of data and significantly simplify decision-making.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning simulate the sophisticated functions carried out by human brains. Real-time data analysis and dashboard reporting are driven by this capacity.
Business Intelligence software powered by cloud analytics is replacing on-site installations. In order to assess data on demand and improve decision-making, more organizations are adapting to this technology.
Embedded business intelligence (BI) or embedded analytics refers to the integration of BI software into another business application. Enhanced reporting capabilities are only one advantage of embedded BI, which has also been demonstrated to boost sales and customer loyalty.
To stay up with expanding warehouse requirements and quicker installations, many businesses choose to cloud-based or software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions rather than on-premise software.
Another emerging trend is the utilization of mobile BI to benefit from the prevalence and convenience of mobile devices.
How Are BI Concepts Applied In The Real World?
As you’ve already read, learning the fundamentals of business intelligence basically improves your capacity to spot pertinent market and business-related trends and patterns.
Now let’s understand how are these concepts utilized in real-world situations.
- Minimizing the sales cycle
Sales analytics lets you determine which of your sales reps is performing the best. Once you understand why their performance is better than others, you can see what can be done to replicate this behavior on a larger scale to maximize sales and minimize the time period.
Image Credits: Slide team
- Analyze and understand consumer habits:
Using BI software, you can investigate which of the customer acquisition channels are generating the most returns right now.
You can also identify which of your lead-generating channels is providing you with your best customers — those who pay timely and refer your business.
Image Credits: Slide team
- Making effective marketing plans
You can recognize your most efficacious initiatives and the common attributes they share by incorporating marketing analytics and predictive analytics.
- Process improvements for the customer experience
Customer service and customer experience (CX) are among the most important factors in long-term growth and success in the information age. It’s critical to get them right every time.
BI solutions, such as customer service dashboards, can provide a combination of critical insights aimed at consistently satisfying or surpassing your customers’ anticipations.
- Monitoring the procurement process
Applying BI concepts to your strategy is critical for keeping your procurement efforts running as smoothly as possible.
Regardless of industry or sector, procurement is the heart of almost every business’s daily operation, and it encompasses more than just tangible stock or goods.
There are various procurement KPIs, but maintaining fluency, cohesiveness, efficiency, and consistency is critical to your success.
Image source: Datapine Business Intelligence Solutions
To sum up, making smart data-driven decisions is the key to enhance a company’s performance and BI has all the tools to make this a possibility.
Even though it was previously believed that business intelligence tools were only available to larger organizations, this presumption is slowly evolving, and businesses of all types and sizes are adapting to this trailblazing technology known as business intelligence.