Business Intelligence Insights

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The hot topic in the business world at the moment is “Business Intelligence” (BI). Everyone wants it, but there is some confusion about what it is. In today’s lightening-paced business world, executives, managers and team leaders need the insight and data required to make the right calls at the right time.

So what is BI and what does it do?

BI is the tool that joins data, technology, analytics, and knowledge to help make the best decisions to drive an organisation’s success. It encompasses a variety of tools, applications and methodologies that enable businesses to collect data from internal and external sources, analyse, develop and sort the data into reports, dashboards and data visualisations in a meaningful way. Ideally, this allows decision makers to easily access metrics at a high level and drill down into the detail if required. The data can be both historical information, as well as current data, which then enables both strategic and tactical decision-making.

The Benefits of Business Intelligence

  • identifying and improving operational efficiency
  • improving and potentially accelerating decision making
  • identifying profitability across many areas including customer profitability
  • identifying trends and new market opportunities, and
  • identifying potential problems that need to be addressed – just to name a few.

There is also a distinct push to access BI in a mobile environment and more importantly in real-time in the cloud and software as a service. The scope is endless and only moving further with data visualisation software for designing charts and other infographics, as well as tools for building  dashboards and  scorecards that visually display data on business metrics and KPI’s in a  simple to use and meaningful way.

In the end it still comes down to having the data captured in the systems that you have currently. Let’s not forget the old adage – garbage in – garbage out.

If not implemented correctly, BI can be viewed as something that is treated with suspicion,  scepticism and resistance and if not rolled out well, be destined for failure.

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