What is business intelligence and why it matters

|by Shaun Ralph|Business Advisory

Business Intelligence (BI) refers to the tools, technologies, applications and practices used to collect, analyse and present an organisations raw data in order to create insightful and actionable business information.

Businesses are using BI to detect significant events and to identify/ monitor business trends to in order to adapt to this ever-changing business environment within we all live.

** How does it work? **

Business intelligence provides a broad range of analytical applications, including collaborative BI, mobile BI, open source BI, SaaS (software as a service) BI, operational BI and real-time BI. The technology is not just about gathering intelligence but about making sense of data in a way that can be quickly understood.

This is accomplished through visualisation applications for creating diagrams and designing charts. BI also offers dashboards, as well as performance scorecards. Key performance indicators and business metrics are much easier to understand when displayed as visualised data.

** How can business intelligence benefit your business? **

Many small businesses are reluctant to put BI into practice. Not only because it can be expensive and time consuming to set up, but because they are not clear about the benefits of using it. Here are some reasons how it pays for itself:

It’s much easier to make informed decisions.

  • It’s a structured way for growing revenue.
  • It increases the competitive advantage over other players in the industry, including larger businesses.
  • It improves the efficiency of your business operations.
  • It enhances the quality of your customer service.

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