Business Intelligence tools and Reporting Solutions
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Introduction to Business Intelligence

What are the impacts of digital transformation on business? Do new technologies have any effect on the way businesses collect data? Is there any simple way to generate reports and access trends using these data? What are the best business intelligence tools in the market today? Ever thought about such questions? If so, these all about business intelligence. Through business intelligence, data is collected in all stages and then reports are generated to help businesses in decision making which enhances overall performance. However, it requires the business to establish dedicated software to connect all the organisation data from production, marketing, sales, and management.

What is Business intelligence and its importance?

Business intelligence involves the use of technologies such as software and applications to collect data, integrate and analyse it and then present it to the users in the form of reports and visual forms such as charts, pivot tables, and graphs. Today, almost all businesses are aware of the importance of using business intelligence. Some of the importance of business intelligence is;

Improve decision making

Since business intelligence tools convert data into reports, the user can make a strategic decision based on the customer’s behaviour and historical data.

Turns data into usable information

Through business intelligence tools, data is well-analysed and presented in the form of reports and visuals which can help businesses in making strategic plans. The analysed data can also be used to identify available opportunities in the organisation.

Improve efficiency

The use of business intelligence will allow easy sharing of information from one department to another. Besides that, it will also simplify the process of analysing data, thus improving organisational efficiency. This will save time and improve overall productivity.

Boost sales and marketing intelligence

As a salesperson or marketer, you can track all the data, such as customers’ behaviour and insights using business intelligence tools. This will help you understand your customers better and using tools such as customer tracking you can target them well, which will lead to more sales.

Improved Return on Investment

Business intelligence helps the organisation have more insights on business operations which enhances the effectiveness of working. This lowers the operation cost thus saving more revenue.

Predict future performance

By using analytical findings and reports from the analysed data, business owners can estimate the future of their business.

How does Business Intelligence work?

Many business intelligence software and tools are developed to automatically updated databases, responsively generate reports and provide notifications to users on achieving a target. Before generating any reports, business intelligence involves the following steps;
– First is Data extraction: The data is extracted from all business systems daily
– Second is Data processing: The extracted data is then processed to ensure it’s available when requested from the business intelligence tools
– Third is Data Storage: The processed data is then stored in the database which can be retrieved anytime when required by the user

What are Business Intelligence examples?

For a better understanding of business intelligence, we will look at some of the examples for your reference:

Advertising

By using business intelligence, organisations can understand which adverts are working best based on traffic generation. Also, it helps them to know which advertisements to promote and on what platforms. Through this, they can promote on high traffic platforms, thus improving performance.

Sales

Ever thought the impact of good user-friendly software to the end-user? According to experts, a user-friendly dashboard encourages users to do their work best efficiently. Most business intelligence software has a friendly dashboard that enables the sales team to understand the sale process and the action they need to take to boost their sales.

Digital Marketing

Business intelligence reports and visuals greatly influence many strategies implemented in digital marketing. By use of these reports, they can improve their services and understand customer’s behaviour.

Call Tracking

The call tracking software records all user conversation which can be used to make future decisions. The business can predict sales and their RIO using call tracking.

Who are the principal users of business intelligence?

In any organisation, business intelligence has been in the IT department, but for the last few years, it has expanded to other departments. These enable more users to handle data which have greatly improved operations within and outside the organisation. The four primary business intelligence users are;

Data Analyst

The role of a data analyst is to study and understand organisation data then generate reports that help in making strategies. Business intelligence tools carry the whole process faster and accurate.

Organisation Executive

The role of the executive is to plan and strategise policies in an organisation. By using business intelligence, policy making is made smoother, and daily operation made more efficient.

IT specialist

The role of the IT team is to maintain business intelligence infrastructure. The business intelligence tools provide them with data analytics which improves productivity to the organisation.

Business Users

These are managers in different departments in an organisation. The business intelligence tool provides a clear view of each department’s operations, successes, and failures. These help them to make decisions based on the analysed data quickly.

What are the business intelligence best practices?

Before investing in business intelligence, you should keep in mind the following best practices;

Usability

The business intelligence software and tools should be easy to use for all organisation employees. Also, your employees should easily adapt to this technology to have the desired outcome in a short time. Ensure this before starting the implementation process.

Implementation Process

You should ensure you have full information about the implementation process such as how long it will take to implement on your business, the cost of the system and user training. This will help to assess the value of business intelligence software and tools.

Integration

You should ensure the business intelligence software and tools do not affects the existing system and is customizable with other existing systems.

Proper planning in all stages

All stakeholders in an organisation should be involved when planning on integrating business intelligence software. It should have all the requirements and goals.

What are different Business Intelligence Tools?

As seen earlier, business intelligence software and tools help companies improve their decision making through reports from the analysed data. Therefore, it’s of great importance for an organisation to choose the tools that will add more value to their operations. As of 2019, there are dozens of business intelligence tools in the market. Many business intelligence tools range from simple to complex. Some of the best business intelligence tools are;

Zoho Analytics

It is a self-business intelligence tool that is cloud-based. It allows users to collect data from many sources and also create insightful dashboards on their platform. Some of its features are;
– Easy integration of data from a variety of files and applications
– Artificial Intelligence and machine learning assistant on the user’s dashboard
– Analyses data from different applications

Microsoft Power Business Intelligence

It’s provided by Microsoft and requires a user to download the software. Some of its features are; 
– It allows users to share data on any device
– It integrates well with Microsoft products such as MS Excel
– Easily integrates with other applications such as databases, social media platforms, and cloud-based applications.

Tableau

A business intelligence tool that enables the user to visualise and understand data. Some of the features are;
– Easy to use interface with drag and drop options
– Easy to integrate with other applications such as MS Excel
– It displays live data analytics

Dundas

It’s a cloud-based business intelligence tool. Some of its features are;
– Drag and drop option when incorporating data
– It can be used on a variety of platforms such as mobile devices

Sisense

It is a business intelligence tool whose primary goal is to simplify the data analysis process. This goal is achieved by implementing artificial intelligence and machine learning on their software. Some of the unique features with Sisense are;
– Faster data analysis due to the use of recent technologies such as IoT
– Offers custom pricing to its customers

Clear analytics

It is a business intelligence tool that aims at providing timely and accurate trends. Also, it allows users to extract a large chunk of data from a wide variety of sources. Some of the features of the Clear analytics business intelligence tool are;
– Provide timely key performance indicators
– Enables automatic dashboard creation to the users
– It provides predictive analysis reports

What are Business Intelligence Techniques?

Here are some of the business intelligence techniques that you must know;

Predictive analysis and modelling

By the use of given data in an organisation, business intelligence tools can predict trends and value in a given sector such as sales by a given duration

Data Summarization

The business intelligence tools can characterise data and provide reports to the users

Analytical processing of data

Improve analysis of different data using business intelligence tools that help users on decision making. It also enables data pattern analysis.

Data clustering

The business intelligence tools can divide data into chunks and group one with the same characteristics and after that generate reports

Data visualisation

Recent technologies help to create reports in a visual form such as charts, pivot tables, etc.

Conclusion

In conclusion, data intelligence is playing an essential role in digitalising and improving daily business operations. Meanwhile, many businesses have already accepted the technology, and in the future, more and more companies will accept it. Business intelligence has a unique feature such as the use of big data which makes it even more appealing. If implemented correctly, it can improve the business decision-making process, save time and overall increased business profit.
However, if you wish to learn Business Intelligence and pursue a career in the same field, browse through Great Learning’s PG program in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence.
 
 

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