Imagine being able to make every business decision with confidence. Instead of operating according to assumptions, precedents, or intuitions your business could make maneuvers using the best objective insights. All this is possible with business intelligence, and it’s quite literally transforming how business is done.
Business intelligence is nothing new. Enterprises have always looked for an advantage, and that comes from knowing more than the competition – about products, markets, consumers, regulators, supply chains etc. Relying on intelligence in the form of data has actually existed for longer than computers themselves. What is different about modern business intelligence is the scale of the data involved.
Before, collecting data was extremely difficult. It involved multiple steps – observation, capture, storage, organization, distribution – that each required huge amounts of manual input. Anytime humans are typing in figures and shuffling around information it consumes time and invites errors. Therefore, companies did not have a lot of quality data at their disposal.
The information they did have often failed to produce insights because analyzing data is just as hard as collecting it. Locating trends, patterns, and anomalies takes specialized skills and dozens of hours of work. As a result, companies were not learning a lot from the limited information they had.
Business intelligence flips that scenario on its head. Collecting and analyzing data is automated to be fast and easy. That way decision makers can spend the majority of their time apply data-driven insights rather than looking for them. Once companies become driven by data, the benefits extend in all directions. These are some of the most significant:
- Gain Actionable Insights – Business are always asking “What do we do next?” Business intelligence answers that question definitively. Instead of guessing, decision makers can dive into the data, explore the facts, and make informed choices. Nothing can guarantee perfect decision making, but having easy access to quality information can certainly improve it.
- Integrate Enterprise Information – Data that is trapped in one file or on a single server is only accessible to a small number of users and doesn’t get incorporated into enterprise decision making. Solutions like Acumatica business intelligence can break down the barriers between information and integrate it onto one platform. Afterwards, users have a single source of truth that provides access to the most comprehensive and current information available.
- Personalize the Consumer Experience – Personalization is key for attracting today’s consumers. In order to customize the sales experience, companies first have to know who the consumer is. Business Intelligence is ideal for creating individual consumer profiles, then leveraging the data to meet more of someone’s wants and needs. In practice, it enables far more sales opportunities.
- Access Information Instantly – Slow decision making is a problem, but it’s just as risky to take rushed, under-informed actions. Business intelligence offers a perfect alternative by making in-depth information accessible on-demand and digestible in no time at all. Users can query the data whenever they need answers, then apply what they discover to decisions large and small.
- Empower Users at All Levels – Acumatica business intelligence is engineered to be as intuitive as they are intelligent. Users don’t need to have a specialized tech background or extensive training to begin using business intelligence to the fullest. Companies benefit from having more informed and engaged employees at all levels, not just in the C-Suite or IT department.
- Explore Data in New Ways – Analytics shouldn’t just condense data, turning huge spreadsheets into smaller ones. Business intelligence goes a step further in the form of data visualizations. Tools like charts, graphs, data maps, and other representations give data important new context. They also highlight the most important takeaways and insights so they don’t get lost in a sea of facts and figures.
- Rely on Insights from Anywhere – The value of in-depth insights does not stop at the door to the office. Team members need this information when they are working from home, out on a sales call, or killing time in the airport. Business intelligence upgrades data management in many ways, including making it mobile. Acumatica business intelligence balances out the twin challenges of accessibility and security, unleashing the full potential of data in the process.
It’s hard to make generalizations about business intelligence because it affects every organization differently. Overall, it helps companies eliminate the mistakes they make over and over and the ones they can’t see coming. At the same time, it allows companies to capitalize on every opportunity in front of them. Companies don’t transform, they evolve into their optimal version.