What is Business Intelligence?
Today’s organizations face many challenges. One is the vast amount of data about the company’s activities, which are collected in different locations and formats. The need for their integration and efficient analysis can be met by systems referred to as BI. Business Intelligence, also known as business analytics, is a term covering various tools that transform data into practical information. In what areas is BI applied? Why is it worth implementing Business Intelligence tools? Find out below!
Business Intelligence – what is it?
In times of knowledge-based competitiveness, it is becoming crucial for companies to obtain and efficiently use business information, which is constantly increasing. With the help of organizations come BI-class analytical solutions that facilitate the use of information in decision-making processes.
According to the accepted definition, Business Intelligence (abbreviated as BI) is, in a nutshell, a set of practices, activities and technologies that allow the transformation of raw data into valuable business information. The knowledge thus gained can be used by companies to inform current and future operations. Furthermore, business Intelligence applications collect data continuously and support the company in executing the adopted strategy. Thus, they help managers avoid erroneous and risky decisions.
So how does Business Intelligence differ from traditional data collection by companies? First of all, the critical task of BI-class systems is to collect data from many different sources, such as ERP systems, CRM or other marketing tools. This makes it possible to conduct a very cross-sectional analysis. In addition, BI tools are distinguished by the high quality of the data and the way they are processed, which involves the automatic preparation of reports.
Currently, many Business Intelligence solutions are available on the market. The leader among them is Power BI from Microsoft.
Applications of Business Intelligence
Modern Business Intelligence systems are sophisticated applications for collecting, analyzing and presenting data that help make decisions at every level of the organization.
In what areas of business can Business Intelligence be used? Companies in various industries can apply BI to many aspects of their business. The range of business intelligence software functionality covers typical business management activities – from processes for monitoring actions taken, to building a strategic vision for growth, to responding to events on an ongoing basis.
BI works well as a support for managing sales, customer relations, production processes or supply chain. In many areas, it is possible to automate repetitive decision-making processes. As confirmed by numerous analyses, Business Intelligence class systems significantly increase the competitiveness of the company that uses them.
Types of BI systems
Within Business Intelligence systems, we can distinguish several types. Depending on the purpose, these are:
– Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – customer relationship management systems.
– Decision Support Systems (DSS) – decision support systems that allow employees to make informed business-related decisions based on the data obtained.
– Executive Information Systems (EIS) – specialized DSS systems designed for decision-makers (senior management) to facilitate strategic decision-making.
– Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – systems for processing geographic data to support decision-making.
– Management Information Systems (MIS) – systems to support business management (financial analysis, manufacturing processes).
– Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) – systems used for strategic business decisions (multivariate analysis and multidimensional data structures).
How can Business Intelligence help your company?
Data is one of the most valuable resources of any company. However, effective use of them, which can contribute to business growth, would not be possible without modern analytical tools, such as Microsoft Power BI.
Modern business intelligence tools, such as Power BI, offer the ability to present data in virtually any form. Crucially, the creation of analysis does not require specialized knowledge – all you need to do is indicate a specific data source, and the program will independently process the information provided. This allows us to obtain information on the functioning of almost any company area.
We already know what the term Business Intelligence means and what the operation of business analysis systems is all about. So what are the benefits of implementing BI class tools?
Among the key ones are:
– making important decisions in real-time and based on up-to-date data,
– acceleration of many processes in the company,
– constant insight into data on strategic areas of the company,
– streamlining the work of managers, executives and decision-makers,
– easier finding the sources of problems,
– quick and easy delivery of reports to decision-makers,
– better evaluation of employee performance,
– effective forecasting of company operations and finances,
– measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns,
– increased transparency in all areas of the business,
– free tracking of trends and analysis of competitors’ activities,
– more effective financial management – optimizing the budget and eliminating fraud.
These are not all the possibilities of Business Intelligence. What benefits an organization can derive from implementing BI tools will depend on the specifics of the business.
Implementing a Business Intelligence System
BI applications long identified with the big players in the market, with the development of technology, are also becoming available to small and medium-sized businesses. So how do you start using a BI system to reap its visible benefits? Power BI, a leading business analytics solution, can bring tangible benefits to a company on many levels, provided it is used correctly.
Implementing BI in an organization is a multi-step process that requires an in-depth analysis of the company’s needs (in terms of the information it wants to analyze and the data that can be collected for this purpose), the alignment of critical functions and the training of employees. Every business is different and requires a customized approach to business data analysis. Only a system tailored to a specific company, the implementation of which will be preceded by a detailed pre-implementation analysis, can make the data collected truly useful in implementing the strategy.
To maximize the opportunities BI offers, it is worth ensuring that the implemented system is as functional and user-friendly as possible for all users, regardless of their level of technical expertise.
Do you want to implement Power BI?
EBIS – a Microsoft Gold Partner – offers comprehensive Business Intelligence services. Our solutions are based on the most up-to-date knowledge and capabilities provided by the Microsoft Power BI environment. In addition, we perform pre-implementation analysis, implement tools and provide BI consulting, and train users to use advanced analytical systems.