How to get more out of your business data with BI

Thanks to digitization, more and more information is becoming available. Whether it concerns total turnover or your employees’ salaries: your organization saves it all somewhere in huge databases. Have you wondered how can you make this transparent and what you can use this information for? Smart BI tools will help you with this.

What is business intelligence?

Business intelligence (BI) refers to the process of collecting, analysing, and making optimal use of data. It is a smart way to use your data efficiently for the benefit of your company. Through the use of analysed data, you gain new insight. For example, data is used intelligently in business processes to enable faster and strategic decision-making. In this way, you can give your customer focus and profitability a tremendous boost. In this blog, we will explain how you can start using it. And more importantly, how you can successfully apply it throughout your organization. Read on!

Why BI is indispensable for your company

If implemented successfully, BI has a positive impact on the entire organization. But why is that exactly?

1. BI makes your data more manageable

These days, so much data comes in on a daily basis that it is difficult to save it all at a central location, not to mention analyse or actually utilize it. This is largely due to Big Data. Because it is hard to keep track of, you miss out on great opportunities to use this data for optimization. With BI, you have the chance to collect all data at central locations.
How does this work? With BI, there are two locations where you can move your data: into a data warehouse and a data lake. The data warehouse is where you store structured business data, the data that is saved in a database. This is all the data that is identified and labelled and is easy to access. This kind of data is used by a great many businesses. Including yours.
Unstructured data is stored in a data lake. This consists primarily of photos and videos, text documents, emails, social media data, and sensory data. In this way, you always know exactly which data can be found where. It is very convenient.

2. BI reduces your operating expenses and raises your productivity.

Because BI enables you to collect data automatically, it saves your employees a lot of time. As a result, manual processing and storage at different locations are thing of the past. In this way, your employees have more time for the tasks that matter, such as analysing this important data and applying it.

3. BI adds value to your data.

Previously, data analysis was not a main point of focus for many businesses. But these days, there is so much data available because of the explosive growth of data, that it would be a shame to do nothing with it. Just 30% of organizations analyse their own data. By studying your incoming data, you can more rapidly arrive at new insights and respond to new situations more effectively. This also means you are more likely to maintain your competitive edge.

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How to make your company smart

BI can be a powerful tool for strengthening your company. However, there are few things you should keep in mind if you want to implement it at your company.

Come up with a robust strategy and a specific requirement

In many cases, organizations lack an unambiguous mechanism to guide their strategy. As a result, BI processes are managed on an ad hoc basis, which causes BI tools to be applied in a fragmented and less effective fashion in the organization.
In the process, they tend to skip over the step of deciding which business requirement to address. Purchasing a BI tool for general analysis without having a specific goal in mind always leads to higher costs and a lower return on investment (ROI). This is such a pity.
It is important to have a clear goal in mind from the get-go, a problem that can be solved by introducing BI. In this way, a BI tool can effectively contribute to reducing your operating expenses.

Select the right tools

An essential step in ensuring successful BI implementation, is selecting the right tools. Excel is the world’s most frequently used BI tool, despite the fact that it was actually not designed for this. Excel is not a practical means for assuring data quality or the consistency of information. Mistakes are easily made because the information is entered manually. In addition, you often end up with multiple documents saved at different locations: version 1, version 2, final version. Sound familiar? You can prevent this by using specialized BI tools. These use clean data from reliable sources, which prevents mistakes from being made and enables you to take decisions based on the correct data.

Ensure proper guidance

Many companies that start using business intelligence do not succeed in implementing it throughout the entire company. Why is that? Employees often assume that everyone knows how to use BI tools, because you do not need to be a programmer in order to use them. This a misguided assumption.

In many cases, these tools are just a bit too complex for the average office employee. So assuming that the average user will know what to do with them is therefore ill-advised. You should therefore offer your employees guidance in the form of various training courses, evaluations, and personalized dashboards. Furthermore, you should designate particular people in your organization who will be responsible for providing this support. That way, everyone can use BI tools efficiently from day one.

If you want to find out more about how you can start using BI, then we would be happy to help you. You can contact us for customized advice at no obligation.