Business intelligence, or BI, or Big Data, are terms that are thrown around incessantly in the business world today. They used to be terms one associated with large enterprises up until fairly recently. However, as BI technology has advanced, deployment, licensing, and support options have increased making it more affordable for small and midsized organizations. But the question you may be asking is, “Why do I need BI?”
Virtually every small, midsized, and large business can benefit from BI. Specific issues or scenarios that are good indicators a BI discussion should take place include:
- The need to integrate data from multiple business applications or data sources
- Lack of visibility into the company’s operations, finances, and other areas
- The need to access relevant business data quickly and efficiently
- Increasing volume of users requiring and accessing information and more end-users requiring analytical capabilities
- Rapid company growth or a recent or pending merger/acquisition
- Introduction of new products
- Upgrades within the IT environment
There are several benefits a BI solution offers to an organization regardless of size:
Share information efficiently and effectively with people across your organization.
BI makes it easy for everyone- from decision-makers to functional teams- to access and analyze up-to-date information anytime, anywhere. Everyone throughout the company can make better decisions, faster.
Empower your people.
Providing employees with access to analytical data that is readily available and understandable allows them to work more effectively and support the overall business strategy.
Simplify collaboration and sharing and improve alignment with a single source for accurate financial and operational information.
Having a single, central location allows you to monitor your key performance indicators (KPIs), access reports, analyze your data, and share documents. All of the functional areas are aligned to articulate strategies, set objectives, and monitor the organization’s performance so you can make better informed and timely decisions that support your overall business strategy.
Gain insights to understand and analyze your business performance and opportunities on a deeper level.
Analyze and evaluate information that is more accessible and easy to interact with to make strategic and tactical decisions.
Deliver meaningful analysis and reporting.
Readily track and analyze KPIs against key business goals to gain a better understanding of how your business is performing today and not when it’s too late to impact performance.
Have a solution with the scalability and flexibility to grow and change as your organization does.
Many companies rely solely on the most widely used BI tool, the Excel spreadsheet. While Excel offers many useful features such as graphs, charts, and pivot tables which assist in decision-making, it doesn’t scale to your business. Also, compiling data from multiple, disparate databases is time-consuming and is prone to errors. However, Excel is still a key component of a total BI solution.
To learn more about Ohio business intelligence software and Ohio Microsoft BI solutions, please contact us!
This article was originally published in September 2009 but has since been updated for accuracy and freshness.