To remain competitive, more and more companies are collecting data. It is a great way to gain a better understanding of your business and to better estimate its future. However, collecting data is not enough, you need to analyse it as well. This process is rather complicated and often requires more advanced tools, such as business intelligence. There are many factors which indicate that you may be wasting the potential of your data, what follows is some of the most prominent ones.
Before explaining why your company may need business intelligence, it is important to understand its definition. Business intelligence tools have been one of the hottest technology trends as they simplify the way you collect and analyse data. The term describes a set of applications, operations and technologies which gather data in one place and present it to you in a graphic form, allowing you to run queries against it and generate comprehensive reports.
One of many undeniable advantages of business intelligence is that the solution does not dictate what to do, instead it allows you to make your own conclusions by giving you access to all the necessary information about your company. That way you can learn more about your organisation, discover any efficiencies and spot new opportunities.
Many businesses equip themselves with various inadequate data collecting tools because they are not sure how the tools can bring value to their organisation. A great way to learn how business intelligence may be beneficial for your company is to learn what you and your employees may be doing wrong. You most probably need this solution if:
1. You collect data and not information
Contrary to popular belief, data and information do not mean one thing. This is exactly why collecting data is never enough; you have to analyse it in order to receive insightful information concerning your company. Gathering data requires a lot of time and effort which you may be wasting if you never extract meaning from your statistics.
With business intelligence you can be sure you make use of your data. The solution automatically pulls data in and enables you to translate it into valuable knowledge by visualising it in forms of charts, graphs, maps and dashboards and generating various comprehensive reports.
2. You rely on spreadsheets
When you think of reports, spreadsheets are probably the very first thing that crosses your mind. For years, Excel has been the only solution for many businesses. However, its capacity is highly limited, the application cannot read big amounts of data which a growing and well-prospecting business produces on a daily basis, and soon becomes inefficient.
With business intelligence you never need to worry about cleaning your data sets. The tool enables you to update data in real-time, consolidate it from multiple sources and run a thorough and coherent analysis of any amount of data.
3. You pull data in from various systems
If your spreadsheet lacks space for further data, you will likely create a new one and then another. The reason why it might be ineffective is that you then need to manually connect all the existing data results into one if you want to make use of them. However, joining data from different sources is extremely time-consuming.
With business intelligence you forget about the struggle as automated gathering and analysing data from endless sources is one of many benefits of business intelligence. This powerful tool enables you to gain valuable insights on your business almost instantaneously without the need to use various systems.
4. You receive different numbers for the same report
Running a business is all about cooperation. However, when various people from different departments are cooperating and working on a single report, you may end up arriving at different numbers. Guessing which version is the true one will not help you to grow your business. It might be quite the opposite.
With business intelligence you and your employees share a dashboard where you can display every change introduced to reports in real-time. That way, there is only one version of the truth, which eliminates the necessity of guesswork. The solution itself can collect and distribute data from multiple business departments, securely storing it in one place.
5. You generate reports less often than once a month
The process of manually gathering data from multiple sources and then analysing it is highly time-consuming. Avoiding the process and running the analysis once a month may at first seem like saving hours of work but you lose inevitable information on your business and market trends in return. Without insightful reports, the decision process is slow and imprecise.
With business intelligence you are able to generate various comprehensive reports as often as you wish. There is no need to remember about running an analysis, the tool does that automatically, giving you constant access to all the necessary information and allowing you to make accurate data-driven decisions.
6. You are left behind by your competitors
The last sign may be not the most evident one but it is without a doubt the most important one. Many companies are losing their business without realising what they are doing wrong. Consider data as a gold mine you might be sitting on, without gathering and analysing it you are both wasting its potential and losing your competitive advantage.
With business intelligence you regain control of your business and always stay ahead of your competitors. Running thorough analyses and generating insightful reports gives you access to valuable information, which speeds up your decision making processes and allows you to attract and better address more customers.
To sum up
Whether you have been collecting data without analysing it, analysing it without drawing conclusions or drawing conclusions based on inaccurate reports, there is always a solution. Business intelligence tools give your company valuable insights on your business operations to help you discover any inefficiencies and spot new opportunities.