6 signs your business needs business intelligence

Companies need business intelligence to efficiently analyze data, translating raw data into insights, overcoming limitations of spreadsheets, and staying ahead of competitors.

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 estimate its future better. However, collecting data is not enough, and you must also analyse it. This process is rather complicated and often requires more advanced tools, such as business intelligence. Many factors indicate that you may be wasting the potential of your data. What follows are some of the most prominent ones.

What is business intelligence?

Before explaining why your company may need business intelligence, it is essential 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 the 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 efficiencies, and spot new opportunities.

Signs your business needs business intelligence

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 benefit your company is to understand 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 precisely why collecting data is never enough; you must analyse it to receive insightful information about 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 charts, graphs, maps and dashboards and generating 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 extensive amounts of data that a growing and well-prospecting business produces daily 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 into 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 other departments cooperate and work on a single report, you may arrive 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 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.

You can generate various comprehensive reports with business intelligence as often as possible. There is no need to remember about running an analysis; the tool automatically gives you constant access to all the necessary information and allows you to make accurate data-driven decisions.

6. Your competitors leave you behind

The last sign may not be the most evident, 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 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.

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 into your operations to help you discover inefficiencies and spot new opportunities.

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