Artificial intelligence, sales intelligence, conversational intelligence… and now, business intelligence? As technology grows, so does the amount of terms popping up to refer to the new tricks for selling. It’s easy to become mind-boggled by all the different “intelligences,” so here at Revenue Grid blog we’ve got your back with articles on each and every one!
In this article, we’ll look at:
- What business intelligence is,
- Where it’s used,
- Why it’s important,
- How it works, and
- How to implement it with tools
What is business intelligence?
There’s no limit to how deeply involved a definition could get because, well, business intelligence is sort of an umbrella term comprising a number of things. In short, however, business intelligence comprises the strategies and technologies used by organizations for analyzing the data of business information. This information can be pretty much any historic info: information about the customer, market research, industry data, country data… the list can go on forever! All of this information goes on to benefit not only sales teams but marketing and operations teams as well.
Examples of business intelligence
So, what happens to business information when business intelligence, or BI, comes into play?
As technology evolves, what it can do with information also evolves. Thus, BI has evolved to include many processes in recent years. Here’s a list of business intelligence examples.
- Analytics: Preliminary data analysis to get insights from historical events
- Data mining: Discovering patterns in datasets using statistics, databases, and machine learning.
- Predictive modeling: Using statistical methods to generate probabilities and trend models.
- Performance metrics: Comparing current performance data to historical data to track goals.
- Data visualization: Transforming data into visual representations like graphs, histograms, and other formats for easy legibility.
- Reporting: Sharing data analysis to stakeholders who can make the best decisions with it.
Business intelligence processes can include even more than this, but these are a few key mechanisms to remember.
This all sounds pretty familiar…. Is this the same thing as business analytics? Not quite!
Business intelligence vs. business analytics
While there are a lot of overlapping terms between these two, business analytics prioritizes the predictive analysis of the data process, while business intelligence focuses on the descriptive. That being said, as shown above, many tools that carry out those business intelligence functions also offer business analysis and sales forecasting.
Why is business intelligence important?
At this stage someone might wonder: “Okay, that all looks potentially useful… but can I just save myself the trouble and skip it?”
For a small business with less than a dozen employees…Maybe? But even so, any business that wants to grow their profits, operations, and potential should really be aware of the importance of business intelligence solutions in order to do so.
Benefits of Business Intelligence
Businesses can leverage BI to gain an advantage over competitors and make the organization run more smoothly. In fact, as of 2020, the global BI adoption rate was 26% — the competition is only growing! Specifically, let’s look at some of the reasons why businesses NEED business intelligence:
- Improved data quality and thoroughness
- Helps identify ways to increase profit
- Enables customer behavior analysis
- Enables discovery of market trends
- Can track performance
- Allows easy discovery of any issues or problems
- Improves operational efficiency
- Improves both customer and employee satisfaction
- Lets stakeholders make better decisions
- Increases revenue
A closer look at how business intelligence works
Looking at the examples and the benefits it can be hard to discern exactly how to get from point A (a big ol’ bunch of data… out there… somewhere) to point B (boy, this company sure is operating like a well-oiled machine).
The real function of business intelligence takes part in a few main areas with the involvement of a business intelligence tool; in other words, a software or platform that can carry out the tasks for you.
1. The first part of the process begins with — you guessed it — data collection. Big data, to be precise. After all, with all the data collected, how could it not be big? All of this company information from various sources needs to be stored in a data warehouse so that it can be further processed and accessed.
2. Next, business analytics tools within the business intelligence software mine and analyze data from this warehouse.
3. Finally, the BI tool turns the processed data into actionable language, particularly through a BI dashboard with easy data visualization in the form of reports and charts.
The end result is that stakeholders can make informed, strategic decisions based on the business intelligence reporting. They can enter queries for specific information to find out, for example, why customer rate is dropping or why a specific marketing campaign did so darn well. With endless data, there are endless possibilities that one blog article could never completely cover!
Business intelligence tools
Now that the basics of business intelligence and its potential are all clear, it’s time to put it to work. Easier said than done, right?
Actually, it’s as easy to implement business intelligence as it sounds. You don’t need to be an expert data scientist to make use of all that BI can offer. All that’s needed is the right software that will break down the information on a legible BI dashboard with actionable insights.
When selecting BI tools it only makes sense to choose one that offers multiple functions that allow each business to customize its approach for using data. That’s what makes Revenue Grid such a great option for companies getting started with business intelligence. Revenue Grid offers cross-platform integration that can find, record, and report data from other applications. Using this big data pool it carries out the analytics part of the process and spits it back out in an efficiently designed dashboard, complete with signalling for the next-best steps and even sales forecasting.
Curious about business intelligence tools and analytics that can help your organization grow?
Check out Revenue Grid business intelligence tool today
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