What is Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence (BI) is an umbrella term used to encompass the processes, methods, measurements and systems businesses use to more easily view, analyze and understand information relevant to the history, current performance or future projections for a business. Other terms that people often use to describe BI include business analytics, decision support and executive decision support.
The goal of DecisionCloud’s Business Intelligence solutions is to help decision-makers make more informed and better decisions to guide the business. Our business intelligence solutions accomplish this by making it simpler to aggregate, see, and slice-and-dice the data. In turn, this makes it easier to identify trends and issues, uncover new insights, and fine-tune operations to meet business goals.
Your organization is ready for Business Intelligence if you have more data than you can oversee. For small or medium sized businesses this is often the case. For larger enterprises it is always the case.
Some ways in which you can measure the value generated by using Business Intelligence in your company include:
- Budget deviations. React immediately to deviations particularly on procurement, production and sales. What is the bottom line effect of reacting faster than before?
- Market trends. How quickly can you identify trends manifesting in the sales of a product?
- Cooperation partners. How well can you distinguish good cooperation partners from bad ones? What are their strengths and weaknesses, and what does it mean to know this fast?
- Debtor control. Optimize your debtor control by focusing on the age of your debtors. What is the age of your debtors today compared to before DecisionCloud’s Business Intelligence implementation?
- Cost and price developments. How is the cost and price developing on a certain product, and is there a trend in the price for the product’s components? What’s the effect of acting instantly to such developments?
Business Intelligence provide historical, current and predictive views of operations in your organization.
In a complex business world, you need intelligent support to cut through the noise and stand apart from the competition. The power to identify problems or opportunities comes with the right Business Intelligence solution, because it gives you the advantage of making decisions based solely on facts. It is this knowledge that paves the way for improved strategy, tactics and operations.
Intelligent dashboards, agents and reports ensure that you constantly have an eye on operations. If there’s a slight deviation – you’ll see it instantly.
Why Should You Care?
Results from the SMB Group’s recently released survey, 2010 SMB Routes to Market Study reveal that SMBs view “getting better insights out of the data they already have” as their top technology challenge. BI solutions can solve this problem by providing a framework and tools to measure and manage business goals and conduct “what-if” scenarios to evaluate different courses of action.
In very small companies, spreadsheets and other ad hoc tools are often enough to get the job done. But as companies grow, the amount of data decision makers need to understand grows: new products and services, new markets and opportunities, investments in operations, sales, marketing and other systems to support growth.
As a result, more people have to be part of the data collection and analysis process, and different people in the organization (sales, marketing, finance, etc.) need to look at data in different ways. Typical problems with the spreadsheet approach include:
- Time consuming and labor intensive to set up and maintain. Establishing a company-wide model, creating organizational plans, distributing and collecting information from different managers, consolidating multiple spreadsheets, and debugging broken macros and formulas becomes unwieldy.
- Insufficient collaboration and feedback capabilities. Desktop spreadsheets are siloed, and don’t enable real-time data sharing and updating. Getting a unified, accurate view becomes difficult.
- Error prone. Research shows that 20 to 40 percent of all spreadsheets contain errors, and as they become more complex, error rates multiply. Without an audit trail, changes and mistakes can go undetected and businesses make decisions based on bad information.
- Inadequate analysis and reporting. Collecting information and cobbling it together via spreadsheets is cumbersome. The detailed information that decision-makers need can be hard to get or not even available.
DecisionCloud’s Business intelligence solutions give businesses a way to streamline and unify the data collection, analysis and reporting process.
Do you have any questions? Contact us now.