Gaining the Edge over Competitors with Business Intelligence

First let me start off by defining Business Intelligence as defined by Business Journal International Weekly. “Business Intelligence is a set of theories, methodologies, processes, architectures and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information for business purposes.” Over the past 10 years business intelligence has soured in popularity to what is now, a $15.8B a year business, with an estimated 55 percent of companies today using some form of Business Intelligence or Business Analytics solutions. According to top researchers, “by the year 2020 researchers show an estimated 75% of companies globally will rely on Business Intelligence to run their companies.” Who would have thought this number would get so high?

Business Intelligence and analytics is essential in supporting the explosive growth in data and data sources. Forbes top researchers indicate, “30 percent of mid to enterprise sizevaluebusinesses say reporting analysis is the number one business analytics’s capability they are most interested in when it comes to the overall analysis of their company’s internal data.” With such a steep rise in popularity of Business Intelligence over the years it isn’t hard to imagine companies are coming up with new and inventive ways to use Business Intelligence tools to manage and regulate their day to day operations. One area we see a large rise in the use of BI tools is in the area of corporate finance. With companies making more and more money each year, a lot of businesses need to come up with a better way to keep track of ledgers, balance sheets and corporate scorecards, slowly moving away from the ever so popular excel spreadsheet methods. This will help to ensure they are able to provide the correct information to their companies Board of Directors/Executive Team allowing them to make the best, most informed decision to strategically position the company to achieve maximum success. In the years to come what other ways will companies come up with to leverage Business Intelligence to influence the overall success of their company?

One of the most known and most talked about feature of any business intelligence solution is its abilities to give insight to companies allowing them to make faster and smarter day to day decisions. Being able to make decisions faster than your competition is a serious competitive edge. In today’s world having an edge over your competition benefits all areas of the business and is contributed directly to the use of Business Intelligence solution. A large number of business professionals report dealing with slow or untimely access to information impedes their ability to make decisions. Implementing some form of Business Intelligence has been shown to drastically improve not only the time it takes to make important decisions but also improves the overall quality of the decisions being made. What impact would being able to make faster and smarter decisions have on your current job?

Business Intelligence is a smart investment when downturns and tight budgets are pressing a company. Reports have shown, “BI can address the majority of area that require some form of technology support.” When it comes to maintaining and managing a company’s overall budget, business leaders are saying the help of a business intelligence solution is key to keeping their company on track and as close to budget as possible while still increasing company visibility and cashing in on every opportunity that comes through the door. Implementing a business intelligence solution to your company is key to controlling the economic value of your company. One way this is true is by giving you the opportunity to increase sales. Having analytical insight, through such tools as dashboards and self-service BI, can maximize customer satisfaction, loyalty, and increasing revenue by now being able to give the right offers at the right time to the right customer as well as being able to build personal relationship between your company and the companies you are closing business with. Business Intelligence gives you an “under the covers” look into each one of those important aspects. At the same time being able to reduce lost sales opportunities and lowering your overall costs is another major advantage in having some form of business intelligence platform for your company. Being able to look deeper into sales decisions and analyzing why customers end up choosing your competition can aid in reducing customer defection, a key component to having a successful sales force. What makes investing in business intelligence such a smart investment in your eyes?

Companies using an efficient and effective business intelligence and reporting solution can only be a plus if you want to stay one step ahead of your competition. An established business intelligence solution/tool with broad data connectivity can provide you with all the right data to successfully operate a winning company by leaving no question unanswered. Do you think having a business intelligence solution is one of, if not the most important tool you can own? If not, what is?

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