One important idea behind a business is that data is eventually utilized to enhance knowledge and information. Many businesses use business intelligence software to acquire an advantage from their other competitors in the market by knowing what the customers need, their decision making processes, plus their technological, cultural and economic trends. The premise behind business intelligence involves not only analyzing the clients or purchasers, but also the industry in its entirety. The great thing about it is the fact that it can be adjusted by specific long term or short term goals that are set by the company.
It was in the infamous “Art of War” by Sun Tzu where business intelligence was initially referred to. According to Tzu, if one wants to win a war, complete understanding and knowledge of you and your enemy’s strengths and weaknesses is needed. Actually, this is the foundation of business intelligence in the modern times. A company, in order to succeed, should know itself better than anybody else, as well as be familiar with its competition and customers. Ironically, warfare and business have so many things in common. Reviews of business intelligence software involve sifting through tons of data, both internal and external, and then passing them on to management in order to allow them to come up with strategies when it comes to marketing and promotion.
In the world of business intelligence, businesses are assessed with the help of KPIs or Key Performance Indicators. As more and more firms implement and use KPI, data is made readily available. A few years back, one had to wait for more than a month for information to be available and this was seemingly unhelpful when it comes to adjusting business strategies timely. However, more recently, institutions like bank have endeavored to make data available with shorter intervals, most especially for those which involve credit or operational risk loading like credit cards and wealth management industries.
Additionally, the field of business intelligence involves the collection and analysis of information. In order to achieve this, certain tools have to be utilized. Some of these include data mining, data warehouses and data modeling. These help employees gather everything that is needed in order to process data efficiently. Almost always, these data tools are used for organizational purposes. OLAP or Online Analytical Processing is also being employed based on the dimensional and hypercube analysis.
There are also companies which make use of what they deem as the best business intelligence software as one of their tools. Over the years, an increasing number of enterprises have been offering this type of technology. If a specific business does not have the resources to gather the information by themselves, then a software vendor will gladly offer tools, professionals, and software support in order to assist the company in collection and analysis. A few of these BI software providers include SAS Institute, Business-Soft, Altius Consulting, Microsoft and Siebel Systems.
In the past five years or so, an increasing number of companies have laid down their money to invest in the best business intelligence software that will help them integrate and gain better understanding and access to important business metrics like predicting future growth and sales.
The economic slump that has happened in the past has given way to the slow growth of sales in as far as the best business intelligence software is concerned, but the industry has managed to come back up after the recession, as many companies were eager to take advantage of the resources they have left, and so they made use of BI tools which can help them become more efficient, identify new opportunities for business and spot areas for operational savings.
On their way to a modest recovery, business intelligence software assists organizations to make capitalize on their resources and transform heaps of data into glorious opportunity.
What are the benefits of using the best business intelligence software?
1. Eliminating Guesswork
According to the executive marketing VP of Kogent Corporation, Ken Dixon, running a business can be likened to gambling. Most often than not, executives rely on their “gut feel’ and “best guess” decisions on their way to steering their companies towards a brighter future. This is because of the fact that their businesses data lack the necessary structure to permit them to make intelligent choices. With the advent of business intelligence, they have been given accurate real-time updates, historical data, precise synthesis between various departmental data, trending and forecasting and even prognostic analysis of “what ifs”, thereby eliminating the need to do guesswork.
2. Getting Quick Answers
With good business intelligence software, business owners and managers can now have faster answers to most of their business questions. MicroStrategy strategic marketing director, Wende Cover, said that instead of spending so much time on analyzing through mountains of printed reports, business intelligence users can now get quick answers to whatever queries they might have. In turn, this allows them to devote their time on other matters that are equally important to the company.
3. Getting Important Business Metric Reports
Nowadays, a lot of business intelligence software vendors allow users to have access to important business reports, metrics and dashboards right from their BalckBerry, Droid, iPad, or iPhone, which gives marketing and sales people access to key business data even if they are on the move.
4. Getting Insight on Customer Behavior
Perhaps one of the most important benefits brought about by business intelligence tools is that it allows various organizations to know what their customers want, what they are buying or not, thereby giving them the chance the power to transform the knowledge that they have into additional profit, while at the same time retaining valuable customers.
5. Identifying Selling Opportunities
According to Mohit Joshi, the global head for Sales, Banking and Capital Markets and vice president of Infosys Technologies, the presence of business intelligence software in the market has allowed firms to take advantage and leverage on customer data in order to modify, refine and build predictive models which help several sales representatives to cross-sell and up-sell their products using proper customer touch indications.
6. Learning How to Appropriately Streamline Operations
MicroStrategy’s Cover adds that with the detailed insights which business intelligence tools provide, organizations can now clearly see the areas which need changes to appropriately streamline all operations.
7. Improving Efficiency
Dixon said that a lot of companies waste precious time spent on hunting data from several departmental resources so that they can truly understand what it really going on with the business. Eventually, if they get lucky enough and find what they are looking for, they need to report, merge and convert the information, communicate their opinions about it, and discuss everything with their people accurately. However, with business intelligence software, all of the data is already centralized and it can be viewed using a dashboard and turned into reports, which saves significant time and also eliminating errors and inefficiencies.
8. Learning True Manufacturing Costs
Meikle adds that good business intelligence tools can provide users with greater insight about manufacturing costs, giving them the opportunity to adjust their production, eventually leading to greater profitability.
9. Managing Inventory
John Krech, founder and president of ePhiphony, noted that business intelligence software can assist users when it comes to ordering inventory at the right time and amount, thereby allowing customers to receive the products right when they are needed. Aside from this, the business will not be bearing the cost of stocking extra inventory.
10. Seeing the Past, Present and Future of a Business
Attivio CEO, Sid Probstein, said that in the past years, business intelligence has been advantageous at explaining to users the status of a specific business over a defined time period. For instance, if you want to know how many units have been sold, in which location, which store, or by which sales segment, data is readily available. He adds that issues like these are now easily understood, which has in turn led to a business’ competitive advantage coming from analyzing mere content to recognizing and finding out why and how these things happen. Coming from just basic content-based information to complex and sophisticated metrics analysis, the best business intelligence software can give users a complete overview of competitor and customer experience, as well as the new opportunities which they carry, allowing executives to plan for what is next for the business.
As these are just the top benefits that come with using business intelligence software, there are actually a lot more, especially when service improvement and revenue generation are concerned. If all the pieces are properly put together, business intelligence tools will take your company up the ranks. Keep in mind that the aim of the system is to help organizations make informed decisions in as far as handling the business is concerned. Through a thorough analysis of information, companies can now refer to business intelligence in order for them to reduce the amount of risks they take and pan out long term goals related to demand, supply, profitability, and productivity. Go to the CrowdReviews.com website to have a look at different business intelligence software reviews.
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