How quickly could you answer the question, "How's your business doing?" if it was asked right now? How detailed would your answer be, and how confident would you be in your answer? If you were utilising business intelligence, your answer would be fast, comprehensive and accurate.
Business intelligence refers to the systematic collection, integration, analysis and reporting of data from all areas of your business - from finance and sales to worker productivity - to drive better decision making. As a concept it encompasses clear data strategy and technology such as Power BI that turns disparate data into actionable insights. Business intelligence empowers people at all levels of your organisation to streamline processes, direct budgets and identify growth opportunities.
Business intelligence tools allow staff to gain valuable insights quickly, reducing the burden of reporting on IT and finance departments and enabling fast decision making. As well as giving executives a clearer view of the whole organisation's performance, there are benefits to adopting business intelligence for all departments.
Sales and marketing
Sales teams using business intelligence gain a clearer view of conversion rates and insights into the quality of leads passed to them, helping them to focus their attention, keep track of their targets and improve their performance. Marketing departments can see at a glance how potential customers are behaving on their website and across social channels, as well as having a clearer view of market segments and the ROI of their campaigns. Having a shared dashboard of sales and marketing insights can also help to unify sales and marketing efforts.
For companies offering physical products, having insight into seasonal trends helps purchasing departments to ensure that inventory is adequate for periods of high demand. Seeing at a glance how different products are performing supports inventory management throughout the year and reduces waste.
Business intelligence can reveal insights about the behaviour of customers and their responses to different forms of customer service. Getting an overview of churn rates, reviews and ticketing supports training and improves the quality and personalisation of customer service, leading to improved customer retention and advocacy.
Finance departments can stay ahead of potential problems such as overspending and revenue downturns thanks to the predictive properties of business intelligence, and with insights becoming available sooner can spend more time preparing for - or preventing - negative impact on the business.
Business intelligence transforms your reporting to give you an instant, accurate view of your business health built on large volumes of data from a variety of sources. It supports all departments leading to improved efficiency and greater returns, giving your business a competitive edge and access to sales opportunities, customer insight and detailed financial forecasting. With a well-defined data strategy and access to a handful of BI tools, your staff could spend less time reporting and more time taking action.