Business Analytics
Business Intelligence
January 7, 2024
Unleashing Potential: The Vital Role of Business Intelligence (BI) in Transforming Your Business
Prasoon Verma

Have you ever wondered why we need business intelligence? Or how can a good BI tool help revamp your business and bring more efficiency to your business processes? If yes, then this article is for you.

In this blog post, we'll discuss BI's various benefits and how it can help your business. So, if you want to learn more about BI, read on!

Business intelligence (BI) is a field of analytics that helps business decision-makers make more informed decisions. It has empowered businesses to see the bigger picture and make smarter business decisions over the years. BI helps to analyze data, present it in a meaningful way, and plan for the future. By understanding what BI is and why it's essential, you can create a successful strategy to implement in your business. A good BI strategy helps eliminate a lot of risks associated with decision-making. It prepares businesses for many challenges and allows them to move forward confidently.

What is Business Intelligence?

Initially coined by Richard Miller Devens, 'Business Intelligence' (BI) is a term used for years by bankers to gain a competitive advantage. Back then, bankers would use data and historical analysis to figure out which companies were doing well and which were struggling. They would then target these less successful companies with offers of financial assistance or even takeover attempts.

However, today's businesses are using BI to evaluate their current state and plan for future growth. They use it to understand their customers better, predict trends, and make better decisions overall.

Business intelligence aims to help businesses make well-informed decisions and improve their overall business operations using data. BI enables organizations to extract meaningful insights from a large quantum of data. Organizations that use BI tools can generate actionable insights by analyzing their data. BI includes data analysis, report creation, and dashboards to help managers see the big picture. Using BI, companies can identify and fix problems early before they become too large to manage. Additionally, BI can save businesses time and money by helping them track performance over time. As business intelligence becomes more popular, it's essential to understand what it is and what it can do for your business.

Through BI, businesses, and organizations can

  • Track metrics, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
  • Compare process performances of businesses against benchmarks, and
  • Perform analysis in seconds

Business intelligence speeds up decision-making. It allows business users to come up with efficient solutions quickly. BI tools can deliver highly actionable insights if used properly. They can speed up an organization's growth by helping businesses make data-driven and informed decisions.

Traditionally, companies have relied on their intuition to make crucial decisions. However, in today's data-driven world, where speed and accuracy of decision-making are paramount, more than intuition is needed. Senior leadership must always be equipped with all relevant and essential data insights.

The BI process as we know it

Nowadays, business intelligence is often used as an umbrella term. It refers to various methods and techniques of generating insights from data. It includes multiple processes, such as data collection, preparation, analytics, visualization, and insight delivery. Although the methods might vary depending on the user's needs, the process remains the same.

Explained below is the business intelligence process:

  • Step 1 – Data Collection:
  • Collect and store data from various sources in a data warehouse or database system. Sources can vary from Maria DB, My SQL, MS SQL, and Oracle databases to flat files such as Excel and CSV.
  • Step 2 – Data Preparation:
  • In this step, clean, organize, and model the collected data for further analysis.
  • Step 3 – Data Analytics:
  • In this step, query databases to generate insights. To do this, almost all of the current business intelligence platforms use querying language, such as SQL. Only some platforms have their querying language.
  • Step 4 – Insight Generation:
  • In this step, the user uses all the information provided to generate insights. In this step, the business user understands the various findings, such as metric tracking and distribution of KPIs.
  • Step 5 – Data Visualization:
  • After analysis, generated insights are presented to the business users in charts and tables and combined to form dashboards, reports, etc.
  • Step 6 – Decision Making:
  • In the final step, having known all the facts and insights backed by empirical data, the user is now in a position to make a data-driven decision for the betterment of their business.

Business Intelligence applications

Over the last few years, business intelligence has found widespread application in multiple industries. Although banking, financial services, and retail have been at the forefront of analytics and BI adoption, traditional industries, such as manufacturing, shipping & logistics, have also adopted analytics aggressively.

The benefits of using BI across industries are exponential, such as:

It allows the retail department to understand:

  • The evolving customer behavior
  • Track average unit sales
  • Monitoring in-store and category-wise performance

Besides tracking the performance of shippers and drivers, the shipping and logistics teams can easily understand changing consumer behavior. They can monitor performance end-to-end, from pickup and delivery to payments. With financial analytics, the finance team can quickly identify revenue gaps and plug them in while tracking the market. This further helps optimize cash flow and ensures enough working capital is available for projected investments and expenses.

By combining viewership data with content metadata, INSIA's AI-based business analytics platform helps companies create engaging content that audiences prefer.

INSIA is a cutting-edge analytics platform that is changing the way businesses operate. Designed for non-technical business users, INSIA offers a no-code, self-serve, cloud-first platform that makes analytics more accessible than ever. 

Role of Business Intelligence Platforms

The business intelligence process, with many steps and tasks, can sometimes be tedious and time-consuming.

A business intelligence platform is a powerful tool that automates the entire business intelligence process and makes your customer/company data usable. The platform allows users to import, clean, and analyze data from various sources, followed by actionable insights to act upon immediately. Using a business intelligence platform helps you execute the lengthy BI process in less than a minute, making it quicker and more effective. 

Why do Business Users need BI Platforms?

It goes without saying that in today's fast-moving world, businesses must be data-powered and promote a data-driven culture to succeed. To do this, an essential requirement is for users to connect to the data directly. 

The users also need to understand their data better to derive instant insights. Moreover, with a BI platform, it becomes challenging and more accessible because of the multiple layers between the data and the users. 

Without a modern business intelligence platform, multiple layers of business analysts, data analysts, and BI developers are required to derive actionable insights and make them available to make decisions. This increases the time to access insights and needs to improve in translation as, most of the time, what business users get is very different from what they asked for.

Using a BI platform creates an effective data-to-decision environment, taking it upon itself to do all the intermediate work. This creates a steadfast and robust relationship between the user and the platform. 

The user remains connected to their data and can understand it better with the platform's help. In contrast, the platform learns, understands, and supports your BI strategy by making it easier to access and analyze data.  

Final Thoughts

Today's data-powered world makes it challenging for businesses to compete without relying on business intelligence. Organizations must be well-equipped to develop quick, intelligent decisions based on hard facts. To do this, they need to be in a position where they can understand their data with ease to generate actionable insights. The best way to perform this operation is by using a BI platform that automates the BI process, connecting business users directly to the data.

Considering all these considerations, Forty4Hz's self-service, no code, business intelligence, and analytics platform, INSIA, enables business users to make fast and smart data-driven decisions by providing them the power of Google-like Search. This brings them closer to data and helps them generate actionable insights, accelerating business growth and profitability.

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