As a savvy growing business, you’ve probably heard of business intelligence (commonly referred to as BI), but do you know the meaning behind the buzzword? And, more importantly, do you know what it can DO for your business?
First, let’s all get on the same page with what is business intelligence. BI is an approach used to transform your business’ raw data into useful and actionable insights. It includes theories, processes, methodologies, and technologies all working together to provide your business with a comprehensive and interactive view of your data.
Now, odds are you are already collecting and analyzing data on a yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and maybe even daily basis. So, what’s the advantage of the business intelligence approach? BI takes your data to an entirely new level, offering centralized visual data dashboards that connect all of your data sources so that you have the full business picture.
With a clear, complete view of your data, every decision can be data-driven, regardless of whether you have five months or five minutes. With a BI solution in place, your business can take a full look at what’s happening in the past, in the moment, and even forecast for what will happen in the future so that your strategy sets you on the path to success.
To further explore the benefits, let’s take a look at how five different departments can achieve everyday goals with BI:
1. Department: Finance
Goal: You set financial benchmarks for your company to hit throughout the year, and spend hours each month compiling profit and loss data into Excel spreadsheets from across your different financial platforms. You want to find a quicker, more optimized way.
With the right BI solution in place, you can centralize your financial data into a single view, so you can spend time analyzing and determining trends and outliers instead of compiling data. From summary statements to account-level details, your department can see a real-time overview of how your company is performing financially and tracking to its goals to inform business decisions as they are happening. Your financial BI dashboard can be used to dive into granular details, such as reviewing profitability of different business segments and regions, and real-time updates can be used to detect unexpected cost increases and expense outliers and anomalies earlier.
2. Department: Marketing
Goal: You’re running a multi-channel campaign that includes web, social, paid advertising, and email marketing tactics. Midway through the campaign, you realize you’re getting minimal engagement and need to figure out where to pivot to improve.
BI can track your campaign from start to finish, and help you analyze campaign performance in real-time. With a BI campaign dashboard, you can track customer trends and reaction to your tactics so that you can find out what’s appealing to your different customer segments across web and social platforms, and tailor your campaigns accordingly. Once the campaign is finished, with BI you can compare your results across campaigns, customer segments, geographies, and more so that you can set up future campaigns for success.
3. Department: Sales
Goal: In each meeting you attend, you want to be able to answer when someone asks questions like, “how have our sales been with our latest product in the regional headquarters?”
Sales can easily analyze performance of specific geographies and products so that when questions like these come up on the fly, you’re ready with an accurate answer. You can drill down deeper to view the performance of individual account owners, variance between actual revenue and sales targets by segment, and track your sales pipeline in real-time. Utilize the visual representations to determine which sales team members have tactics that are resonating and which ones need some improvement so that you can lead your sales team to win after win.
4. Department: Human Resources
Goal: To better understand your workforce, you want to track employee retention in specific departments and regions.
BI can help Human Resource departments analyze their employee data to determine trends around retention and turnover, and monitor progress and growth of individuals against goals and role-based metrics. Take a look at your employees by department, region, or role to see if there are correlations to retention and turnover, and enable mobile alerts so that you always know the status of your recruiting pipeline.
5. Department: Operations
Goal: You’re putting together your 2018 strategic plan, and want to determine which areas need improvement.
Operations can utilize BI to easily identify performance in areas such as production output, shipment times, and service delivery times so that you can strategically improve. Closely manage inventory counts with live metrics that tell the whole story and easily spot trends to better analyze which products to prioritize for the upcoming year. As you’re collaborating with other team members on your plan, you can easily pull live dashboards to expand and discuss areas for process improvement.
The above examples are just a small sliver of how BI can help your growing business dive deeper into your data. Interested in learning what else BI can do for you? Reach out today to find out how your business can utilize BI to be more successful.