If you are a decision-maker working in operations, marketing and sales, please raise your hand if you are drowning in data but are thirsting for actionable insights. We are all in this paradoxical situation where we understand the importance of data-driven business decisions but are buried in tons of raw, hard-to-analyse data. It is true that we now have several tools and technologies to collect data. However, we still cannot effectively analyse, filter, report and visualise data.
Yet, data-driven decision making is essential to continuous improvement and sustainable business growth. We know that data-driven organisations are 23 times more likely to win new customers, six times as likely to retain customers and 19 times more likely to be profitable as a result. Now, the one million dollar question, how do you turn your raw data into actionable insights? The answer is Business Intelligence (BI).
What is Business Intelligence in simple terms?
In plain English, Business Intelligence (BI) helps organisations make smarter decisions based on all the relevant information available to them. BI software and tools analyse current and historical business data and present analytical findings in business dashboards, providing decision-makers with the intelligence they need to take informed actions.
BI software helps you bring together information from different data sources (e.g. your CRM, supply chain, sales and marketing systems) into a unified view enabling you to find, analyse and extract key insights from this data. These insights can be displayed as interactive reports and dashboards which can be shared with the relevant decision-makers across your business. These people can then ask key questions such as “What were last year’s sales in London?”. The results can be displayed in graphical or tabular form.
Organisations use BI software and tools to monitor trends, adapt to market changes, and improve decision making at all levels. The BI technology a business chooses depends on what it wants to achieve. You may wish to gain insights into customer buying behaviour, improve employee productivity, enable better ways of working or identify bottlenecks within the business.
Ten ways business intelligence can improve your businesses.
1. Identify ways to increase profit
Increasing profit is fundamental for every business. Data from BI tools can help you ask better questions about why things happened through making comparisons across different dimensions and recognising sales weaknesses. Profit is more likely to grow when businesses know their customers, observe the competition and streamline operations.
2. Analyse customer behaviour
BI software helps businesses understand customer behaviour and patterns. Leveraging real-time customer insights can help you retain your customers and win new ones. BI dashboards visualise KPIs and drill down to details on the customer buying behaviour and patterns. It allows you to anticipate needs and deliver personalised customer service.
3. Get ahead of the competition
In an era where data is a powerful currency, managing and analysing large amounts of data generates a competitive advantage in itself. Making quick data-driven decisions offers a level of confidence and security to the organisation that not only is faster from the competitors but also more accurate. Ultimately, using BI to plan, decide budgets and make forecasts are powerful ways to stay ahead of the competition.
4. Track performance
BI tools enable businesses to boost employee productivity by tracking department-specific performance. Customise your BI dashboards to track performance KPIs to identify areas of improvement and understand what's working and what isn't. Using these insights you can tailor learning and development for your teams, improve your internal processes and remove barriers to productivity.
5. Optimise operations
Using BI dashboards, your organisation gains a unified view of your operations and can benchmark against your key metrics. Gaining a holistic view of your organisation enables you to better understand employee productivity, satisfaction, and performance and quickly decide how to optimise them. Ultimately, BI helps you save time, money and reduce human error by automating manual processes such as data entry, analysis and reporting.
6. Identify market trends
Using BI to identify opportunities in your market and develop a data-driven strategy can help you develop a competitive advantage for your business. It can directly impact your long-term profitability and enable you to spot future trends. Your teams can use the market data and their internal insights to discover new sales opportunities and launch products and services the market needs.
7. Improve decision making
Your competitors move fast, and you need to make decisions quicker than they do. Accurate and fast decisions allow you to be the first to capitalise on market trends, win a customer and satisfy your existing ones. BI software enables businesses to deliver the right information to the right people at the right time, optimising the decision making time.
8. Optimise negotiations
Provide your sales team with BI dashboards that help them identify sales trends, product developments, customer preferences and new markets. Enable them to go into a pitch meeting armed with accurate insights to support negotiations with prospective customers or suppliers.
9. Fast and accurate reporting
Business intelligence reporting can be a significant asset for your business. With templates or customised reports, your teams can measure their KPIs from various data sources, including financial, operations, marketing and sales. You can generate reports in real-time and include easy to understand, interactive data visualisations such as graphs, tables and charts.
10. Enhance collaboration
With most business departments managing their own data and having specific standard operating procedures (SOPs), collaboration becomes complicated. Using BI software, organisations can overcome silos between departments and become more efficient. They can piece all the knowledge and information of the organisation together and make data-driven decisions collaboratively.
How we can help
- Business intelligence audit: We can help you assess your data quality, where and how the data is being stored and managed, its structure and its impact on your business. We will then provide recommendations and support you in turning your data into business intelligence.
- Data cleansing exercise: We often find that internal data needs work before organisations can get the most out of it. We can help you if your data needs cleansing, de-duplicating and organising as a precursor to providing wider business intelligence support.
- Business intelligence dashboards: Using the Calls9 Nucleus platform, we can build and host business dashboards that give you and your team access to key information in real-time. Our dashboards enable you to quickly filter through the information and export to common formats such as CSV and PDF from a single dashboard.
If you do not know where to start, or you want to understand the process and what it takes, our team is happy to help you.