Business intelligence, or BI, processes help you organize your data so it can be easily accessed and analyzed. Decision-makers can then dig in and get the information they need quickly, empowering them to make informed decisions. But improved decision-making is just one benefit of business intelligence. Let’s review the most practical benefits of BI and how organizations are using technology to achieve their goals.
What is BI?
Business intelligence refers to an infrastructure that collects and analyzes large amounts of data to give organizations a clear and comprehensive picture of their data. The goal of a BI system is to give stakeholders a clear and customized view of their data to empower them to make data-driven decisions. Many BI systems are intuitive to use, highly customizable, and self-service. BI includes processes such as data mining, infrastructure, visualization, analytics, and more.
Benefits of using BI systems
Business intelligence is more than just software. It’s a holistic initiative to use data in day-to-day operations. The seven benefits of BI, listed below, translate into real-world successes that showcase BI in action.
Business intelligence benefits:
- Faster analysis, intuitive dashboards
- Increased organizational efficiency
- Data-driven business decisions
- Improved customer experience
- Improved employee satisfaction
- Trusted and governed data
- Increased competitive advantage
Faster analysis, intuitive dashboards
BI platforms are designed to do heavy-duty processing of data in the cloud or on your company’s servers. BI tools pull in data from multiple sources into a data warehouse, and then analyzes the data according to user queries, drag-and-drop reports, and dashboards. Business intelligence helped Lenovo increase reporting efficiency by 95 percent across several departments. Their HR department condensed several monthly reports to a single snapshot dashboard. PepsiCo also cut analysis time up to 90 percent through the power of BI. The benefit of business intelligence dashboards is making data analysis easier and intuitive, empowering non-technical users to tell stories with data without having to learn code.
Increased organizational efficiency
BI provides leaders with the ability to access data, gain a holistic view of their operations, and benchmark results against the larger organization. With a holistic view of the organization, leaders can identify areas of opportunity. Pfizer uses BI platforms to collaborate among departments and developed models to optimize patient diagnosis and faster, better ways to perform clinical trials. Insurance company PEMCO used Tableau in its operations to manage and close claims fast. When organizations spend fewer hours on data analysis and compiling reports, BI gives them more time to use data to innovate on new programs and products for the business.
Data-driven business decisions
Having accurate data and faster reporting capabilities provides for better business decisions. MillerCoors customized mobile dashboards for its sales team so they could view real-time data and sales forecasts before meeting with potential clients. Sales can now confidently speak to clients’ or prospects’ needs and know the data is up-to-date. No longer do leaders have to wait days or weeks for reports and deal with the risk of outdated data.
Improved customer experience
Business intelligence can directly impact customer experience and customer satisfaction. Verizon deployed BI systems across multiple departments, creating more than 1,500 dashboards for employees. These dashboards pulled data from operations and text data from customer support chat sessions. Using this data, Verizon was able to identify opportunities to improve customer service and reduce support calls by 43%.
Improved employee satisfaction
BI systems enable IT departments and analysts to spend less time responding to business user requests. Departments who didn’t have access to their own data without contacting analysts or IT can now jump into data analysis with little training. BI is designed to be scalable, providing data solutions to departments who need it and for employees who crave data. BrownForman scaled its BI platform to 1,000 global users, and found that it fit well within its existing data infrastructure. BI software should have a seamless and intuitive user experience for non-technical users to look at data.
Trusted and governed data
BI systems enhance data organization and analysis. In traditional data analysis, different departments’ data is siloed and users have to access several databases to answer their reporting questions. Now, modern BI platforms can combine all of these internal databases with external data sources such as customer data, social data, and even historical weather data into a single data warehouse. Departments across an organization can access the same data at one time. Marketing agency Tinuiti centralized over 100 data sources using business intelligence technology, saving its clients hundreds of hours of analysis time.
Increased competitive advantage
Organizations can be more competitive when they know the market and their performance within it. Rosenblatt Securities analyzed data from hundreds of sources to see the best possible time to enter and exit the market and position itself strategically. With BI, businesses can keep up with industry changes, monitor seasonal changes in the market, and anticipate customer needs.
Roadblocks to implementing BI
To successfully implement and scale BI within an organization, leaders need to articulate a strategy, build a roadmap, and allocate resources. Implementing any enterprise system is a project itself, and business intelligence systems may require several months before there’s measurable ROI. However, many organizations find success by adopting innovative ways to use BI to improve profits and reduce operating costs, and pledging a long-term commitment to creating a data culture. That’s why we created Tableau Blueprint. You and your organization can use this methodology to become a data-driven organization and start creating a successful data culture today.