7 Reasons Why Business Intelligence (BI) Is Crucial

This is a nice article that might help you to understand your business more intimately by About Praneeth Vasarla


Businesses are moving at neck-breaking speeds and so is their competition. For these businesses to have an edge in the market, every decision they make must be informed. Irrespective of the industry, every business has access to a lot of data that they can leverage to their advantage. But unfortunately, very few do. Business Intelligence (BI) helps these businesses to use their data to their advantage by presenting the otherwise unusable pile of data into an understandable and interpretable form. BI enables you to combine the power of technology and business expertise to make fully informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition.

How can BI make a difference?

Business intelligence is actually an umbrella term covering different methods of collecting, storing, and analyzing the data from business operations. Mostly, all of this data just lies there, largely unused. With the help of BI, businesses can find useful insights from the pile of data.

The human mind is better at understanding pictures and visuals than plain text and numbers. When we look at a table containing a few text labels and numbers, our mind doesn’t interpret that information quickly. It takes some effort for our brain to even understand what is being presented to it. But when the same data is presented in a graphical form, our brain not only quickly understands, but also quickly observes any patterns in the data. This is the power of data visualization and the primary reason why data visualization has become so popular in recent times.

Data visualization is an integral part of business intelligence and it helps you to visualize your data as maps or graphs and interact with them. This makes it much easier for the human mind to digest the data and thus allowing it to spot patterns and trends in a much better way.

Here are the top 7 reasons why having a great business intelligence system is crucial for any business.

1. Ability to gain customer insights

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With effective business intelligence, businesses can better understand their customers by analyzing their buying patterns and creating user profiles. This helps them to create better products and product experiences for their customers. One example where a business can leverage the power of BI to understand their customers is customer segmentation. Based on the types of products a customer buys, when they buy, and how often they buy, customers could be classified into different segments. These segments are used to give the customer an overall better experience through custom-tailored product offers or custom reminders and many more. This creates a win-win situation for both parties, as both the customer and the business are benefitted from it.

2. Improved business operations visibility

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Organizations that leverage business intelligence will have better control over their business processes. They have better visibility of what’s going on in the organization. Having an active vigilance over the processes and standard procedures helps to rectify any error rather quickly. This also helps the business to become prepared and not reactive. For example, for a logistics company struggling with delayed deliveries, knowing where and why the delays are happening, could prove quite valuable. This kind of insight into their business operations could help the business to largely improve their services.

3. Get Actionable Insights

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The most important thing while taking any business decision is to have enough data to back the decision. With traditional reporting, it’s not as easy and convenient to get actionable insights as it is with business intelligence. Actionable insights are those metrics that actually enable you to take any action, rather than just a ‘feels good to hear’ number. One example of an actionable metric is the % of customers who abandon their carts rather than the number of transactions metric. This metric gives us an idea of where the customers are dropping off and enables the business to take the necessary action to try and reduce the cart abandonment rate.

4. Improved efficiency across the organization

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Having a proper business intelligence system in place considerably improves the efficiency of the overall organization. This in turn positively impacts the overall revenue of the organization. By making meaningful data accessible across various teams in the organization reduces the waiting time on the report requests and increases the productivity of all teams in the company. Data should be accessible by everyone and not be limited to a few privileged teams. This helps everyone in the company to stay informed and make knowledgeable decisions.

5. Real-time data availability

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A business intelligence system provides real-time data at all times. This in turn reduces the risk of any possible human error while preparing any critical data reports. Having access to real-time data enables the business to stay informed about the health of the company at all times. This helps the organization to take data-backed decisions every time they need to make one. No more waiting till the report from the analytics team arrives!

6. Better marketing efforts

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A business intelligence system enables the marketing team of the organization to create better marketing campaigns that provide better Return on investment (ROI) by providing them a convenient way to access data regarding the current and past campaigns. It also provides key metrics such as customer acquisition cost (CAC), cost per lead (CPL), click-through rates of the campaigns (CTR), and many other crucial metrics required for a successful marketing campaign.

7. Gives the business a competitive advantage

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Apart from all the benefits of using business intelligence, another great benefit of using BI is a competitive advantage. Business Intelligence enables businesses to have insight into what their competitors are doing and enables them to make informed and educated decisions for plans. Also, a company that keeps an eye on its internal systems at all times, stays ahead of a company that doesn’t.

Final Thoughts

Having a great business intelligence system is quite essential for every business these days. Having an active vigilance upon the company’s internal processes and its external health is critical for today’s fast-paced businesses. Leveraging data to improve the company should be integral to the business’s core values. Data is considered the oil of the 21 century and BI acts as a lamp, providing value from it.

source: https://towardsdatascience.com