Business Professor and economist Aaron Levenstein once said, “statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” In business, this statement can be applied to data as well.
At a time where huge amounts of data are being produced, it is becoming increasingly harder to make sense and utilize the data at hand as an asset instead of a hindrance. This has seen a trend in progressive organizations across the world investing in Business Intelligence (BI) to gain clear insights into what their data is really saying.
Essentially, BI improves business decision making by using a fact-based system.
In 2009, leading information technology research and advisory company Gartner predicted that by 2012, business units would control at least 40% of the total budget for BI. Fast forward two years and 35% of organizations have employed pervasive BI and 67% of ‘best in class’ companies have some form of self-service BI.
So, what value can I really generate with BI?
1. Empowerment (of employees)
The more people who have access to data in an organization, the greater the results. This is because data empowers any worker, at any level to make informed decisions with pertinent, real-time information. In a recent series on the Past, Present and Future of BI, Paul Robertson explained that by using BI software, organizations collectively can make better business decisions, improve processes and increase profitability. “With a BI tool, you can reduce or even eliminate the guesswork.”
2. Clear visibility
Pay Pal co-founder Max Levchin once said, “the world is now awash in data and we can see consumers in a lot clearer ways.” BI also creates clear organizational visibility on all levels with data. Utilizing BI enables workers to understand what is clutter (where they are wasting time on unrelated projects) and gives them the tools to redirect time and resources into key business objectives. With everyone on the same page, it helps employees work together to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
3. Fast Answers
No more waiting days, weeks or even months for sales reports you needed yesterday. BI software, like Phocas, enables users to pull up collaborative data in seconds in a simple and sexy format that is accessible by all functions of an organisation.
4. Alignment (company activities with corporate strategy)
Companies can incur large costs when their people focus on things that are not aligned with the company’s strategy. SAP found that when a thorough understanding of business and technical requirements for BI are in place, there is an increase of 69% higher revenue per employee. They also found that 50% of higher performing companies use analytical information strategically. When you align BI insight with the overarching corporate strategy, the results speak for themselves.
Business intelligence software provides many other benefits to a business. To see how 35 BI vendors compare, click here or the button below to download the results from the world's largest business intelligence software review, BARC BI 2016.