The business sector is a perpetually changing part of society. Regardless of size, businesses must adapt to grow, and growth is essential to be competitive and succeed. One of the areas that many businesses focus on for their improvement is business intelligence.
Business intelligence (BI) combines the best practices that will help organizations make more data-driven decisions. This definition is what modern business intelligence is all about. You know you’ve got modern BI when you have a comprehensive view of your organization’s data and use that to drive change, eliminate inefficiencies, and adapt quickly to market or supply changes.
Data drives modern businesses; that’s why entrepreneurs and business professionals must understand BI. Moreover, it plays a significant role in the success of most modern businesses, so it’s only right to focus on it. Here are things you should know about business intelligence.
Over the past few years, business intelligence has evolved to include more activities and processes to improve performance. Here are those processes:
- Data mining: Discover trends in large data sets using machine learning, statistics, and databases.
- Reporting: Sharing data analysis to stakeholders so they can use them to draw conclusions and make decisions.
- Performance metrics and benchmarking: Tracking performance against goals by comparing current performance data to historical data using customized dashboards.
- Descriptive analytics: Using preliminary data analysis to find out what happened.
- Querying: Asking data-specific questions as BI answers them by pulling data from datasets.
- Statistical analysis: Taking descriptive analytics’ results and exploring them further using statistics.
- Data visualization: Turning data analysis into visual representations like charts and graphs for easy consumption.
- Visual analysis: Communicating insights by exploring data through visual storytelling while staying in the flow of analysis.
- Data preparation: Compiling multiple data sources and identifying measurements and dimensions to prepare them for data analysis.
All of these come together to create a comprehensive to help people make actionable decisions for performance optimization.
How BI Works
Businesses and organizations use BI to answer their questions and track how close they are to reaching their goals. To answer their questions, they gather the necessary data and analyze it. The analysis they come up with will determine which actions they should take to reach their goals.
In technical terms, raw data is collected from the business’s activity and then processed and stored in data warehouses. Users can then access the stored data and start the analysis to answer business questions.
BI Tools and Platforms
Businesses use different tools and platforms for BI. A couple of them that makes the processes easier is self-service BI tools and data visualization. The latter is one of the more common ways to present BI.
Data visualization show data in a more understandable and accessible way. Visualizations compiled into dashboards can highlight trends or patterns and tell a story that people may not see easily when manually analyzing data. That’s one of the ways data visualization exhibits data that help people understand it easily and enable more conversations about what is shown.
On the other hand, self-service BI is a more modern approach where IT manages the data, allowing users to interact with it directly. This approach has IT governing data access while empowering more people to explore their data visually and share their insights.
BI is not a buzzword anymore. Instead, it’s become an umbrella term, covering the processes and methods of data collection, storage, and analysis from business operations to help optimize performance to reach goals. It’s important because it can help businesses make better decisions using present and historical data within the context of their business.
Rosette has a knack for anything DIY. She spent her younger years learning about the different hardware tools, lighting, and equipment in the hopes of establishing a hardware business in the future. Her career options may have changed, but today, she continues to write so passionately about her first love.