Business Intelligence 101: From Data to Insights

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Are you looking for ways to increase your bottom line amid the pandemic? Do you have so much data in your hands but do not know how to use it? Then you need to learn how to maximize data to your advantage by using business intelligence.

Businesses lose millions of dollars due to poor data management. It’s one of the challenges that can sink your business fast if you don’t realize what’s happening from the get-go.

With the complexities that come with data management like charts and graphs, business intelligence is the solution to keep things simple. If you have no idea how it works, keep on reading below for a detailed lesson on business intelligence.

Business Intelligence: What Is It Exactly?

What is business intelligence? It is combining software applications and services to transform your data into actionable insights. In turn, you will use these insights to make better tactical and strategic decisions.

One of the key trademarks of business intelligence is the use of visualizations. This allows the organization to get a better understanding of the data-driven insights.

When it comes to the activities surrounding business intelligence, you will go through a lot of data mining, visualization, and reporting. You can also expect a lot of querying and probing to arrive at the most sensible and accurate insights.

How Does It Work?

Since business intelligence involves collecting and analyzing data, you need certain tools to make it work. Interestingly, there are many tools and services you can use to implement your business intelligence strategies. Excel is one of the most helpful tools you can use.

You need to have a reliable dashboard that gives you an overview of everything you need to do. It also tells you where you currently are in terms of progress. A visualization tool is another must-have for effective business intelligence.

However, having all the important tools is only half the battle. You need to have a strategy where you will use your tools on.

Business Intelligence Execution

When it comes to executing a business intelligence strategy, you need to start the right way. Begin by defining your goals. Ideally, your main goal should revolve around getting the most value out of your data.

What do you wish to accomplish for implementing a project? Is there a particular pain point you need to address? Are there developments in your company that you want to understand better?

Determine the answers to these questions first before gathering and analyzing your data. Next, you want to have a vision of what the end will be.

It doesn’t have to be a detailed visualization of your end goal. However, you should consider looking at certain trends and comparisons. You may even need to check your performance and compare it with different benchmarks.

After crystallizing your end goal, you can begin connecting your data. This means identifying the sources where your data resides and putting them all together. Here, your business intelligence tools will come into play.

Certain tools aim to connect all your data that you can eventually transform. This process can be complex. Thus, don’t overwhelm yourself by using all your data.

Instead, use only the precise data that you need to answer specific questions. From there, you will have only the useful data come out.

When it comes to transforming data, gather all disparate data pieces. Connect them accordingly and create a larger data story. This is what you need for visualization.

Visualization and Analysis

After connecting all the data sets, you can turn them into knowledge through visualization and analysis. Start by creating a trend charting your company’s actual performance concerning time. Here, you will be able to see how you performed compared to your forecasted performance.

Moreover, you can start analyzing data from various segments. Since business intelligence tools allow you to segment the data, you can digest information faster. You can interpret them more effectively and determine where your business currently stands.

Next, you want to maximize the power of your dashboards. It is best to invest in dynamic dashboards. These tools give you the power to focus on all sorts of data with ease.

You can switch from valuable data to supplementing data that add context and value. Also, these dashboards prompt you to deep-dive by letting you ask follow-up questions.

A perfect example is when analyzing your recent sales performance. Whether your sales dipped or increased, you want to know the reasons behind the performance. Through data analysis, you can see what’s causing the success or failure.

In turn, you can share the information with different areas of your company.

Intelligence vs Analytics

You should also understand the difference between business intelligence and business analytics. Though these two words are similar, there are distinctions you need to understand.

One of their main differences is the type of data analysis. Business intelligence gravitates toward a more descriptive and diagnostic approach in data analysis. Intelligence focuses on answering questions about what happened in the past and what is currently going on.

On the flip side, business analytics uses prescriptive and predictive analysis. It focuses on predicting what will happen next and what the company should do next concerning the results of the analytical findings.

When growing a business, you need to make these two work hand-in-hand. Using one method is good, but combining them will do wonders.

Why You Need Business Intelligence

Last but not least, you need to know why you need to use business intelligence ASAP. For starters, it will help you gain fresh customer insights. You will get a better understanding of the current buying trends of your target audience.

Also, business intelligence can help improve your business’ organizational efficiency. You can boost collaboration and save time in extracting and reporting data.

Additionally, you will have access to real-time data. Through spreadsheets, dashboards, and applications, leaders can get hold of data and make faster decisions.

Let’s Help You With Your Business Intelligence Project

Through business intelligence, you can manage your data effectively to make better decisions. You can save more time and resources while keeping a step ahead of the competition. However, implementing business intelligence can take a lot of time and resources.

Thankfully, we can help streamline the process for you. Connect with us and schedule a free consultation. Tell us about your goals and let’s start working on your business intelligence project ASAP!

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