Business Intelligence for SMBs and SMEs: What Do You Know and When Do You Know It?

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“Accounting and ERP systems can store and regurgitate just about anything you want. Actually it’s possible that for every transaction posted there can be 20, 30, or 40 fields that will allow you to slice and dice data any number of ways. The fact that you can carry reporting (intelligence?) to this level of detail doesn’t necessarily mean you should do it.”

The above quote is taken directly from a very informative blog, well written by Charles Chewning for the The Accounting Library blog. The post is titled Business Intelligence for SMBs and SMEs and Chewning makes several pertinent points about the use of Business Intelligence tools.

He talks about being proactive, rather than reactive, with the assistance of Business Intelligence tools.  Of course, in a volatile world, companies need to be reactive to changing scenarios. But if all your business decisions are knee-jerk reactions, where does your long term planning come in?

Another area Chewning explores is who should be generating the Business Intelligence. Everyone, particularly in a SMB or SME, is already busy. Who has the time and skills to generate reports on the spur of the moment when a crisis arises? Who decides what Intelligence is needed and who needs it? Good questions!

“Business Intelligence systems are the vehicles by which critical information can be extracted from an accounting or ERP system and used to not only monitor internal processes, but also support the strategic decision making process whereby firms can identify opportunities to create tactical advantages or meet market challenges. Since changes in tactics might need to be implemented quickly, there is no time to waste.”

There is a lot of good information about analyzing Business Intelligence with reference to your particular business needs. I’d say this information is helpful for everyone, but particularly if you are considering a new ERP software system and exploring how it can benefit your business.

By CAL Business Solutions, Connecticut Microsoft Dynamics GP Consultants

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