BI disseminates information. Most people assume that BI is a useful tool for reporting. Standard reports meet many needs, but you can also create personalized reports specific to your company’s processes and even reports for public use that hide sensitive or restricted information. With a front-end visualization tool you have the option of viewing interactive dashboards to keep all users up to the minute. The information can also be exported to Excel for further use.
BI ensures consistency. Data is not much use unless the same information is available to all concerned. With a business intelligence solution, you can be sure that your entire team is on the same page, using the same data, the same terminology, the same calculations and the same hierarchies. Discussions will be more productive if all parties are comparing apples to apples, rather than working from disparate spreadsheets and reports.
BI gathers and consolidates data from multiple sources. Your business no doubt uses a variety of databases to collect your financial and operational information. If you need to compare data from one program with that obtained from another, a BI solution will provide the bridge you need in order to make sense of the interaction between the two. For instance, to make long term decisions about inventory or sales processes, you need to see the correlations between your product database, your advertising campaigns and your sales results. The BI solution should take care of the extract, translate, and load (ETL) process and the BI solution itself can be used to check the data.
BI increases data quality. Is that possible? Yes, because BI solutions are analysis tools, they can cross check the data entered in order to ensure its accuracy and improve its quality. BI can analyze the attributes of your information, determine if relevant entries are in more than one system and tell you if any of your data seems “atypical”. You can set parameters and warnings for any data that does not seem to correlate to the rest of your information so that any data errors are easily spotted.
BI facilitates analysis. A business intelligence solution will do the statistical work for you. Its job is to provide you with the meaning behind your statistics. You don’t need to be a math wizard or statistician tasked with analyzing your own data. Let the business intelligence solution do it for you with graphs and charts that allow you to quickly capture the big picture. If you need to look at the information another way, simply change your analysis mode and see another view.
BI allows discovery. Business intelligence is known for providing insight into your data both overall and specifically. Even if you don’t fully know what you are looking for, you can search your data from various aspects and continue refining it until something you may not have thought of pops out at you. It could be a major concept or even a discrete detail that may positively impact your business decisions.
BI facilitates management. Good management is based on good decision making. A BI solution will give your managers the information and insight necessary for making the best decisions quickly and easily. Management decisions based on solid information and analysis can be relied on to benefit your business and keep it running smoothly. Key performance indicators, visible on your BI dashboards, will provide even non technical managers with a view of the department or company’s overall health and identify areas of concern before they become problems.
For more information about choosing a Business Intelligence Solution,