Business Intelligence: What makes it a crucial factor for an enterprise’s success?
Data has become more widely available than ever. In a business, there is an endless stream of data flowing through purchase history, customer records, feedback, and much more. In the post-pandemic world, data is abundant due to the rise in online interactions between customers and sales agents. With all this disorganised data, enterprises are losing a huge opportunity that can potentially transform their businesses.
In such a data-intensive world, the success of a business significantly depends on how it extracts, controls, and markets its data, as well as how it constructs its strategies around it. This is where business intelligence plays a key role, irrespective of the size of the enterprise.
But what exactly is it? Why is it so important?
Understanding Business Intelligence
In simple terms, Business Intelligence (BI) involves gathering and storing an organisation's most valuable asset—data—and transforming it into meaningful insights. Data can be used to identify bottlenecks, customer pain points, growth opportunities, and proactively drive changes, adapting to the ever dynamically changing market.
Several solutions like Tableau, Talend, and Power BI can help a business adopt business intelligence. These tools help enterprises collect, churn, and visualise the data in charts, graphs, KPIs, or even grids, making correlations between various business areas, and also helping to identify some of the outliers.
In addition, they can be integrated with other applications – both upstream and downstream. Also, they are customised to suit the business user requirements, built with security, and accessible even on mobile devices.
Let’s see how exactly business intelligence would benefit an enterprise.
Better customer understanding
Improving customer experience is key to every business, but guesswork doesn’t help. BI enables organisations in making informed decisions based on how customers have been engaging with the business. With data from different departments—customer service, operations, sales, and finance — one can get detailed insights into customer behaviour.
The data can be in the form of customer rating, surveys, website traffic, or social listening. This ultimately contributes to efficiently designing sales and marketing goals, keeping customers in mind. Similarly, historical sales data can give insights into buying trends and can help in improving the products or services the business sells.
Business intelligent organisations have improved the holistic visibility of business operations and their teams. Decision-makers can understand the reason behind the occurrence of an event, such as why the company lost a customer or why the sales dropped in a store during a month.
BI tools help convert data into patterns and insights that help make them take calculated, efficient, and fast decisions. Automated reports that capture near real-time data is an added advantage to resolving time-sensitive issues.
Enhanced sales and marketing
Using BI tools, the sales and marketing teams can gain insights into their businesses, evaluate their performance in their target markets, and compare them against their competitors. They can understand how their target market is reacting to their campaigns, measure their success, and analyse the “what-ifs”.
With insights on customer behaviour, marketing teams can run targeted marketing campaigns that can generate maximum ROI. Sales teams can take decisions that can lead directly to additional revenue, more positive customer-service responses, or niche product ideas.
A successful enterprise can take risks and yet be successful in achieving the same. The answer lies in BI. Using historical data, highlighting trends like the seasonal spikes in demand of a certain type of products, a business can take a better-calculated risk. It can be as obvious as increasing woollen clothes in the store during winter to a less obvious one like increasing iced tea products during the summer season.
Stay ahead of the competition
Apart from being up to date with what happens with the business, with the necessary data, users can also gather insights on their competitors. This is crucial for decision-making that can result in a dramatic impact on how one can create and market new products and services, engage with customers, and develop strategies that benefit the bottom line.
BI can help a business stay ahead of the competition by tapping into the available data. BI tools help an organisation throughout the various stages of data, viz, gathering, transforming, storing, mining, visualising, spotting outliers, recognising patterns, identifying unexpected correlations between events or entities, as well as increasing data accuracy, transparency, and data security.
However, business intelligence is evolving. Enterprises need to choose the right combination of business intelligence tools or platforms that will best suit their organisational needs.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)