Business Intelligence (BI) software is a significant investment. You may be thinking: “Why do we need Business Intelligence?”
To justify this expense, decision makers need to look at big picture advantages.
BI compiles a company’s most essential data so employees can focus on answering crucial questions. Access to data allows for fast decision making and an edge over the competition.
The dashboards and reports created with BI tools can have far-reaching affects.
10 Benefits of BI
For an idea of the impact, here are the top 10 benefits of implementing BI software:
1. Employees are empowered to improve the bottom line
When professionals have access to the information they need, they’re able to focus on improving their work, rather than getting distracted by unimportant tasks. This is important to how employees view their own performance, and it can help make a real impact on what matters most for their positions. Taking a data-driven approach also opens up opportunities for new incentives by rewarding how employees improve the bottom line beyond expectations. In highly competitive positions such as sales, recognizing performance data this way lets top talent set goals for their maximum potential.
2. Lasting change occurs from the bottom up, rather than top down
It’s been shown that top-down change is only essential for companies during critical moments, while bottom-up change brings long-term improvements. With intelligent analyses possible through a BI solution, the company is guided by the bottom line. As data is entered into the system, dashboards across different roles depend on the information needed while employees are connected by the same results. In some organizations without centralized reporting, this leads to decisions made on false assumptions. Instead, through BI, everyone shares a single source of truth.
3. Managers reduce the stress of micromanaging
Rather than micromanaging details that lead to success, outline the parameters for success and let employees meet expectations. Managers are able to reduce stress for employees when they can clearly outline what it takes to perform well. Employees are able to take accountability in a more transparent environment.
4. Data improves conversations by focusing on facts rather than subjective experiences
The best decisions are made by a group that can weigh each option’s potential. During this discussion period, it’s vital to have data that supports each argument. If decision makers are discussing something that may deeply affect the company, the outcome shouldn’t depend on subjective experience or a single event. Instead, to make important decisions, there must be data available that keeps everyone focused on the reality of the business, not just the perspective of executives.
5. The business can test actions repeatedly
When a business makes a significant change, results can sometimes be lost. With BI, businesses can carefully track key metrics for analysis. Rather than diving headfirst into change, the company can test changes carefully in a controlled environment so the data can show whether they were successful before they hurt the bottom line.
6. Business history is saved to help future predictions
An important use for BI software is to predict the result of a business action. This emerging trend is called prescriptive analytics, and the only way for BI to do this effectively is to store enough historical data to pull out key trends from the past. The solution can either display past trends for an expert to base predictions with or it can offer suggestions for repeating certain actions that led to past success.
7. Growth of the company no longer relies on gut instinct
For centuries, organizations have relied on leaders to make gut decisions. While this isn’t necessarily going away, it’s being supplemented by a vast amount of additional information from BI software to help reduce leaps of faith. With power comes great responsibility, and with data comes reliability.
8. It’s easier to convince business stakeholders of success
With a nuanced and reliable BI reporting tool, stakeholders can rest easy knowing the business is planning for long-term success. Stakeholders can also have direct access to the data that’s driving the company’s decisions to easily get on board with them.
9. BI creates a competitive edge over the rest
BI is a global phenomenon. Businesses across the world are using intelligent reporting tools to get ahead of the competition. As globalism becomes an increasing economic trend, businesses of all sizes will feel the regional effects BI has when a market is cornered. To keep up with accelerating change, many must improve internally to compete with the unexpected.
10. Business units have fast, efficient and agile reactions when a problem occurs
Disruption is often unpredictable. When a market shifts and a business comes across a road block, BI makes it easy to pivot in a new direction. Data is selected and displayed based on the organization’s strengths, highlighting opportunities for additional revenue. With BI’s far-reaching effects, everyone within the organization can be prepared to make an impact where it’s needed.
The Bottom Line
Using data, business intelligence offers direct access to the bloodline of any organization.
While the benefits of BI are substantial, it also creates challenges for an organization. For those deciding whether to invest in BI, check out our Definitive BI Guide for a full overview of this important technology.
To compare BI solutions head-to-head, download our exclusive BI Comparison Guide featuring the top BI vendors.