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What is Business Intelligence?


With the massive amount of data that is at our fingertips, it can hard to gather and use information in the most effective way without the use of help, such as software programs. Business Intelligence (BI) is how technologies and applications collect, integrate, analyze, and present business data. The primary purpose behind BI is to help businesses make smarter decisions.


It is important to note that BI is not only intended for large businesses. Many types of businesses, such as warehouses, grocery stores, and small eateries, can use BI for better productivity. Photo: CIO.com


How Does Business Intelligence Work?

Business intelligence includes collaborative BI, mobile, BI open source BI, SaaS BI, real-time BI, and operational BI. The information is collected and analyzed quickly through visual application that create charts and infographics. Moreover, BI also offers business metrics and visualized data that is easy to understand.


Why is BI Important?

There are many advantages to BI, such as:


It Increases Productivity

When businesses use traditional research methods for gathering information, employees will be tasked with compiling information and writing detailed reports, which takes up a significant amount of time. A BI program is beneficial for these tasks because information can be collected and analyzed by simply clicking a button. Programs, like Amazon Redshift, are cloud based data warehouse services that enables business owners the ability to gain new information about their customers and business.


In addition, employees will be more productive when they have access to the data they need. As a result, employees will be able to concentrate on improving their work skills instead of wasting time manually gathering information.


Less Micromanagement

BI can also help businesses cut down on the amount of micromanaging that takes place. With a BI program, managers and administrators can set clear guidelines and expectations as to what is needed from their new employees. This will lead to less micromanaging because parameters and goals give employees an understanding of their roles and responsibilities.


BI Helps Businesses Learn from Past Actions

Many businesses use BI primarily for an accurate analysis of future business actions. This is known as prescriptive analytics. BI programs can efficiently store enough of the company's information from past trends to make an accurate predictions. With this type of BI, businesses can also use a business analyst who studies the past trends and make a prediction.


Data Visualization is Easier

Many BI systems have the ability to quickly transform information into charts and graphs that can help employees understand complex data. According to a study from Cornell University, if individuals are presented with data in words, 68% will believe what is being presented. However, if information is presented in a graph, then 97% of individuals believe and understand what is presented to them.


BI Helps With Inventory

BI can be a great way to stock inventory and prevent the high cost of keeping excess inventory in stock. With business intelligence software, businesses can use its insights to control manufacturing and save money.


It Can Repeatedly Test Actions

BI can be helpful for companies that are in the process of change. Instead of drastically changing the company, BI can test proposed changes repeatedly to see how it will impact the business by using a controlled environment. The data can show if the change will be a successful move for a company.


It Aids in Convincing High-Ranking Decision Makers

BI can also be used to help stakeholders see what is planned for the company's long-term success. Decision makers have access to the information that is influencing the company's decisions with BI.


The bottom line is using data that is gathered and accessed by business intelligence is a direct path improving any company. Ultimately, the goal of BI is to give businesses an upper hand over the competition.

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.



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