If I say Business Intelligence (BI), does it speak to you ? In today's world, with the evolution of technology and the importance of data, it's hard to say no ! No doubt you've heard of it before. And if not, we'll tell you about it here ! Our article sheds light on this topical issue. Furthermore, we will provide you with advice on how to make the best use of this tool within your company.
I. What is Business Intelligence ?
In 1958, a German computer scientist from IBM, Hans Peter Luhn, submitted a theoretical proposal for an automated system to process information: this was the ancestor of Business Intelligence. We can consider that the bases are the same.
Business Intelligence (BI) is the term used to describe all the systems put in place to collect information in order to use it to improve decision-making and thus optimize the company's performance.
In the digital age, we know the importance of data and information. Indeed, they are highly coveted in the business world, they are the subject of several researches. This is because data analysis and information processing are very useful in business decision making.
The company's managers must analyze the information and data collected in order to use them appropriately in the decision-making process.
In other words, BI is the use of information and data analysis as a tool to facilitate strategic decision making within the entity. It therefore allows better decisions to be made.
II. The decision-making chain : what is it made of ?
The decision-making chain corresponds to the path of information throughout its processing. It brings together the key steps that allow executives to have qualitative data to make strategic decisions for the company. We identify four main steps :
- Data collection
It is a matter of extracting data from different sources (internal and external) and then transforming and loading them into the database (DB).
- Data storage
It is about centralizing data so that it is available and ready to use.
- Distribution or restitution of data
The aim is to present them in a usable form (dashboard, reporting and statistical tools) to facilitate decision-making.
- The exploitation of the data
The processing of the data is finished, it is ready to be used by the end users.
III. The usefulness of Business Intelligence : why use it in your company ?
Business Intelligence allows you to have a global vision of the company's activity on a national and international scale. It offers you the possibility to perform predictive analysis and to estimate trends thanks to the large amount of data collected.
These forecasts allow you to remain competitive. You are able to anticipate market situations and make decisions more quickly, in line with potential market conditions.
It is a way for the company to save time and be more productive. By mining the data, you uncover opportunities to grow the business and increase market share, increase revenue while dramatically reducing costs. You will gain a better understanding and knowledge of your customers' behavior.
The majority of companies limit the use of DI to accounting management. Given its incredible efficiency and usefulness, it makes more sense to expand its use based on its interest and the growing value that information and data have.
You want to use Business Intelligence in your company, or you already use it but you need some advice: read the rest of the article, it's a real gold mine !
IV. Helpful hints : how to make the best use of BI in your company ?
BI tools can store an astronomical amount of data. That's why you need to classify your data in a dashboard in order to see it more clearly. This is the first, obvious, yet useful and important advice to give you.
Then, you must mobilize all the human and technical resources necessary to make your BI project successful. To do this, we recommend that you hire a specialist (or even several depending on the workload): a Data Analyst (DA) who will be responsible for processing and extracting data from the database. Its careful analysis will allow the company to make effective strategic decisions.
Moreover, depending on your structure, your budget and the data collected, it is relevant to hire a Data Scientist. His role is to process the raw data, so he must have excellent computer programming skills.
Once the team is composed of competent specialists, it is necessary to equip itself with adapted software. You have several available on the market: data analysis, reporting, exploration, online analytical processing. They are available as desktop or SaaS (Software as a Service).
Here are the ones we recommend :
- Microsoft Power BI, market leader
- IBM Cognos Analytics, for data retrieval
- SAP Business Intelligence, several advanced analysis solutions
- MicroStrategy, fast and powerful data analysis
- Sisense, ideal if you are not a techie
You will have understood, Business Intelligence is the tool in which you have to invest, it seems complex but it is of a precious help for the evolution, the organization and the productivity of your company. In our Digital Factory, we do everything possible to offer you the best services.