Attend any business conference or event and you will find terms like “Business Intelligence” (BI) and “Synergy” constantly thrown around. While as a concept business intelligence, isn’t something new, the way it is now formally incorporated into business strategies and technologies is certainly a fresh approach. As the sale and reach of businesses grow, BI has emerged as the single most reliable source of truth that places a critical role in strategy and planning.
But for those who have yet to adopt it, the first and the obvious question remains; what exactly is business intelligence? The answer, as always, is more complicated than it may initially seem.
Defining Business Intelligence
Business intelligence is a very broad term and for that reason is tough to have one all encompassing definition. There are numerous versions floating around but the one that covers its largest aspects and most people agree upon is: “Business intelligence comprises the strategies and technologies used by enterprises for the data analysis of business information.”
As you might notice, it has two core elements: strategy and technology. That is, business intelligence is both a strategy as well as a technology, each complementing the other.
In terms of strategy, it covers historical, current business operations to make predictions. Basically, it’s an in-depth analysis of business operations using various datasets chart the future trajectory.
In terms of technology, it covers virtually every business tool an enterprise deploys. From reporting and performance management to data mining and predictive analysis, everything comes under the scope of BI.
To put it in a nutshell, BI as a technology collects all the requisite data which is then used on the strategy side to make business sense and take decisions.
Benefits of Business Intelligence
The benefits of deploying BI in any business architecture is self-evident. Some of the key pointers include:
- Keeps management in control of all business dimensions
- Helps make more informed decisions
- Immensely useful in market and competitor analysis
- Critical for building future business plans
How to Deploy Business Intelligence
As you now know, business intelligence is both a strategy and a set of technologies and so the deployment too would take across two phases.
The first step is deploying BI technologies. Depending on the scale and complexity of your business, the technologies you use can range anywhere between simple CRMs and reporting tools to full-scale data and predictive analytics systems. Yet, simply deploying such solutions isn’t enough. You have two more tasks to accomplish: integration and adoption.
Unless all your BI tools are in perfect sync with each other, you will be served compromised data that would, in turn, lead to flawed decisions. Another challenge is adoption. It is important for all of your employees to use the BI tools for maximum coverage and capturing comprehensive data.
So basically, when it comes to successfully deploying BI technologies, your checklist includes:
- Get all the requisite BI tools
- Integrate all of them
- Ensure full adoption
Once you have put the requisite technologies in place, you’ll immediately start getting streams of valuable data. This is where deploying BI as a strategy comes into play. Companies that do not use BI work on the instincts of their executives. If they feel it’s a good decision, they take it. With BI in place, the process is reversed. As the data streams about different business operations roll in, it is analyzed to find valuable information. This information is then made the foundation upon which all future business decisions are taken.
So every time you hear something like data-driven marketing, data-driven recruitment, or any business operation with the term “data” in it, be assured that it is referring to business intelligence in one form or the other.
Now if you want to deploy BI for your company, we at UpCurve know how to get you started by offering an integrated system that will work within your current structure. Contact us now to schedule a consultation and learn more.
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