The term Business Intelligence (BI) has become widely popular over the last few years due to the huge rise in Big Data technologies. These days, companies need to process such large volumes of structured and unstructured data, that it is essential to process and contextualize business data to stay competitive on the market.
An effective Business Intelligence system with BI applications can contribute to:
- improve decision-making process,
- facilitate strategic planning,
- boost employee productivity,
- increase whole organization efficiency,
- increase sales and reducing costs,
- provide meaningful actionable insights.
The best part is that the above examples of Business Intelligence uses are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to BI possibilities. and BI generated insights.
Most modern businesses are already aware that it is impossible to run a successful company and gain a competitive advantage without analytical and reporting capabilities that help to unearth market trends, analyze customer data and understand customer behavior, or make data-driven decisions.
Consequently, Business Intelligence tools are no longer nice-to-have, but must-have.
Why is Business Intelligence so important?
Business Intelligence refers to a wide variety of tools assisting decision-makers, executives and other organization members in operational and strategic decision-making processes.
In brief, a BI package entails technologies, strategies and practices that are used to gather, analyze, integrate and present business information for relevant stakeholders.
If you need to know more about why Business Intelligence is important for companies and why data visualization is an integral element of BI solutions, you should check out our article here.
Moving from theory to practice, let’s check now 5 Business Intelligence use cases for organizations.
5 Business Intelligence use cases for organizations
1# Tracking KPIs
Mature organizations usually track many key performance indicators (KPIs). They can entail organizational, departmental, or even individual metrics, that are scrutinized to detect inaccuracies and improve overall company performance.
Truth be told, it would be difficult to limit KPIs to only a handful for the entire company. It is natural that each of departments, such as finance, sales, human resources or marketing, or even department members have different goals to meet, and their performance should be measured in distinct ways.
Nonetheless, if there are a lot of subdivisions, it is impossible to track, understand and draw conclusions from such a large volume of business metrics without a solid technological solution, like those offered by a BI system.
Modern BI solutions highlight insights by identifying KPIs that should be tracked. They also present them in visually appealing dashboards that can have alert systems sending business users notifications if certain metrics change or fall below predefined levels.
As a result, they enable companies to gauge multiple key metrics and quickly act if needed. These KPIs could be, for example:
- customer sentiment,
- operating margin,
- budget variances,
- upsell and cross-sell rates,
- profit margin,
- average response times,
- average order value,
- employee turnover rate.
Moreover, Business Intelligence Specialists, Data Analysts or Data Scientists can tap into Business Intelligence tools, adding weight to specific data points that are more significant than others.
As a result, with a BI system implemented, organizations can easily understand how and what internal or external factors impact KPIs and address them directly to improve overall, departmental, or even individual performance.
2# Improving business decision-making process
Business Intelligence solutions are also an effective way of improving decision-making processes in organizations by increasing its accuracy and timeliness.
As already mentioned, BI tools integrate data stored in multiple data sources across the organization, for example data warehouses. They bring together data preparation, data visualization, data analysis, and data mining capabilities, providing a comprehensive view for making informed decisions crucial for the business.
As a result, they allow deep analysis of data collected from disparate sources and quick delivery of the most relevant information. It is especially important for decision-makers who are able to make better informed decisions, that are critical for business performance, in a timely manner.
In the decision-making process, real-time business analytics provided by Business Intelligence tools come in especially handy. It allows companies to always be up-to-date and reduces the risk of the outdatedness of data used in the process.
Summing up, with easy access to critical business information guaranteed by a Business Intelligence system, decisive individuals or executives of companies can make educated decisions in a timely manner. It can accelerate the speed of tasks completion and their outcomes, which also impacts on overall organizational productivity and profitability.
3# Increasing productivity and efficiency
Speaking of productivity, another Business Intelligence use case is boosting employee efficiency.
In a typical organization, there are usually massive volumes of operational data. Consequently, finding patterns in business procedures or trends in the market may be difficult for employees or managers. Luckily, with BI technologies, like embedded analytics tool, it is possible to bring the data together for analysis and uncover hidden dynamics and mechanisms.
By unraveling bottlenecks and issues which employees face daily, a BI solution can help to rectify these problems in a timely manner. They can also streamline the experience of employees with current business tools and systems by, for example, liberating them from manual data entry tasks.
Consequently, Business Intelligence tools allow organizations to:
- reduce redundant roles and duties by ,
- keep employees focused on their work,
- increase employee engagement and productivity,
- minimize the dependence on the IT team to provide complex reports or send critical insights.
To sum up, an effective Business Intelligence solution can positively and significantly impact on overall productivity and efficiency. It can liberate employees from manual labor that can be done automatically, rectify errors in a timely manner, and enhance unoptimized various business functions and processes.
4# Improving marketing and sales strategy
One of another Business Intelligence use cases is also using it as a source of actionable customer insights that can assist in enhancing marketing and sales efforts.
BI tools provide marketing and sales teams with in-depth information regarding potential and existing customers, like customer needs, profiles or buying patterns. Such valuable information can be later used for:
- improving products and services,
- developing better sales pitches,
- delivering more accurate promotional offers,
- having better customer service,
- creating more effective marketing campaigns and advertisements,
- customer segmentation for delivering better-tailored messages and products,
- increasing return of investment (ROI) of marketing campaigns,
- eliminating initiatives that don’t bring value to companies.
As a result, companies can significantly lower marketing and sales costs, increasing revenue and customer satisfaction at the same time.
Continuous analysis of customer data with BI tools assists organizations in unearthing trends, spotting the gravest bottlenecks and capitalizing on available opportunities to record better business outcomes, customer satisfaction and loyalty.
5# Enhancing strategic planning
Finally, another BI tool use case is support of corporate strategies and strategic planning for business leaders. Business Intelligence helps in increasing operational efficiency of strategic planning by:
- measuring performance in real-time,
- constant seeking out opportunities and competitive advantages,
- curating a strategic roadmap aligned with business objectives and customer needs.
Implementing Business Intelligence tools allows executives and organizational leaders to gain new perspectives and transform strategic vision in order to keep up with changing market conditions. As a result, businesses can grow and maintain their market position with competitive advantage.
What is more, an effective BI tool is a key element in strategic risk management. With updated data constantly within reach, executive teams and managers can get accurate insights to make educated decisions. Consequently, they can implement appropriate organizational strategies and choose the best directions to direct certain problems.
Business Intelligence use cases are numerous
As you can see looking at these Business Intelligence use cases, BI systems can provide huge benefits for businesses. Truth be told, they can be used for all types of initiatives or issues that companies are planning to tackle. It includes data gathering, analyzing data, measuring performance and setting achievable goals.
Therefore, examples of Business Intelligence implementation can be reporting, online analytical processing (OLAP), data analysis, dashboard development, predictive analytics, statistical analysis, process mining, or business performance, operations, supply chain and inventory management.
The future of Business Intelligence is because all businesses need to analyze data, get data-driven insights, fuel educated decisions and improve business operations. An effective BI system provides state-of-the-art solutions allowing organizations to detect trends, spot problems, and gather critical insights into business processes, customer behaviors and competitors.