Using BI to Grow Your Business
For many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), collecting valuable data and information that will help optimize business operations can be challenging unless you’re using modern workplace technology. Before business intelligence (BI) software and tools, businesses relied on spreadsheets to track products, sales, and customers. And by the time the information was ready to use, it was outdated. With the introduction of BI, companies can now have real-time data and easily interpret it using BI dashboards.
What is Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence transforms data into essential and valuable information that allows organizations to make data-driven decisions. BI tools take business data for sales, products, customer purchases, and more and present it in easy-to-read reports, dashboards, charts, and graphs. It then processes that data and provides insights for better strategic and immediate decisions.
Business Intelligence Strategy
A business intelligence strategy describes and outlines your organization’s plan for when and how to use company data. Do you know why you need a strategy? Simply selecting what you think is the latest and greatest modern workplace technology for hardware and software isn’t enough to see a return on investment. Success comes when you approach the process systematically with a specific business intelligence strategy.
A business intelligence strategy helps your company get the most out of having actionable insights. Without a process in place, SMBs run the risk of employees:
- Having decision fatigue based on too many data inputs
- Interpreting data inconsistently, or
- Failing to pay attention to the quality of data
Having a business intelligence strategy in place creates guidelines around the relevant and trusted data that will guide direction and decisions.
Benefits of Business Intelligence for Small Businesses
BI is a combination of assembling, analyzing, and storing data. It helps make measuring, generating, and analyzing a specific amount of data fast, easy, and accurate. Business intelligence is vital for SMBs to increase revenue, reduce operational risks, deliver better business outcomes, and lower costs.
When considering BI solutions for your business, evaluating whether they can accommodate business growth and future needs is essential.
These are areas where business intelligence helps SMBs:
- Financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting
- Tracking, measuring, and predicting sales performance
- Simplification of complex business processes
- Improvements in the delivery of supply chain effectiveness
- Provide insight into pricing strategies
- Optimizes operational performance and processes
- Insight into real-time results for specific data
Don’t forget the importance of having a BI solution that’s intuitive, user-friendly, and can be implemented into your current systems without interrupting normal business operations.
Importance of Business Intelligence Dashboards
Most modern workplace technology solutions, including business intelligence tools, now include dashboards. Business intelligence dashboards use data visualization technology to analyze and display information visually so it can easily be understood by most people. Information is pulled together and calculated by tracking data points that are vital to your business. The dashboard combines the view of all data from across the organization on custom dashboards that help deliver essential insights into specific areas of the business.
You can quickly analyze and display results including key performance indicators (KPI). All these things help assess performance measures and produce actionable insights. An excellent business intelligence dashboard enables you to measure and monitor your business metrics, as well as your performance helping you make smarter, data-driven decisions.
Here’s how BI dashboards help SMBs:
- Enhances visibility into critical business data
- Saves time
- Promotes better forecasting
- Provides real-time KPIs
- Improves inventory control
- Allows for faster and better decisions
Self-Serve Business Intelligence
With self-serve business intelligence, SMBs can have the same advantage as larger organizations. Self-serve business intelligence is an approach to data analytics that allows business users to explore and evaluate data sets even if they don’t have analytical backgrounds, such as business intelligence, statistical analysis, and data mining. Self-service business intelligence tools help users to sort, filter, analyze, and visualize data without assistance from IT or BI teams. The self-service capability is ideal for smaller businesses that don’t have budgets for specialized roles.
Self-serve BI benefits SMBs with:
- Better use of IT resources
- Custom data results
- Faster data analysis
- Faster decisions
- Data-driven decisions
The End Result
Stop looking at spreadsheets. Business intelligence isn’t just for large organizations anymore. SMBs can use BI to expand and grow their business based on their business goals and KPI data. By combining multiple data sets, SMBs have insight into more in-depth information on business operations, customers, products, and sales.
For SMBs, the bottom line is that BI provides many advantages for expanding and growing a business by evaluating real-time data that drives better decisions.
Visual Edge IT, Inc. (VEIT) specializes in managed IT services and security, cloud computing, and print/copy solutions for businesses across the U.S. including remote office locations. We offer a full line of office technology and services including 24/7 remote monitoring and administration of networks, service desk, and data backup and restore to improve business processes across a variety of industries. Plus, Visual Edge IT™ represents the industry’s leading manufacturers of office technology allowing businesses to get equipment, supplies and service from a single source. Backed by more than 20-years of technology service and a national network of expert engineers, VEIT is uniquely positioned to support business technology needs. The company is headquartered in North Canton, OH, USA. Request your no-obligation assessment today and get a free dark web analysis.