Businesses these days exist and function in fast-paced and agile environments. Organizations need to access critical information to succeed in the areas of sales, finance, marketing, PR, and other critical areas, preferably, at the tap of an icon, or a click of a mouse button. Many business intelligence services are making a mark in this field.
This is where business intelligence, or BI, plays a critical part. Business intelligence can be traditional as well as contemporary or modernized. Traditional business intelligence primarily depends on intuition, experience, guesswork, and conjectures. It works sometimes, but mostly it doesn’t. In the past, in the absence of technology-assisted business intelligence tools, since there was no alternative, organizations worked with whatever they had. The growth of a business was random. More businesses failed; fewer businesses succeeded.
As mentioned in the first line, the dynamics have completely changed. From the smallest consumer of your business to the business owner or the CEO, everyone these days is connected through a gigantic network of digital connections. From buying a pencil to enjoying space tourism, you need to wade through a cosmos of technology. This creates unprecedented opportunities as well as challenges.
A great thing about digitization is that massive amounts of data is produced at every juncture. Whether you add an item to your warehouse, or thousands of products at the same time, every bit of information related to that product or those products can be stored in your database. From where the products were originally manufactured, to what distance they traveled before reaching your warehouse, to who unloaded them and for how long they were kept in the warehouse before they were taken to the delivery center (just to name a few bits of information), every detail is stored, mostly through automatic means such as barcode readers and sensors.
Every supply, every order, every instance of packaging and unpacking, every employee, every incoming and outgoing item, every ledger entry, every incident, every instant message, every email and every chat bot exchange is stored somewhere irrespective of the fact whether they are connected with each other or not.
The information being generated these days can be mind-boggling. A big chunk of this information goes unnoticed. With BI modernization, you can tap into this information to derive indisputable intelligence and insights.
How your business can be transformed by keeping business intelligence software at the center of your entire transformation
What do you really mean by business transformation?
Business transformation can be multidirectional. Transformation may entail how you treat your customers and employees. It may mean digitization of all your operations. It may mean complete transparency in all your transactions. It can be a sum total of all these. Business transformation is normally a bold ambition that goes beyond incremental change. Quite often, it is a complete overhauling in a small period of time.
The world your business operates in is always in a flux. Things are changing constantly. Hence, every few years, you need to realign your business to the contemporary realities in terms of technologies, economic conditions, and sociopolitical dynamics.
For example, almost everyone these days streams songs, movies, and TV series. Very few people use conventional cable networks. Just a couple of decades ago, cable networks were the cutting-edge technology and before that, the rooftop antennae dotted the entire urban and rural landscape. The entertainment industry has gone through a complete transformation due to the burgeoning over-the-top platforms.
Look at the taxi service. Conventional taxi stands are almost gone. Uber and Ola have become synonymous with hailing a cab these days.
Business intelligence service not only helps you transform, it also helps you realize when to transform, how much to transform and what you need for a smooth transformation. In the absence of a robust business intelligence system, organizations are constantly playing the catch-up game. Instead of setting trends, they are following trends and, in the process, never get to be the pioneers or leverage the opportunities that are available to those who are ahead of their game.
Business intelligence tools help you make better decisions by showing present and historical data in the context of your business. When you embrace BI, you transform into a data-driven organization and as the proverb goes, data never lies.
There have been huge advancements in the areas of big data, computing, cloud-based resource sharing, mobile technology, machine learning, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence. These are very important components of business intelligence.
The real power of business intelligence tools lies in capturing, transforming, and analyzing data, and then presenting the subsequent intelligence in a manner that can be understood by the decision-makers. You commit fewer mistakes. You make a greater number of right decisions. Speed and accuracy can help you make decisions within a few minutes which, otherwise, may take weeks, or even months.
Three critical components of decision-making vis-à-vis actionable insights
Business intelligence tools, assuming that the big data they happen to be processing represents the true happenings within your organization, can help you with the following with great clarity:
Business intelligence allows you to connect diverse data points and this, then give you a complete picture of where your business stands and what resources and wherewithal it has to facilitate transformation. Without this information, it is like jumping into a pool without knowing how much water it has.
With actionable insights, you draw the right strategy. With an accurate finger on the pulse of the resources, you execute better. Since business intelligence is meant to draw insights from existing data and through machine learning and artificial intelligence, even anticipate future data, you are in a better position to measure the performance of your organization and consequently, take further actions.
The great thing about keeping BI at the center of your business transformation is that there are fewer conflicts between different managers and leaders. Most of the decisions are made by your business intelligence tools based on the data that is fed into them. Data cannot be disputed and hence, all the decisions can be based on the insights presented by your system. This keeps everyone on board and there is an organization-wide synergy among all the decision-makers.