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The Importance of Business Intelligence Software and Why It’s Integral for Business Success

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article | The Importance of Business Intelligence Software and Why It’s Integral for Business SuccessIn the digital-first, customer-centric world we live in today, managers and business owners must deal with information overload. That is the reason why they are always looking for ways to derive greater intelligence, control, and understanding from their data. Adopting a business intelligence (BI) strategy is one of the best ways to deal with this problem, but most organizations have been slow to integrate it within their business systems. This is mainly down to a lack of knowledge, as businesses still don’t know, where to start, what it involves, and how long it’ll take for them to see any benefits.

There’s no denying that business intelligence software is crucial in helping organizations make reliable and timely decisions about their operations. It ensures that the business can access reliable information and make insightful decisions by reacting in real time. Business intelligence software has played a major role in helping organizations meet their challenges like narrowing margins, high customer expectations, and global competition.

Most businesses are still using traditional methods, which makes it harder for them to make decisions, as the information is stored in separate applications and databases. How quickly and accurately a company responds in this technology-driven competitive market is the main difference between success and failure. Business intelligence technologies have several functions that improve their performance, and one of them is reporting. It plays a key role in business intelligence, as it allows the decision makers of the enterprise to support their work. The discovery of essential data patterns (analytics) is also done through reporting, which is another key role of business intelligence.

Some of the standard functions of business intelligence technologies include predictive and prescriptive analysis, business performance management, text mining, benchmarking, and online analytic processing. Business intelligence refers to the application, tools, and good practices that are used to access and analyze data to optimize or improve the performance of the business. It converts raw data into relevant information that enables tactical and strategic insights to make effective decisions.

Business intelligence software is a technological process, which collects and processes data to attain actionable information. It allows users to acquire information quickly and transfer them to the proper personnel to make the right decision. Business intelligence tools have been around for a long time, but it was only accessible to large enterprise, who had the infrastructure and resources to implement this technology.

However, thanks to the advancement of technology, even small enterprises now can access business intelligence software through cloud computing.

The Main Benefits of Business Intelligence Software

Any organization that wants to remain relevant in the competitive market of today must adapt fast and real-time integration of business intelligence software. Most organizations today have changed their modes of operation so they can adapt to modern business intelligence technologies. However, there are still plenty of organizations that are under the assumption that business intelligence software isn’t user-friendly and is complicated.

That’s a misconception about business intelligence software since it is user-friendly and can be adopted quickly by an organization, while it ensures maximum profitability by smoothing the decision-making process. Businesses that have adopted this technology in their systems are thriving in all the challenges they are facing at any stage of their projects. Business intelligence software also allows small and medium-sized enterprises to reduce their cost of operations by identifying areas that have higher costs of expenses and finding measures to reduce them.

The best thing about business intelligence software is that it allows businesses to have agile operations and is often the difference between operating on profits or losses. To give you a better idea, we are going to discuss some of the main benefits offered by business intelligence software:

1. Better Business Decisions

When a business adopts business intelligence software, its management can easily identify all the financial and customer data, production data, current data, and business aspects of the organization. This information will allow the management to synthesize and analyze the products and investment reports, which will help them make better business decisions that benefit the organization.

2. Enables Faster and Accurate Planning, Reporting, and Analysis

Business intelligence software offers real-time information, which helps it provide accurate reporting solutions as it can connect with an extensive range of data. The software can plan and analyze informed business solutions, which reduce potential risks and allow a business to achieve faster growth.

3. Enhanced Speed of Decision-Making

Business intelligence software not only helps businesses make better decisions but also helps increase their decision-making speed as well. Without business intelligence software, an organization will be spending a lot of time implementing decisions, since they’ll need to cover business aspects one by one before making any decision. This is a time-consuming process, and with business intelligence software you cut down on the speed of decision-making.

4. Increased Business User Satisfaction

There is increased user satisfaction for the software because business intelligence offers better decision-making, reporting, and accurate analysis. It helps the business maximize its limited resources by using cost-effective solutions that allow business growth and enhance user satisfaction.

5. Customer Behavior Insights

Business intelligence software holds the key for identifying customer behavior patterns, as it determines customer responses and helps the business achieve market profitability by helping it retain customers and attract new clients.

6. Accurate Decision-Making

The best part about the business intelligence software is that it not only allows real-time decision-making but also enables accurate decisions to be made that will benefit the business. For instance, if your competitor decides to reduce the prices of their products, you’ll need to come up with a counter price for your product that is lower or similar. This decision will take some time to be implemented, as you’ll need to determine the impact of your profits after the price reduction. However, when you’re using business intelligence software, you get rapid and informed decisions that allow your business to stay on top of its game.

7. Increased Collaboration between Business & IT Units

Business intelligence software and systems have enabled growth collaborations between IT and business units. Any organization that aims to grow its operation must ensure that its business and IT units are working together, and this can be achieved easily with business intelligence software.

8. Offer Personalized Services

Business intelligence software is user-friendly and comes with a feature that personalizes information or data by making it easier to use and understand. The feature also ensures smoother collaboration between users in the organization and ensures a smoother transfer of data.

9. Track KPIs with Notifications and Alerts

The business intelligence software tracks the KPI by evaluating the current status and metric value against a target using specific measures that will send alerts to the user. These notifications allow users to come up with the right solutions or measures.

10. Identify Opportunities for Revenue

Revenue growth is essential to all organizations, and it is one of the main purposes of business intelligence software. Finding new revenue opportunities opens new doors for business and allows it to thrive and transform its operations. The software analyzes marketing strategies and campaigns to create important reports and insights on the best sources of high returns on investment.

11. Reduced Cost

Enterprises that struggle to sort out their financial statements are going to struggle in the long-run, and that is where business intelligence software plays such a major role. It helps find areas where the organization can cut down its costs, and the software helps to collect raw data on areas where there are high expenses and provides solutions to bring them down.

12. Better Operational Efficiency

Every business is striving to improve its operations, as it helps them take the next step in their development. However, to do that, businesses must monitor and measure their performance, and business intelligence software helps businesses come up with different activities that help drive business success. The software covers highly used metrics like productivity, performance, and employee satisfaction to ensure better operations in the organization.

13. Higher Quality Data

Data comes in all shapes and sizes, and some can be more complicated to understand and operate, which makes it difficult for organizations to take advantage of data-driven insights. There is a data visualization tool in business intelligence software, which allows for easier recognition of data. This feature is incredibly useful since it allows data to be converted into a better method or quality, which can be easily accessed.

14. Create a Data Culture in the Organization

A lot of organizations are guilty of data clustering, which leads to data manipulation and data loss. Business intelligence software is extremely useful when it comes to handling the data of a business since it allows easy collaboration and communications among members whenever data is updated. Users can also track data and its changes since notifications are sent to everyone.

15. Self-Service Culture

One of the biggest things about business intelligence software is that it promotes a culture of self-service in the business. Users can easily access data and easily manage it even if they aren’t familiar with the statistical analytics. Adding, creating, and manipulating data is easy, and this ensures cooperation between the different departments in the business.

Predictive Analytics Tools Can Create a Better Workforce

Understanding What Predictive Analytics Is

Predictive analytics (PA) is well known in many business arenas but has never entered Human Resources until recently. PA is a form of technology that learns from other existing data. This process results in predictive results. It is most frequently used to predict very specific individual behaviors in Human Resources.

Predictive analytics examines data or content to answer the question “What is likely to happen?’’ This is important in any business area but is critical to Human Resources who previously depended on intuition to determine future needs of both the company and employees.

With the support of predictive analytics, it’s no longer necessary to make decisions because of intuitive feelings, or ‘’gut’’ reactions to some issue or plan. Data is gathered, analyzed and presented quickly, without stumbling or bumbling on the data or statistics. Intuition or ‘’gut’’ feelings are often unsuccessful, while data mining information that predicts uncertain outcomes is much more reliable and trustworthy.

How Predictive Analytics Affects Recruiting

Applying predictive analytics in Recruiting and Staffing helps companies foresee and enhance several areas, including:

  • Potential top talent is easier to identify with predictive analytics. This makes a recruiter’s job much easier and accurate. Predictive analytics can easily identify the candidates with the most potential, better understand when these talents can be contacted and understand if and why a job opening may be attractive to candidates.
  • Predictive analytics helps companies optimize the responses to their job openings. The analysis can help companies understand how duration, location, occupation and industry will likely affect recruiting results.

Why Companies Utilize Predictive Analytics in HR

73% of companies surveyed said the primary reason they used analytical data was to make the workforce planning process more efficient. 69% believe the main reason to utilize predictive analytics is to more accurately plan for the future and also, create plans to eliminate skills gaps in their organizations. 65% of companies credit predictive analytics as identifying high potential employees.

Other companies indicated that predictive analytics provided better analysis of company needs to align people and company strategy; while others indicated that analysis provided the needed links between performance and compensation; the remaining companies surveyed stated that predictive analytics provided more in-depth knowledge of external talent pools.

Predictive Analytics Helps HR Look Forward

HR has historically been responsible for forecasting the right amount of talent and knowing when to hire additional talent. Unfortunately, before predictive analytics was utilized in HR, the forecasting was more backward-looking than forward. For example, one or more employees terminate, and HR suddenly decides there is talent disproportion.

Unfortunately, few companies have implemented predictive analytics for their HR groups. According to Deloitte, in 2015, only about 8% of global organizations have adopted PA for their Human Resources groups.

The few companies that utilize predictive analytics have had great success and freely share their efforts and results. For example:

  • Google: This company is a strong advocate of statistics and freely admits that it is the most critical tool in their Human Resources group. All interview questions in their hiring process are computerized and perfected to ensure that the best candidates are hired. Additionally, Google’s predictive analysis can estimate the likelihood of future terminations, why they are terminating, and what could have been done to circumvent the termination.
  • Hewlett Packard (HP): HP is also a leader in the HR predictive analytics arena. Recently, HP shared with news media that ‘’when their attrition rates started moving upwards, they utilized predictive analytics to predict which employees were likely to leave by developing a ‘Flight Risk’ score.” This analysis was able to define both the ‘who’ and ‘why’ of their 300,000+ employees who would potentially terminate. For example, higher pay, promotions and better performance ratings were negatively related to flight risk, but the analysis proved that there were strong relationships between these findings. For instance, they were able to analyze that a promotion without a substantial pay increase would likely result in a termination.

“HP’s Flight Risk scores helped managers make better decisions since the early warning signal from Flight Risk allowed time for managers to intervene or if the loss was unavoidable, it prepped the manager to react accordingly. The predictive analysis in Flight Risk allowed HP to save an estimated $300 million.”

The extensive time previously spent on creating charts, reports, quotients, etc., will soon be history because predictive analytics easily allows organizations to analyze the past and predict upcoming trends for both positive and negative analytics.

The end result of having predictive analytics in Human Resources is the ability to predict future needs that are accurate and verifiable. This becomes the organization value to business that Human Resources has long struggled to create. HR has for years attempted to get the infamous ‘’seat at the table’’ and predictive analytics will ensure this happens.

Ways Data Analytics Can Boost Your Business’ Growth

Big data is here to stay, and although that can present a few challenges to business (storing it, keeping it safe, etc.), for the most part, it is a boon, which if used correctly can easily boost business growth.

If you’re still skeptical about the use of data analytics, take a look at these very real ways it they can boost business. They’ll have you convinced in no time:

It Can Improve Ordering

If you collect and analyze past sales data, you can identify trends in your company’s sales so that you can order exactly the right amount of stock for your needs. This will help to ensure that you don’t run out of anything, thus helping to keep the customer happy, and it will ensure that you don’t end up ordering too much and spending money on something that will just go to waste.

It Makes for Better Product Management

Analyzing sales data is also a good way to find out which of the thousands of products that you could be selling are the most popular so that you can stock more of the things that are likely to sell in big numbers and fewer things that are unlikely to make you very much money at all.

It Can Improve Your Marketing Strategy

If you’ve ever spent a small fortune on advertising only for it to fail and not bring in as many customers as you would like, there is a good chance that you simply were not targeting the right people or you had the right audience in mind, but you weren’t targeting them effectively. If you were to do what the digital marketing agency MyOptimind do, or even hire them, and use data to improve your marketing efforts, you would be able to spend less money and get greater returns because you would know exactly what pushes your target audience’s buttons.

It Can Help You Train Your Staff

If you collect data on your staff and how they work, then you can use it to identify undesirable patterns in their work or areas in which they aren’t as productive as their peers. Why is this important? Because once you know what your employees’ strengths and weaknesses are you can tailor future training packages to target them, thus saving you money while improving your business from the inside out.

It Can Help You Cut Costs Everywhere

Of course, if you collect data, with Zoho, for example, on every aspect of your business from ordering to time spent fielding calls, you could work out where your time is being well spent and where it is being wasted, as well as identifying where you’re spending too much money and by analysing this data, you would be able to make changes to save money and boost productivity.

You Can Find Upselling Opportunities

If you can use data to identify when certain products are bought in conjunction with others, you can start offering cross-promotions that are likely to appeal and which could be pretty lucrative over the years.

You see, data really is important – time to start collecting it!

How Data Flow and Statistics Are Growing in Importance Across Public and Private Sectors

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The collection of data has never been more important in both the private and public sectors. With the likes of Amazon’s AWS cloud service now offering their Snowmobile data truck that will pull up to your server room, copy your exabytes of data on request, and then drive away to place it in the cloud (saving potentially years of upload time), the size of the data collection effort often relating to customers past and present is immense.

Big Data & It’s Implications

The era of big data is certainly upon us. Collecting the data isn’t the big problem now. For companies and public services like the healthcare sector, sifting through the data and organizing it into useful records that inform at the right time to make better decisions is the real challenge ahead of us. Big data and its data management are becoming a specialist area in its own right now because of the complexities involved.

In the health field, health informatics is a fairly new area that specializes in the collection and management of computer health files. There’s an online master in health informatics degree at the University of Cincinnati where students learn the fine art of data management, protecting systems from a security breach and what to do for disaster management. Their online MSHI program prepares health staff for the patient data challenges ahead from privacy concerns to merging technology and data record access together to let both doctors and nurses have access to patient records when and where they need it.

Web Analytics

The concept of data analytics for anyone who owned a website was something that often passed them by. Some webmasters in the early days didn’t know who was visiting their website, how long they stayed or what pages they viewed. They might have known how many people visited yesterday, but beyond that, the information was far too limited to be really useful.

With the advent of Google Analytics, a free web analytics SaaS from the search giant, the ability to see how many people were visiting, what they did, which pages were the most popular, the average on-page time and host of other pertinent information were available at your fingertips.

Using Data to Get an Edge Over the Competition

Data is becoming a specialist area now. How to collect it, store it and analyze it for potential advantages. Managers can pose the question whether the company has enough stored information to properly determine whether existing customers will approve of a new product launch, a redesign or simply a new flavor or color choice. Data experts can then determine the best way to go about confirming the information that’s being requested using all the available resources available to them with in-house data, along with public information sources like message boards, Facebook groups, Twitter feeds, and more.

It’s fair to say these days that it’s all in the data. For busy or cash-strapped public and private organizations, not having to guess saves money and time while speeding up implementation of ideas to turn them into reality.

Doing Big Business With Big Data? Avoid These Big Dangers

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Big Data is that important that businesses are doing more than using it to increase traffic. Today, savvy enterprises realise there is money to make, and they are trying to monetise the information they have. In fact, this blog has a post about why a business needs to start monetising data.

There is no doubt that companies can make a lot of money from information, as seen by Big Data’s rise in popularity. However, just because there is an opportunity for revenue doesn’t mean it is worth taking. Before you attempt to get into the Big Data world, you should understand the big pitfalls.

Here are the ones to watch out for regarding monetising info.

Ownership Rights

Don’t make the mistake of assuming the data is yours to sell in the first place. It is important to remember that the company might not have the rights depending on the chain of events. For example, you might not have asked customers to accept the terms and conditions when they landed on the site. Or, the info might have come from a third party which muddies the waters. Before any data goes on sale, you need to have the right of ownership. Otherwise, they could be a lawsuit in the firm’s near future.

Contracts And Privacy Policies

Understand that the contracts and policies which apply now might be void in the future. It is possible for a stipulation to exist which terminates the security protocols in place and leaves the firm vulnerable. At the very least, a disclosure will be necessary to cover all of the bases. As a rule, take a look at the policies which relate to data and double check the fine print. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Laws And Regulations

The government takes the transference of data seriously, particularly in the day and age of extremist terrorism. Therefore, they pass laws which prevent the sale or transmission of certain pieces of information. If you are in possession of such a file and don’t comply, the consequences will be severe. Depending on who the info goes to, it could be treason. The way to stay on the right side of the law is to research ITAR compliance and EAR compliance. These are the regulations that deal with data transference.

Probably the biggest issue with monetising data is confusion. Because there is a lot to handle, it is easy to mess up the collection and storage processes. Not only does this affect the money side of things, but it is also a security flaw. Big data monetisers, to avoid this problem, form different organisations to specialise in this area. Although it seems like a big move, it is a clever and hassle-free way to cash in on data. Keeping the two sides separate negates confusion and smoothes out the business side of things.

There are lots of opportunities with Big Data, but there are lots of dangers, too.