If you are doing business research then there’s a great chance that you have encountered the term business intelligence. This is a trendy term that’s often abbreviated as BI. But, do you really know what business intelligence is? According to many experts, business intelligence (BI) is historical, present and/or real-time information that can help different business persons including owners and managers analyze business activities in order to predict future movements within the company. To put it simply, business intelligence represents a big chunk of data that has to be categorized and analyzed before use. If everything goes well and you use BI in the best way, the manager will make a well-informed decision.
In most cases, the process of categorization and analysis of data and info is conducted by software. This makes sense because the latest software solutions can guarantee great precision and speed when it comes to gathering data and data analysis.
Why is business intelligence important?
Business intelligence is no longer a theoretical term. Experts have gathered data from companies that utilize this concept to run business operations and they have managed to identify a wide array of advantages of using business intelligence. In other words, there’s more than one reason why business intelligence is important.
For starters, it can help you get faster and more accurate reporting, planning and/or analysis. Next, with a good BI tool, you will be able to make better business decisions based on facts not on instincts or emotions. With the proper use of BI, people can also expect better employee satisfaction and data quality. Customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, competitive advantage – these are some other areas that can be improved too. Finally, companies that use business intelligence in their operations can also increase revenues, cut costs and save headcount.
Different types of Business Intelligence tools and how they are helping modern businesses
There are almost ten different types of BI tools used today including dashboards, business performance management, data mining, and process mining. In many cases, they come as different parts of a single BI suite. Now let’s analyze some of the most popular types of business intelligence tools.
Dashboards – we are talking about real-time, simple to use interface solutions which give users insight into the current situation of important business processes in the form of graphs or charts. According to many surveys, dashboards are some of the most used tools of this kind today. They have proven to be helpful in the decision-making process. They can also display a wide range of user-defined crucial performance indicators. The good news is that dashboards can be customized in a way which allows users to get access to data that really means something to them. Remember that you can use dashboards in mobile BI solutions too.
Business performance management – BPM (Business performance management) is a term that describes a type of management and analytical processes created to support the enhancement of business processes within a company with the predetermined goals of the company in mind. With the help of these business intelligence tools, companies can manage large chunks of data. Managers can also expect to identify profitable interventions created to enhance the work of certain business processes. The tools that are available for business performance management today rely on cost queries, metric-related queries, and other specific queries.
Online analytical processing – OLAP (Online analytical processing) tools are created to aid users to analyze data in an interactive way. This data can be gathered from different sources and analyzed in different ways. Online analytical processing is actually an efficient business intelligence technique which consists of a wide range of elements present in rational reporting and data mining. This is a multi-level process which includes different activities. First of all, this BI technique and tool will collect data in order to allow the program to analyze from different perspectives. Next, there is navigation through great amounts of data. At this level, the BI tool will try to separate relevant from irrelevant data. Doing this manually will take a lot of time and effort and there’s always room for human errors. In the end, online analytical processing lets users take specific data from the system in order to analyze that data closely.
Process mining – finally, we have process mining. This is actually a process management method that lets decision-makers learn more about the business processes based on current and past event logs. Of course, these logs are created in an automatic way with the help of the business event system. The main goal of process mining is to support the enhancement of business performance in general by delivering methods and tools created to find organizational, social, process and control elements with the help of the aforementioned event logs. This is a very popular option in situations where standard methods can’t deliver proper insight into these business processes.