Thursday, November 5, 2015

Business Intelligence

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics is becoming increasingly important for enterprises of all sizes and sectors. It enables organisations to make sense of the vast amounts of data collected and increases informed decision-making using visual representations such as charts, gauges, grids and even maps, from within an interactive dashboard, as well as improving reporting.

Business Intelligence (BI) gives you the ability to solve critical problems much faster and more accurately than before.  But when talking about BI, what benefits should you be looking to receive?

Here are top four expectations you must have from your BI efforts

1. High Visibility over Your Organisation

BI should give you real-time access to meaningful management information from across the entire organisation.

It should be easy to see exactly what is happening at a high level and also to drill down to see what is happening in detail. With a birds-eye view you can be sure that you keep everything on track.

2. Better & Faster Decision-making

With better visibility comes improved and informed decision-making at operational, strategic and even project levels if required.

With instant access to your data and visibility over trends, making decisions should be easier and safer.

3. Increased Efficiency

You should see a considerable saving in time and the reduction of effort through the replacement of manual and labour intensive data collection and reporting processes.

Not only does this mean that you can eliminate duplication and increase the accuracy of the data collected, more importantly, your staff can be redeployed to work on more critical tasks.

4. More Empowered Executives

As executives demand more flexibility and control over what elements of the business
they want to investigate, self-service Business Intelligence has risen in importance as a good tool will enable them to analyse data without reliance on IT.


Turning your Data into Insights can be challenging.  As a starting point, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does our data support our decision making?
  • Does all the time our staff spend on data gathering for reporting purposes actually pay off?
  • Is the information currently reported relevant and accurate?
  • Do I have access to all the data I need to answer my business questions?

If the answer is ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know’, then you should first look for an approach that will enable you to say yes.

But even if you are collecting the right data getting the insight you need can still be difficult due to the high volumes of data and the skills it takes to interpret it.

Let’s take a look from another angle. Have you or any of your colleagues used one or more of these common statements:

I can’t make sense of this data

It’s too hard and takes too long to create a report from this data

As these demonstrate, the challenge lies in transforming the data into insights, in a timely way.