By Maria MacAraig on Aug 20, 2019 8:46:00 AM
Business intelligence (BI) is an integral part of any business strategy. In fact, without BI, you are unlikely to develop a solid business strategy at all.
In the world of today, analytics play the most important role in a successful business strategy for companies of all sizes. When it comes to business, information is the most valued currency, without which success is unachievable.
How can you use business intelligence to develop the best business strategy for your company? Let’s look at a short guide that can help you get started.
What is business intelligence?
Before you take full advantage of BI, let’s learn several definitions. BI is a technology that deals with data, computing, and analytics for business operations. It contains processes and methods of data gathering, storing, and analyzing in order to achieve optimal business performance. Collected and analyzed information allows business owners to get a better view of the company to make well thought out decisions.
In other words, BI covers numerous tools, apps, and methodologies that help the company collect data from various sources (internal and external), process it for analysis, run queries against it, and come up with reports to help executives make decisions.
Some examples of BI are:
- Data collection
- Performance metrics
- Statistical analysis
How to develop a business intelligence strategy
Developing a business strategy is impossible without setting up a proper BI strategy first. Let’s start with the three most important components without which a BI strategy is impossible to implement.
1. Building a road map
BI is mostly about data and analytics. So you have to have both these components to create a high-quality strategy. Your goal is to understand, arrange and optimize the following:
- Analytics requirements. What analytics do you need to keep track of in order to achieve results? What are the things you need to analyze and the data you need for a strong business strategy? Where do you get the data from? Determine your needs and go from there.
- Industry Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Find out what KPIs in your industry are and understand which benchmarks you need to reach with the strategy you are building. Proper research of competition’s strategy can help you make the right decisions.
- Company needs. Are there specific metrics that you need to keep track of to figure out how well your company is doing?
- Business progress. In order to understand what progress you are making, you need to keep track of your business over the years. This can help you figure out which points need most of your attention.
2. Build a BI Team
BI takes a lot of work to produce high-quality results and improve your overall business strategy. You need to make sure your team can arrange BI components and organize tasks in order to factor in the new requirements. You don’t need to create a special department to deal with BI, but you should find people to fill the following roles.
- Head of Business Intelligence – the person responsible for executing BI strategies, generating insights, and improving your overall business performance.
- BI developer(s) – these people are responsible for extracting and collecting the necessary data for analytics.
- Data analyst – this person deals with database systems, creating new database apps and supporting the existing ones. The analyst also uses all the available analytical tools and ML (machine learning) to get insights from big data.
You need to make sure you have several employees committed to BI strategy and knowing their roles. If you don’t have people specifically responsible for the strategy, you may not get proper results and divert your other employees’ attention to the tasks they can’t deal with.
3. Identify data sources
It’s important to identify and organize data sources to achieve top-notch analytics results. You can divide these sources into these subdivisions:
- Core – information received by your company through mobile apps and online sources.
- Peripheral – information received from purchased software and products (CRM, analytics tools).
- External - information gathered from analysis.
Once you have a full understanding of where your data comes from, you can start analyzing it with BI software and building a successful business strategy.
How to use BI for your business strategy
Business intelligence software can help you improve your business strategy by:
Providing quick and efficient business information
Sometimes business decisions need to be made quickly. According to BI experts from Tricension, to ensure you have sufficient information to make the right decision, you should have access to data gathered and analyzed by the BI software.
Finding performance indicators aligned with company strategies
When employees are dealing with tasks, which aren’t aligned with the company’s strategy, they waste time and money. BI helps you establish metrics with performance indicators aligned with strategy. This way, you can focus on improving performance where it counts.
Giving employees better access to data
In order to make better decisions, employees should have access to relevant and real-time data. Such access improves professional and personal growth for employees, thus reflecting on the company’s profits in a positive manner.
Saving time on manual reporting
Any manual data entering could lead to unfortunate typing errors. BI systems can eliminate the need for frequent manual data entry and decrease time spent on calculations. By saving time on reports, a company can reroute employees’ efforts elsewhere.
BI tools allow you to monitor the performance of your teams, helping you identify weak spots and optimize the process. Thus, your operations could become more efficient, improving the company’s overall productivity.
BI is an integral part of any business performance, including drafting improved strategies. By taking advantage of available BI tools, business owners don’t just optimize their workflow but give their companies an opportunity to grow faster than the majority of competitors.