Data in itself has little value for organizations. You need to know how to convert data into useful information that helps you to make the best decisions. With a thorough Business Intelligence approach, every organization can be assured of taking actions based on complete and accurate information.
The value of BI
In short, Business Intelligence means having insight into the performance of the organization. Thanks to automation and digitization, many companies have an enormous amount of data at their disposal. Financial data, sales figures, customer data, etc. All this data together forms a huge source of information, which tells a lot about the performance of the organization. With the right BI approach, you can turn this information into specific actions to make the organization more successful. If you don’t do this, you will be overtaken by events and miss out on opportunities. Business Intelligence therefore helps you to understand what is going on in your organization and, above all, what you need to do to be more successful.
Make better decisions with BI
A decent BI approach allows you to make the right decisions. To illustrate this, I give you an example of analyzing sales figures with versus without a BI tool:
The administrative department collects the sales figures at the end of the month of May and produces a report with the figures per branch, per product group and per account manager. Management looks at the figures and they are pleased to see the numbers have improved compared to April.
Management looks at a one-off, real-time dashboard with the sales figures. The month of May seems to have been a good month. When comparing the figures with previous years, it shows that sales always peaks in May and this year is a bit disappointing. It is also striking that one large sales deal represents more than 20% of the turnover. By zooming in on the results per account manager over the past 12 months, it is noticeable that one of the junior account managers has made a tremendous progress.
Just an example of how a powerful BI tool gives much more insight into the performance of the organization, so that you can take the right actions. For example, investigate why sales in May often peaks, how to become less dependent on one or a couple of large sales deals and give a promotion to the junior account manager.
What is a good BI approach?
But then what is a good BI approach? The most important thing is knowing which data is relevant to manage your company. Which KPIs do you use to steer the processes and departments? If you can clearly define that, you just need to find a user-friendly and powerful BI tool and an experienced, specialized party to deliver, setup and maintain the BI strategy of your organization. Choose a party that knows your industry and understands the challenges and issues you face. BI is not about software or technology, it is about business.
Bjorn Schouten is Business Intelligence Consultant at Dysel and helps customers to turn data into valuable management information.