There are still many out there puzzled with the term, so let’s fix that with short, yet ‘to-the-point’ definition. “Business intelligence (BI) is a set of methodologies, processes and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information for business purposes.” (Inc.com)
In the last blog we wrote about how business professionals think their data should be actionable and that it is a shame too many businesses collect and analyze their data routinely, simply as a part of the business-as-usual mentality. But obviously those who say that are already ahead, since more than 50% of business professionals say their company should be more analytics-driven in the first place.
How would they not if we are heading toward the time of Internet of Everything, what means business analytics will reach all of the current potential users. Namely, the variety of data, channels and business issues that are open to analysis is also continuing to grow, resulting in continual fragmentation on the market. (Gartner Inc. | Technology Research) New realms folks, new era of how to gain competitive advantage.
There are lots of ways and purposes business analytics is used by companies and individuals, yet one that is gaining ground is reporting analytics with the user friendly experience and capable visualization functionalities. That is because the BI expansion process is two-way, what means there are more and more needs for analytic tools but with it the more and more data sources and data itself.
Analytics requires new investments in technological advancements if intelligence is meant for achieving competitive advantage
Why? It is simple and straightforward. Practitioners proved that using business intelligence and leading a coherent data management policy enable businesses to make decisions faster than competitors and thus securing a serious competitive advantage.
But to return to reporting analytics – the ability to put data into context and therefore see important details is essential. Reports must be actionable, meaning directing the decision-making procedure to the conclusion relevant for the improvement of your business and thus ensure competitive advantage. The fact that 47% of business professionals report dealing with slow or untimely access to information which impedes their ability to make decisions is critical. But critical only for those same business professionals, since the inquiry shows that they believe these same problems can be solved with better business intelligence.
What holds them back? Change might well be the only constant, but it takes time, especially with the bigger systems.
It’s the time of self-service business intelligence (Qlik Sense, Tableau, etc.), but as we wrote, there still is room for smaller vendors, since the market is big and niche opportunity rather frequent. Especially because the middle office (finance, accounting, HR) is the sector where practitioners believe business intelligence is needed the most. And this is the sector businesses of all size and type want neatly sorted, especially in terms of ensuring competitive advantage in the conditions of market saturation.
“Business intelligence and analytics should be the enabling technologies that bring information and insights to the front line officers so they are empowered to make the decisions that will sustain your competitive advantage.” (CIO australia – IT strategy insight for senior iT management) That is what business intelligence is about. Do not forget this.