Business Intelligence (BI) is a bit of a mythical beast. Everyone has some idea of what it is, but it’s difficult to quantify or explain. One thing that most people do agree on is that the results from a carefully applied business intelligence model are clear to see. Business intelligence is a tool that allows the thorough analysis of data to create insights. It is these insights that can then be utilized to inform the key decisions for your business. Making the right decisions at the right time is vital to ensure efficiency savings and identify potential opportunities to expand.
Business intelligence is still very much in its embryonic stage with the sound identification of data but the most advanced forms of analysis still to be discovered. The data analysis that we have at our fingertips at present allows companies to analyze the personality makeup of potential customers. Restaurant chains can now analyze data and determine the best summer salad to put on their menus to maximize sales through the application of a business intelligence tool. No longer does a business manager have to go on gut instinct when making a decision. The data is there. You just have to analyze it.
Through more accurate financial forecasting, mitigation plans can be initiated at an early stage if profits are projected to be lower than expected for the next quarter. This allows companies to analyze the whys and the hows of the fall in profits and, using the same data, work out a strategy to safeguard against this happening in the future.
The analysis of data is most appropriately represented through a reporting system. In the days before BI, companies were lumbered with Access or Excel to demonstrate their findings. However, the emergence of more sophisticated BI models has led to the birth of more advanced ways of reporting. If you take a look at ‘26 Ways Ad Hoc Reporting Creates Value in 7 Industries’ you will be able to explore how the ever changing functionality of reporting benefits businesses across a variety of sectors. Real-time data leads to greater accuracy in reporting, leading to more insightful decision making and more effective efficiency savings.
The business intelligence models of the next decade will see more revolutionary ways of representing data. 3D pie charts and line graphs will be a graphic of the past to be replaced by more insightful models that we can’t even fathom at this moment in time. If this sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, that is because it sort of is. Business leaders will be able to see live data visually represented on their screens that is fully interactive so that it can be altered and enhanced instantly. What representation this future data will take and who will create the business intelligence models of the future is anyone’s guess.
Knowledge is power. And power is profits. It will be those companies that invest in the most effective business intelligence models of the future that will be the most successful.
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