How Do You Define Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence (BI) solutions are a rapidly evolving space that shows strong growth each year with no signs of slowing down. It has become a buzzword within many industries today. It encompasses various processes, tools, and methodologies that allow companies to capture and analyze data and better answer key questions efficiently.

Like many other terms that deal with evolving technology, the business intelligence definition has come to mean different things. When the idea of BI solutions is discussed, however, it usually refers to the ability to analyze data, the capability to use data to inform decisions, and the opportunity to use data to drive action for our business. Let’s take a look at what business intelligence is and how it is benefiting businesses today.

What is business intelligence?

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Companies employ business intelligence systems to improve decision-making by bringing together tools to gather, store, access, and analyze big data collected by businesses. These tools’ core focus has long been traditional features for querying, reporting, and analytics; however, BI has evolved in recent years. Today, business intelligence has emerged as comprehensive, company-wide platforms with newer trends, such as self-service BI.

These business solutions offer various tools and systems involved in the strategic planning that aid companies in analysis. BI tools consolidate numerous data sources into a single view that permits users to execute queries without heavy involvement from the IT team. Most recently, they have evolved into an industry-wide platform from the narrowly focused query and reporting tools. The single source produced by these tools offers both current, historical, and predictive views of operations.

Also referred to as decision-support software, business intelligence applications can analyze sales patterns and trends, pricing data, and customer behavior. All of this information can be used by a host of departments to assist in the business decision-making process. The increased utilization of data warehouses, e-commerce tools, and other enterprise software has created an overwhelming need for companies to view and interact with the information stored within these systems.

The need for business intelligence.

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The need for business intelligence systems emerged from the idea that inaccurate or incomplete information was leaving managers and other business leaders with limited resources. Authors of financial models recognized that these older processes without better data analytics were a “garbage in, garbage out” system. Business intelligence solutions aim to solve these problems by providing accurate and concise data analysis. This information is then presented on a dashboard featuring data visualizations designed to support better decisions.

Business intelligence has become a necessity in most industries today. One of BI tools’ major benefits is providing insights to users across firms in every department to drive improvements and efficiency. These tools can improve any organization’s operational aspects, ranging from manufacturing processes to payroll and HR management. BI is centered on finding improvements at the organizational level, highlighting how they can be made better, and demonstrating possible solutions based on historical data.

An ideal environment to utilize the full force of business intelligence solutions is during times of trouble. No business is ever without some time of turmoil or difficulty. However, having accurate and timely business intelligence tools provides analytics teams with the ability to navigate growing uncertainty, maintain momentum, and inform real-time data decision-making to the right ship.

The forecast tools alone could prove invaluable investment by providing the power to predict trends and trace fast-moving supply and demand changes. Business intelligence can harness the power of existing data streams and analytics to predict trends accurately, identify opportunities, and provide insights to inform smarter decisions about a company’s future.

The pace of business in the digital world is rapidly accelerating. Being knowledgeable about business operations is more important than ever to ensure success. Business intelligence is all about keeping everyone in an organization informed and well prepared to make needed decisions. BI tools provide dashboard information and compelling data visualizations to guide current business decisions and help leaders successfully steer companies into the future.

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