BI What is it? And what value does it bring to my company?
Eliminating inefficiencies and quickly adapting to change is a constant challenge in the business world.
- November 27 2023
- Claudio Recoba
Eliminating inefficiencies and quickly adapting to change is a constant challenge in the business world. In the past, decisions were made by members of management where with "intuition" based on experience, a number of changes were defined that affected an entire organization.
In the modern world where data is one of the most important assets, basing decision-making on it is almost a must rather than an option.
»Make data-driven decisions
Business intelligence (BI) appears as a set of strategies to transform data into information, and information into knowledge in order to help companies make data-based decisions. It emerged in the 1960s as a system for sharing information between organizations and in the 1980s it further developed along with computer models.
Implementing business intelligence is of great importance at a strategic level for an organization, since it implies having a comprehensive view of all its data and accessing it in such a way that it allows answering questions of vital importance to the business, for example:
- Visibility at all times of the financial health of my organization.
- Where I have more and less income, the same with expenses.
- Profitability of products and/or services.
- Ranking of the best and worst customers by profile.
- Ranking of best and worst products or services by categories.
- Productivity and performance of the different business areas and their collaborators.
- Analyze the behavior of my clients and evaluate new markets.
Having answers to these and other questions allows action to be taken, either reactive in the face of a particular situation or preventive in the event of evaluating a trend. All of this translates into money savings by making the best decisions in each particular case and with tangible evidence.
From the IT perspective, Business Intelligence systems and components are optimized for "ask and disclose" in contrast to traditional systems that are focused on information entry and storage.
We can summarize the great benefits of implementing business intelligence as follows:
- Detect problems or issues.
- Streamline operations and processes.
- Reduce manual labor times.
- Increase income and reduce costs.
»How can I apply business intelligence in my organization?
It is common for organizations to use Microsoft Excel as the main data analysis tool, bringing complications that result in higher costs. For example, the difficulty of accessing the source data, its management and transformation, and the delay times in generating the reports.
The first step is to find a match on one or more of these points:
- Decision making without data base, with partial or out-of-date information.
- My organization has data that can be transformed into useful information.
- Information exists in different business areas, but it is not consolidated.
- I have the information, but it is inefficiently parsed.
- Much time is wasted on any of these activities:
- to get the information
- to consolidate the information.
- to transform the information.
- to generate reports.
The second step is to find a supplier, consultant or group of experts who know:
- Clearly identify the organization's needs.
- Support in the definition of the key points that the business expects to resolve by implementing business intelligence.
- Design the best strategy to implement business intelligence so that it adapts to the organization.
- Choose the tool or set of tools to be used to achieve the goals.
- Take into account all those involved, employees and different business areas.
- Clearly convey the advantages and limitations of the strategy and tools chosen.
- Communicate the work method between the parties.
- Creating the plan a realistic and detailed job.
The third and final step is to understand the following realities when adopting a BI solution:
- Synergy and close working between the organization and the supplier are essential for success.
- It takes time and effort to get adjusted to the platform. It is something that you have to plan and work on throughout the entire business intelligence project.
- Reality is constantly changing, this affects design decisions, modifying or adding sources of information, or the way information is displayed.
- All the parties involved are going to have needs to be taken into account, therefore having the ability to prioritize and re-prioritize the activities and the direction the project is taking at all times.
- Once implemented, it becomes an "asset" that needs attention and investment of time so that it improves and evolves along with the business needs.
- It is a great investment for any organization that has the intention of growing and making better decisions.
At Systems X we have several years of experience in these processes supporting the corporate sector, do not hesitate to share your challenges with us, we are here to help!