What does BI software do?
Business intelligence software (also known as BI software) is a collection of tools that enable retrieval, analysis and transformation of unstructured data into essential business insights. Business intelligence software can take many forms, including reporting tools, visualisation platforms, data warehousing and data visualisation, but they all work to help businesses identify strengths and weaknesses within their processes.
Business intelligence software enables employees to retrieve data, before analysing and transforming it into business insights.
Is it right for you?
BI software could be good for you if you…
- Want to gain data-driven insights into your business
- Are looking to optimise your business operations
- Are looking to increase your business’ profitability
- Need to track performance of individual processes
- Want to compare data with competitors
- Need to create in-depth, specific reports for stakeholders or management
- Want to make data-driven decisions for your business
- Need to understand business trends
BI software might not be right for you if you…
- Don’t work with large amounts of data
- Aren’t required to create reports
- Only use one or two processes that don’t require analysis
- Identifies ways to increase profit
- Over time, previously profitable processes can become inefficient and redundant. Through data analysis tools provided by business intelligence software, you can identify the processes that are no longer effective. This process can also highlight areas of potential growth, spurning development in previously undeveloped areas that lead to greater profit over time.
- Ensures each process is optimised
- Within your business, there are multiple processes working away at once. By using business intelligence software, you can analyse data from each process to ensure that each one is working in the most efficient, optimal way. Through optimisation, you’ll increase the productivity of your processes.
- Analyses customer behaviour
- Knowing your customer’s behaviour is key for the continued growth and development of your business. By closely analysing customer journeys and interactions, you can pinpoint weaknesses in your processes where a customer may, for example, exit your website without making a purchase. Understanding why this behaviour happens will help you optimise that touchpoint and reduce drop off.
- Makes reporting quicker and easier
- Each process in your business’ operations generates huge amounts of raw, unstructured data. In order to create a report, that data needs to be structured and analysed effectively, a process which is made far easier by business intelligence software. By reducing the amount of time colleagues spend structuring the data, they will be able to dedicate more time to optimising processes, leading to greater profitability.
- Tracks performance against goals
- By inputting your business goals and targets into business intelligence software, you can easily monitor whether you are on track to meet those goals in specific parts of the business. By tracking performance, you can monitor if further resources need to be dedicated to an underperforming part of the business, thereby increasing productivity overall.
- Looks at market trends
- If your business has been successful carrying out a certain operation for some time, you may become comfortable within that space and fail to notice changing market trends. In a hyper-competitive market, reacting late can heavily impact profitability. Business intelligence software can be used to identify trends within the market, allowing you to react and develop along with the changes and therefore boost profitability.
The percentage of companies who reported faster reporting, analysing or planning after adopting business intelligence software, according to the Business Application Research Centre