Business intelligence automation has become a standard practice in the business intelligence industry, eliminating unnecessary manual data entry and reporting. Automating the business intelligence process means faster, more accurate information and a wider range of information and analysis available. In this article, we discuss the benefits of business intelligence automation. 

In their young stages, most businesses’ data consists of spreadsheets and disparate dashboards for whatever tools of choice—such as QuickBooks or Salesforce—that the business is using. Cumulative reports are usually done manually, pulling together information from these different sources to attempt to make assumptions when possible.

While this process may work fine in the early stages of a company to answer immediate pressing questions, there comes a point where the data becomes more complex—and so do the insights needed to drive business value. This is where business intelligence automation comes in.

What is Business Intelligence Automation?

Business intelligence automation is the process of pulling data from multiple sources, organizing it, and combining it into reports automatically. Rather than this process being manual—an individual or individuals pulling and combining data—it is typically done by a business intelligence platform.

Business intelligence automation often takes significant work on the front end, connecting different data sources, managing how the input data is organized, then establishing the appropriate reporting dashboards. However, once the initial setup is complete (which can be completed by a business intelligence consultant), the resulting information is fast, thorough, and accurate.

4 Benefits of Business Intelligence Automation

There are many benefits of automating the business intelligence process, including:

  1.   Improving data quality

  2.   Accelerating reporting

  3.   Simplifying complex data

  4.   Providing more accessible reporting

1. Improving Data Quality

One of the first and most important purposes of automating business intelligence is improving data quality. Automation helps to reduce the number of manual processes included in the business intelligence process. It eliminates double entry, cleans and helps to repair data to improve the quality of data going into reports, and produces reports without requiring an individual to find and input data—or formulas—to provide in-depth analysis.

The result is better, more complete data going into the business intelligence process, and more robust, accurate reports going out.

2. Accelerating Reporting

Even the fastest data scientists know that the bulk of data analysis includes the collection and organization of data, leaving comparably less time to analyze and create actionable business insights based on the data collected. However, automating the business intelligence process means that the collection and reporting processes are often instantaneous. This means more robust and complete reports—faster.

The benefit of having faster reports is that it allows business owners to respond to challenges or opportunities more quickly. It also opens up the ability to set automated actions or insights based on certain data indicators or thresholds. This means a business owner can be immediately notified when profitability decreases past a certain percentage, for instance, instead of having to observe less cash on hand, determine which questions to ask and to whom, and manually pull the report to verify diminished margins.

3. Simplifying Complex Data

One of the large benefits to automating the business intelligence process is simplifying complex business data. Where manual business intelligence would require pulling, organizing, and analyzing several different sources of data, automation helps the business intelligence software to do this for you.

As businesses grow, their data becomes more complex and spread out over multiple systems and business silos. In a manual process, it is difficult to pull information from all these different sources and manipulate and organize it in a way that allows the data to combine accurately and seamlessly into a single report. Automation, however, does this quickly and easily.

The result is deeper, more powerful business insights—faster.

4. Providing More Accessible Reporting

Finally, automation also helps reporting to be more complete and accessible to those individuals in the company who will use it. Legacy reporting typically meant that reports were only available on the mainframe or by manually sending a report to different decision-makers within the company. However, the use of an automated business intelligence solution means that the reports are available in a virtualized environment that can be accessed by team members at any time of day and from any approved device.

This means that business analysis and action don’t have to wait for a report to be pulled. The information needed can be found and utilized faster and from almost anywhere.

Final Thoughts

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