Business intelligence has become a hot topic in business circles, and it’s no wonder why. This deep level of instant, actionable insight can have a huge impact on a company’s efficiency, profitability, and success.

As we discussed in our article “What is Business Intelligence & Why Does it Matter?,” business intelligence goes beyond business analytics. Business intelligence takes data from all parts of the business–past and present–as well as industry standards and competitors. Then it uses data mining, machine learning, descriptive analytics, and statistical analytics to morph this information into read-at-a-glance, actionable information.

What is Business Intelligence Used For?

The main purpose of business intelligence is to use this information to drive more confident, data-backed business decisions. Business intelligence works with present and historical data to analyze current efficiencies and needs, as well as helping to more confidently develop a plan for moving the business toward its short- and long-term goals–faster.

1. Improved Visibility

One of the first and most important things business intelligence is used for is improving business visibility. Business intelligence provides at-a-glance reports, instant queries, and more to give stakeholders and employees the information they need quickly and efficiently. A great business intelligence system will provide visibility into all aspects of a business, helping to provide data to inform important decisions.

2. Optimize Business Efficiency

Another major perk of business intelligence is that it helps identify ways to improve your company’s efficiency. Business intelligence helps you to draw important conclusions about your company’s performance, including improvements that can be made to products, services, teams, manufacturing processes, client relationships, and more.

Insights provided through business intelligence can help inform real, actionable change to improve the performance and profitability of your business.

3. Track Performance

As the saying goes, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Being able to track performance is critical in business. It helps ensure you are on the right track for your business goals, helps to quickly identify and resolve challenges, and mitigates extraneous costs related to materials, labor, etc.

Business intelligence not only provides business data to track performance, but also identifies patterns/trends and deviations. This makes the process of identifying when things are going wrong–or going right!–faster and more effective, helping to better identify your business’s next steps. The result is less wasted time (and expenses) chasing ideas that aren’t working, and more time optimizing the parts of your business that work best.

4. Pinpoint Business Trends

Another way business intelligence helps businesses is to identify and understand trends. Business intelligence can take data from multiple aspects of your processes to better identify patterns for success. This includes understanding trends such as:

  • Which discounts yield the greatest profits?

  • What pattern of customer interactions creates the highest level of satisfaction or sales?

  • Are there buyer/seasonal/weather-related trends related to sales that can make staffing/manufacturing/inventory more effective?

  • Etc.

Identifying these trends helps to eliminate guesswork and increase predictability in your business success.

5. Benchmark Data Against Competitor & Industry Trends

In addition to comparing data against future and projected performance, business intelligence systems can also benchmark your company’s performance against competitor and industry trends, if they’re available. This can help inform strategic decisions such as pricing, manufacturing costs, vendor relationships, marketing efforts, and more.

6. More Strategically Plan for Success

Finally, business intelligence can help a company more strategically plan for success. With advanced insights, the business also gains visibility into trends and projections based on available business data. This can help to more effectively make and achieve short- and long-term goals.

Final Thoughts

There are many benefits to using business intelligence for your company. If you’d like to learn more about how a more effective business intelligence platform can benefit you, schedule a free consultation today with a Data Meaning Expert.