17 Benefits of Business Intelligence
According to BARC research, only 36% of business leaders use KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) extensively across their organisation.
Most business leaders have key business metrics in place to clarify targets and measure success.
However, they often have no standardised way of measuring them and struggle to keep up with advances in data analytics.
Most are dealing with multiple data sources to support KPI monitoring and decision-making, but very few businesses have one source of truth for their raw data.
Step forward, Business Intelligence (BI).
Wouldn't it be great to have complete confidence in your data?
With Business Intelligence, you can leverage existing data.
So, let's take a look at the benefits of business intelligence:
- #1 Increased revenue
- #2 Reduced costs
- #3 Competitive advantage
- #4 Speed of decision making
- #5 Operational efficiency
- #6 Data-driven business decisions
- #7 Data quality
- #8 Boosts productivity
- #9 Employee satisfaction
- #10 Identify market trends
- #11 Increased margins
- #12 Market leadership
- #13 Customer behaviour insights
- #14 Identify new opportunities
- #15 Foster a data culture
- #16 Increase collaboration
- #17 Customer experience
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
#1 Increased revenue
Starting off with an obvious one.
Increasing revenue is one of the biggest benefits of business intelligence.
It is likely the most important goal for any business.
BI software enables you to establish KPIs that align with the business strategy.
This provides visibility into your business performance and ROI.
When you’re using BI effectively, you are far more likely to see your profit margins increase.
Providing an improved business performance.
#2 Reduced costs
BI software is a critical tool to find ways to cut costs down.
It can collate financial data from all areas of the business and note the ones with the highest outgoings.
Find creative ways to reduce spend to help with your profit margins too.
#3 Competitive advantage
Track the sales and marketing performance of your competitors, creating ways to differentiate your products and services.
Handling a large amount of quality data effectively will also give you a competitive edge.
Utilising BI tools, you can budget, plan and forecast far more effectively than your competition.
#4 Speed of decision making
As a business, you make key decisions all the time.
Making decisions is heavily reliant on the data you had at the time.
If the data is not accurate or slow to be seen, it can have a detrimental impact on decision making.
By using BI, you can leverage data to ensure key stakeholders instant access to the information they need, at the right time.
Ultimately, improving time-to-decision.
#5 Operational efficiency
48% of businesses say creating a centrally-managed BI team is coming in the near future (360Suite 2021).
Measuring and monitoring performance is important for all businesses.
BI tools cover key metrics such as:
- Employee satisfaction
- Employee performance
- Employee productivity
This will inevitably encourage better operational behaviour.
#6 Data-driven business decisions
Accurate data + faster BI reporting = Better business decisions
Provide your sales teams with real-time aggregated sales data and forecasts from business analytics prior to customer meetings.
They will now be far more confident going into that meeting knowing that the data is up-to-date.
#7 Data quality
Business that collect, update, and create quality business data will make informed business decisions.
With business intelligence systems, you can combine different data sources to create the “big picture”.
According to Accenture,
49% of employees said business analytics were more or much more important than ever.
#8 Boosts productivity
Business intelligence tools can be critical to ensure competitiveness and productivity.
With BI solutions, you can encourage more intelligent responses to trends in material usage, production, supplier information, staff, and more.
#9 Employee satisfaction
Companies lose an average of more than five working days (43 hours) per employee each year when accounting for data-induced procrastination and sick leave due to stress resulting from information, data and technology issues (Accenture 2020).
Business intelligence tools are designed to be scalable, providing data solutions to:
- Departments who need it
- Employees who crave data
It should provide a seamless and intuitive user experience for non-technical users to look at internal data.
#10 Identify market trends
50% of teams and customers are more likely to use Business Intelligence tools after the pandemic compared to before (Sisense 2020).
Businesses can develop a competitive advantage by identifying new market trends and establishing a strategy based on data generated, providing valuable business insights.
You can leverage external market data with existing data to detect new sales trends by:
- Analysing customer data
- Analysing market conditions
- Raising existing and potential business issues
#11 Increased margins
You can use BI tools to analyse inefficiencies and help expand margins for your business.
Use BI to find bottlenecks in your sales team processes, identifying sales weaknesses.
Once found, you can develop better strategies to be more cost effective.
Alternatively, you could distribute budgets into the more efficient business processes.
BI helps you find these issues, so you can react quickly.
#12 Market leadership
Business analytics and accurate reporting speeds up processes and unlocks insights you can turn into actions.
With these insights, companies identify buying patterns, understand internal and external markets, adopt new technologies before everyone else 😉
Making you a market leader.
#13 Customer behaviour insights
Business intelligence tools are key to identifying behaviour patterns from your customers.
BI is great for marketing.
To deliver greater customer satisfaction, you can optimise your marketing campaigns based on previous customer purchases and responses.
#14 Identify new opportunities
Through analysing strategies, competitive analysis, and marketing campaigns with BI software, you can create significant insights and reports to identify sources of high ROI and gain that competitive edge.
Revenue growth is vital to any business.
#15 Foster a data culture
Utilise BI tools to manage the data for your business.
Data loss and manipulation is very common for businesses.
It’s important to keep data centralised and under control.
With a business intelligence solution, you can ensure that the right people have access to the right data.
#16 Increase collaboration
86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures (Salesforce).
It’s important for different departments to work together seamlessly.
With BI, departments can share insights and collaborate to encourage growth within the business.
#17 Customer experience
Most businesses obtain customer feedback in real time.
This information can help businesses retain customers and reach new ones.
It's also a great way to receive constructive criticism to help the company to grow.
BI tools could help your business to identify trends from your customers, which help customer experience employees anticipate and deliver better customer satisfaction.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence (BI) is a technology-driven process for analysing data that provides actionable information for business owners to make informed decisions. It’s an umbrella term that includes business analytics, data mining, data visualisation, data tools, infrastructure, best practices, and more.
BI tools bring together multiple data sources, enabling businesses to gain deeper insights and actionable intelligence.
How does Business Intelligence work?
Business intelligence is used as a foundation for strategic decision-making.
It aims to eliminate as much of the guesswork from the decision-making process as possible.
To put it simply, as a business, you will have:
- Goals you want to achieve
- Questions you want to answer to achieve your goals
To get the answers you want, you will need to:
- Gather the necessary data
- Analyse the data
- Decide on the best course of action
So what’s the process for Business Intelligence?
Well, let’s take a look at the following 5 step process:
- Data sources are integrated into your cloud
- Data sets are organised and prepared for analysis
- Your business users run analytical queries against the data
- Results are displayed into data visualisations, business intelligence dashboards or reports
- Your business can plan and make decisions based on the data
Ultimately, it should be interactive and approachable.
Example data sources used to build business intelligence can include:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems
- Supply chain information
- Sales performance dashboards
- Marketing analytics
- Call centre data
According to TrustRadius,
Microsoft Power BI is the leading business intelligence software in 2021, commanding 36% of the market share.
What are the types of business intelligence tools?
The list of business intelligence technologies that are available to organisations includes the following:
- Operational Intelligence (OI)
- SaaS BI
- Open Source BI (OSBI)
- Embedded BI
- Collaborative BI
- Location Intelligence (LI)
- Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)
Operational Intelligence (OI)
Operational Intelligence (OI) is an approach to data analysis that allows decisions and actions in business operations to be based on real-time data, as it's generated or collected.
Real-time analytics often involves streaming data and supports decision analytics uses.
You should generally target it towards customer facing employees, such as:
- Sales reps
- Digital marketers
- Logistics planners
- Call centre agents
Software as a Service Business Intelligence (SaaS BI) is a cloud-based software deployment solution hosted by a third-party, where it can be accessed by the end user via a web browser.
SaaS BI can be a good choice when there’s little budget available.
However, the overall SaaS BI costs will depend on the amount of usage the tools get.
There are issues that you should be aware of with this option, which includes:
- Limited functionality
- Data protection
Open Source BI (OSBI)
Open Source Business Intelligence (OSBI) is free Business Intelligence software.
Open source BI vendors usually charge for support, documentation and code, instead of selling traditional software licenses.
Some Open Source BI tools include:
Embedded BI is the integration of reports, dashboards, and data visualisations inside commonly used business applications.
It includes some of the following capabilities:
- Interactive dashboards
- Clear reports
- Native integration with local apps
- Big data connectivity
- Multi-tenant BI
Collaborative BI is the merging of traditional business intelligence software with collaboration tools to support improved data-driven decision making.
You can use it to display dashboards, visual analysis tools or reports to departmental decision-makers.
This approach focuses on creating greater alignment between departments across the business, fostering communication.
Collaborative BI can be used by marketing and sales teams for content marketing during each phase of the customer journey.
Engagement throughout the customer journey requires tight alignment between marketing, sales, and other key stakeholders.
Each department can use key data from the other to make a decision about when and how to approach a particular customer with the right content.
Creating an ideal environment for digital marketing.
Location Intelligence (LI)
Location Intelligence (LI) is the process of gaining meaningful insight from geospatial data relationships to solve a particular problem.
By adding layers of geographic data to a dashboard, businesses can use intelligence tools to:
- Identify where an event has taken place
- Understand why it happened
- Gain insight into causation
Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)
Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) is an approach that organises large business databases and supports complex analysis.
OLAP extracts data from multiple relational data sets and reorganises it into a multidimensional format that enables very fast efficient processes and insightful analysis.
Other types include ad-hoc analysis and mobile BI (for mobile devices).
We really hope you enjoyed our 17 Benefits of Business Intelligence.
Now we’d like to hear from you:
Do you have any further questions about this topic?
Perhaps you’re considering how to implement BI for your business?
Either way, let us know your thoughts.
Back to the blog.
From our blogView articles
What is ISO 45001?
Cloud Technology Solutions
Sign up to our newsletter
The latest insights, articles, and resources direct to your inbox.