Business Intelligence is the practice of using data to predict future outcomes. Though many companies with a goal of becoming data-driven have transitioned to using these kinds of tools in recent years, many organizations remain stuck in the stone age, still without a viable way to gain valuable insights from the growing volumes of data they generate and collect. In a recent column for Business.com, Larry Alton outlined how moving from legacy tools like Excel to leveraging Business Intelligence solutions would provide many companies with success in 2016. In this article, I’ll summarize the top six reasons why Alton believes you need a Business Intelligence tool.
1. Gain a visual overview of company health
Business Intelligence tools provide stakeholders with a comprehensive visual of what’s going on within their organization via the analysis of collected data. Individual reports and files once had their place long ago, but standard office software like Excel simply cannot handle the high-frequency volumes of data modern digital businesses amass. In the past, managers would spend too much time drawing conclusions from these types of legacy tools, whereas in today’s enterprise, Business Intelligence solutions automate those processes. Business Intelligence tools provide a consolidated and widespread view of a company’s health and wellness, all in one place, which is contrary to the way legacy solutions portray business vital data.
2. Leverage real-time insights for analytics
Most of today’s best Business Intelligence tools allow anyone within an organization to access real-time data, analytics, and insights. This makes the decision-making process within a company much more democratic, which can lead to deeper realizations. Managers can still choose who can access what information, but empowering employees to dig even deeper into complex volumes of data allows everyone to get more involved and provide their own opinions.
3. Save money
According to a study by Nucleus Research, organizations earn $13.01 for every dollar they invest on Business Intelligence and analytical solutions, up from $10.66 per dollar in 2011. There are certainly upfront costs associated with getting started, but there’s no question that the potential ROI is a game changer.
4. Save time
By improving operational efficiency and eliminating tasks that don’t move the needle, businesses can greatly decrease the time they spend searching for data to plug into analytics tools. According to a report from the Aberdeen Group, 93 percent of required information is available in real-time and on-demand in “best-in-class” companies with Business Intelligence solutions in place. Those same companies achieve a 95 percent on-time customer response rate.
5. Minimize redundancy
Business Intelligence tools automate analytical tasks that have traditionally been performed on a manual basis, freeing up employees to work on other mission-critical responsibilities that directly impact an organization’s bottom line.
6. Level the playing field
Companies that currently lack Business Intelligence tools are playing from behind, however, implementation of analytics tools can help them level the playing field. Business Intelligence tools are helping to transform businesses from reactive entities to proactive ones, allowing them to extract value from numbers and trends quickly, as opposed to having to sift through countless sources inside legacy solutions.
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