In times of digital transformation and the high market share dispute of all segments, Business Intelligence for business has become a vital strategy. The concept of this business intelligence, or BI, is nothing more than the union between technology and information. 

From a set of systems, processes, and tools, BI collects, organizes, stores evaluates and shares a large volume of data. Its main function is to make sense of all this and provide a more solid foundation in order to guide decision-making and prepare the company for future challenges in a much more proactive way.

In the corporate environment, it is used to assist the management and administration of the business through the information provided, among other benefits. We’ve put together in a single guide everything you need to know about Business Intelligence. Shall we get started? Good reading!

Understand what Business Intelligence is and  learn how to apply it in business

As this article proposes to be a complete query guide for you, let’s start with meaning. Business Intelligence  (BI) is an English expression that can be called Business Intelligence or Even Market Intelligence (in Portuguese). Its principles include:

  • processing and data collection;
  • datawarehouse;
  • organization and generation of insights through dashboards andvisualreports, with graphs;
  • support for decision-making based on qualified and analyzed data;
  • development of actions according to BI and strategic planning;
  • monitoring of results.

BI is possible thanks to the union between technology and information. In a very simple way, the concept can be explained as the application of intelligence to the collection and interpretation of the data collected with the help of software. When they reach managers, the extracted information is not random, since they have been transformed into valuable insums to improve decision making and keep up with market demands.

Application in business

As a support to the management area, Business Intelligence for companies provides a systemic view of the business, transforming a large volume of data into insights. It’s no accident that Gartner consulting’s prediction is that the BI market will move $22.8 billion now by 2020. According to the Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study report, the feature is implemented by companies for the most diverse objectives:

  • make more accurate and data-based decisions;
  • improve the efficiency of operations at all organizational levels;
  • boost ing competitive advantage in the market;
  • value the relationship with the client, investing in loyalty;
  • increase revenue with more sales;
  • improve risk management and compliance  (within the standards).

With the growth of social media, BI had to keep pace and innovate to follow as a strategic tool. Some custom software allows you to monitor the history of relationships on digital platforms. In this way, we were able to develop more effective actions to promote products, services or attract customers.

Learn about the key benefits of BI in the corporate environment

Innovation is much more than a differential, it is the way to gain a competitive advantage. To make it viable, many companies have adopted Business Intelligence as a tool to anticipate trends, track the market, among other benefits that data analysis brings. So let’s check out the main advantages? Keep reading!

Trend anticipation

When we work with a large volume of data analysis, we have access to the most diverse insights. One of the greatest assets of having BI is the possibility of anticipating trends since the tool tracks the behavior of the market. By the way, that’s the next benefit we’re going to bring to our list.

Market analysis and opportunities

With the help of software and Business Intelligence, data tracking is done in real-time. In this way, it is much easier to analyze the market and all its movements. By keeping an eye on what’s happening around you, you find opportunities and can bring innovative solutions, as well as position yourself ahead of competitors.  

Metrics enhancement

BI facilitates the analysis process by consolidating all information. By having everything organized in hand, performance indicators and metrics have greater accuracy to understand consumer behavior. In addition to facilitating strategic decisions, they tend to bring more satisfactory returns when well used.

Impact on customer experience

By understanding the desire for consumption, you can increasingly enhance the customer experience and make it positive. In fact, let’s agree that focusing on experience has been the best differential for companies that have realized the value of good service. Delighting the customer is the best way to conquer, attract and retain.

Support in management planning

Today it is almost unfeasible to think about management without the aid of software. After all, technological resources were created to help us. The role of  Business Intelligence for businesses is to optimize our time by gathering the information we need to grow the business according to market expectations.

Decision-making support

We’re talking a lot about this topic here, aren’t we? Strategic actions are vitally important in keeping companies sustainable. That is, competitive in the market and interesting in the eyes of customers. The moment you have the right information at the right time about what happens around you, data-driven decision-making benefits.

Risk management and fewer errors

A consolidated and organized information bank, even in a large volume, helps predict risks and prepare the company to deal with them. The collection also reduces the chances of errors and unforeseen events. Keep in mind that one of the biggest advantages of Business Intelligence is structuring random data at first glance and turning it into insights.

Reduced costs and increased revenue

When the company is able to foresee challenges and prepare for them, there is no room for unnecessary spending. It is easier to make everything go as planned, following the corporate strategic plan. This can mean two things: cost reduction and increased revenue. Data-driven analytics helps you reach both paths.

Improved productivity levels

By involving strategic planning, BI can influence internal processes. Since the intention is to seek continuous improvements, productivity increases, as well as business efficiency. With data, the time to perform a particular task can be reduced, as can decisions.

Check out Business Intelligence trends for  businesses in the coming years

The use of BI in the enterprise environment is higher than ever, as we have shown by Gartner’s forecast investment in the area. As well as data analysis, other technology trends promise to move the market as support tools for Business Intelligence. Let’s see what they are? Follow!

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

If you follow news about technological advances, you’ve certainly come across Artificial Intelligence (AI). What was a trend, is already part of our daily life and gained strength with the growth of the application market.

Most famous apps like route ones (Google Maps and Waze, for example) use the feature to point us in the way to the destination we want. A simple web search uses AI when it comes to grouping the results of our searches.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Another technology that is also a reality and is closer than we imagine is the Internet of Things (IoT). Through it, objects of our daily life become intelligent when connected to systems and end up optimizing a series of tasks.

One of the best-known applications comes from the area of agriculture, which uses sensors to monitor the development of crops. Smart homes also have some solutions, such as turning off the light or closing blinds with voice control.

Self-Service (Self-Checkout)

One trend that shows its first signs of growth is self-service or self-checkout. Have you noticed an area reserved in supermarkets for purchases without people in the cashiers? You put the products in the bag and pay for them.

Some clothing stores gradually begin to adopt self-checkout in tasters to eliminate queues at cashiers and optimize customer time. Much more practical, isn’t it? These are the applications that are already realities, among others that are to come.

Automation and intelligent robots (Chatbots)

When we talk about technology and BI, one of the first words that come to our head is automation. After all, more and more processes are optimized through software and intelligent robots(chatbots), as well as the revenue generated.  

According to a Capgemini study, the union of automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence is expected to increase companies’ revenues by up to $512 billion by 2020. The demand is mainly driven by the lack of professionals with analytical skills.

Natural Language Processing (PLN)

The use of artificial intelligence also opens new avenues for Natural Language Processing (NLP). Do you know how this works? The computer or mobile device is able to recognize human speech (voice command) and process it to interact.

This is the case of virtual assistants like Siri,   iPhone,or  Amazon’s Alexa.  Both are voice-activated to give us the information we’re looking for. Gradually, text searches begin to give more space for voice-command searches.

Compare the differences between Business Intelligence,  Big Data, and  Data Analytics

After talking about meaning, benefits, and trends, let’s look at two concepts that can be connected to Business Intelligence:  Big Data and  Data Analytics. Like BI, both are applied in data-driven management, that is, data-driven.

Because they have similar names and functions, the three are often confused. In order to better understand what each one does, their differences, and how they can be connected to each other, we will analyze concept by concept.

Big Data

In a   nutshell, Big Data is nothing more, nothing less than a database. It is formed by a massive volume of structured data (organized in spreadsheets or otherwise cataloged), semi-structured and unstructured (raw materials), generated daily by companies. We can even say that it is a large-scale version of Data Mining.  

Just so you have a better idea, a BSA study indicates that 2.5 quintillion bytes are generated every day. The role of BD is to extract all this information, from various types and sources, in order to offer the business more ability to make decisions.

The theme has already been portrayed in classic films such as Star Wars. Remember the C-3PO and R2-D2? Another feature film that explores the benefit of predictive analytics to anticipate events is the Minority Report of 2002.

Application with BI

As we speak, big data’s main function is to collect and store data from a variety of sources—websites, blogs, social media, audios, videos, CRM tools, records, financial reports, and more.

This database is then used to power data analysis systems such as Business Intelligence. The process of “sifting” or “mining” begins here, with BI, which transforms all the information collected into pivot tables, interactive dashboards or performance analysis reports.

In a way, Big Data brings together, com collects, and classifies a large volume of data, while BI turns content into accurate and valuable insights for business growth. From this union, the strategies to gain a competitive advantage in the market come out.

Data Analytics

The concept of Data Analytics is very close to Data Science. We can even say that the only difference between them is the focus. While the first searches for a specific set of data, the second act with more generic information. The goal of the DA is to find patterns within a data volume. 

More clearly, the data analyst already knows the “problem” and seeks the “causes” to solve it. For example, let’s assume that production in an area has dropped. Through Data Analytics, the manager can find the reason and work on the solution.

Application with BI

Although the DA has the same goals as Business Intelligence, its methodologies are different. Both have the as main function to contribute to decision making from the analysis and measurement of the data. 

With Data Analytics, you can access a wider range of resources for predictive statistics. Although it is more specific than Data Science, it has a broader use thanBI. This means that it goes beyond business and can also be applied to academic research, for example. BI, in turn, is used only in the corporate environment in order to support managers in strategic planning.

In summary, both follow the idea that a data collection is an indispensable tool for business growth. And through deeper analysis, they can reveal what happens, how it happens, and when it happens. That is, they can be applied in a complementary way.

Easily implement BI in your business with these tips

This guide wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t have a separate topic, dedicated to suggestions for you to implement Business Intelligence for business right now. So follow our tips to put the concept into practice and start optimizing decision-making from data collection.

After all, when we talk about changing processes, seeking improvements, and generating results, there is a step before you get your hands dirty. Every change requires planning and adaptation time. So, let’s get to the tips for a smooth and unforeseen transition? Follow!

Assess the need for software

The first step in implementing BI in the enterprise is to detect software needs. What’s that supposed to mean? That before investing, it is necessary to evaluate the best time to invest in technology. If the projection is growth if you want to optimize tasks or need to improve team productivity, move on.

These are just a few of the reasons that justify investing in software for data analysis. There are many others, which vary according to the needs of each business. So, take a mapping and evaluate the right time to hire.

Choose a good BI tool

You did an analysis of all areas of the company and realized that investing in software is the best option to achieve your goals. Wise decision! The next step is to choose a good Business Intelligence tool.

The recommendation is not to base the choice only on price. It should be aligned with what you expect to achieve through data analysis. Let’s assume that the purpose is to raise the productivity levels of a particular area of the company. Search for options in the market, compare the features, and see which one is the most compatible.

Organize all collected data

With the software set, it’s time to start getting your hands dirty for real from data management. Make sure that the tool can be integrated with other platforms you’ve already used for even more optimized results. 

To organize information, view metrics, and define performance indicators, it’s important to store everything in one place that’s easy to access to the teams you need. For example, data such as point control and payroll is available only to the Recruitment and Selection (HR) team.

Understand how KPIs work

After organizing the data, it is essential to study performance indicators (KPIs). In this way, you will be able to choose the best ones to make more accurate decisions according to your strategic planning.

Basically, KPIs are the metrics that will indicate whether the business is on track or not. Applied together to Business Intelligence solutions, they show that data can lead the company to achieve its goals. Depending on the results, adjustments can be made along the way to improve performance according to corporate goals. 

Engage the entire team in the data-driven culture

Organizational culture is a crucial point for any company. In fact, it is the basis for any change, since it involves all levels of the organization. Therefore, it is important to involve leaders and collaborators in this data-driven culture.

The mindset should be focused on the data drive since BI will only be effective if it has the collaboration of everyone. Data collection, as well as the search for results, is a collective work. That is, the chances of success increase when everyone walks in the same direction and works towards common goals.

Search for a solution that meets your needs

Changes, even for the better, require planning, care, and adaptation time. Because of this, our recommendation is that you hire a custom software company to assist at this time of BI deployment.

Did you know that with the professional support you find customized solutions for the needs of your business? It is a security to be able to rely on the strategy, in view of its objectives, the correct application without surprises or unforeseen, and a structure to guide your steps. With the right choice, the business becomes sustainable and even more profitable.

Finally, it is through an analysis rich in detail and, mainly, full of information that decision-making gains more efficiency. Business Intelligence systems for businesses come to fulfill this strategic role that often only needs one organization, simplified interfaces, interactive charts, and detailed reports to find relevant insights.  The best investment of all this is in knowledge, which will underpin all decisions and, no more, just intuition.

What did you think of the guide? If you liked the material we prepared for you, share it on social networks and start adopting BI in your corporate day-to-day life.