What is business intelligence used for?

#Business intelligence

Although many companies list business intelligence systems as enablers or disruptors that may threaten their business model, many also recognized it as something that could be of benefit if used wisely. With this article we show you real-life examples of what businesses use BI for, and how many of them have successfully benefited from implementing business intelligence systems.

Definition of Business Intelligence

Business intelligence is a combination of processes that helps corporations make informed decisions based on the data their services or products generate. BI encompasses a variety of tools, applications, and methodologies that enable organizations to collect data from internal systems and external sources, prepare it for analysis, develop and run queries against the data, and create reports, dashboards and data visualizations to make the analytical results available to corporate decision makers, as well as operational workers.

Back in time, Google, Amazon, and Netflix were the first ones who took advantage of the enormous amount of data we create day by day. After the success of these relatively young companies, many established firms started to invest heavily in business intelligence and create their own analytics departments. However, today BI is not solely the privilege of the biggest internet companies. With the declining cost of computer equipment and the growing number of firms that offer BI tools makes it possible for more and more companies to take advantage of business intelligence.

What is business intelligence used for

What is business intelligence used for?

Generally, the potential benefits of business intelligence programs include accelerating and improving decision making, optimizing internal business processes, increasing operational efficiency, driving new revenues, and gaining competitive advantages over business rivals. BI systems can also help companies identify market trends and spot business problems that need to be addressed.

One example of how business intelligence systems have been maximized is at women’s underwear manufacturer Maidenform. CIO Bob Russo said recently after implementing BI, “Providing targeted information at the right place and time is central to improving the decision-making process. This would allow us to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, as well as increase retail customer, shopper, and shareholder value. We want to make sure that we are able to deliver ‘one version of the truth’ and deliver information that is actionable. We do not want to just deliver data.”

In a completely different industry, ANZ was proudly speaking about how it profited from business intelligence systems. “The analysts are no longer spending all their time building better reports. They are actually doing business analysis that is improving processes and making a real difference.” Proof of the powers that self-service BI can bring to a company.

Just Eat CIO Carlos Morgado also talked about how he implemented a cloud strategy for the online food takeaway business. “We wanted to use off-the-shelf tool sets and not to waste time building what you can buy.” He went further and stated, “I would recommend cloud to everyone. I wish I had been a bit more aggressive and moved to the cloud earlier.”

Plantronics and Connotate are another two companies that have used business intelligence systems to their benefit – more specifically dashboards. InformationWeek suggests Plantronics used dashboards to give a better and graphical view of its offer, and help managers by suggesting better allocations of sales resources. Keith Cooper, the CEO on Connotate, says that the dashboards inside business intelligence systems allowed the company to focus on more profitable business, saving time and money while also boosting customer satisfaction rates.

You can find more examples of how businesses have benefited from business intelligence systems here, or just check 7 Business Intelligence Blogs You Should Follow.

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by Péter Szántó
on Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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