Business Intelligence for Smart Businesses

Businesses are always faced with various decisions that would either make or break their profitability. Some of them are no-brainers, while most of them need critical thinking and often require relevant data to come up with the most sensible decision among numerous options. But then data gathering can be overwhelming and, if not conducted correctly, will be a waste of time and resources.

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Oftentimes businesses are like lost individuals walking in the dark and have no idea which direction they are going to, because there is no one to guide them. This is very risky and would lead to accidents and even death (figuratively, of course) of a business. Thus businesses would need tools to better shed light on the path that they are treading, and these tools are collectively called Business Intelligence.

What is Business Intelligence?

According to an article at CIO.com, they have defined Business Intelligence as the following:

“Business intelligence, or BI, is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of software applications used to analyze an organization’s raw data. BI as a discipline is made up of several related activities, including data mining, online analytical processing, querying and reporting.”

Simply speaking, BI is a set of computer applications that convert data collected by the organization and then converts them into important, meaningful information that can be used for more effective business decision-making.

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                            The Business Intelligence Process

When used correctly, BI can cut up operational cost and increase profits of businesses. But most organizations don’t realize its importance until they have tried it. That is why a champion who fully understands the project must be identified so that he will be the one to lobby the project to the top executives and gain their blessing and approval. Once BI is rolled out and starts running, it would not be really perfect at first. Here are some tips to ensure that BI is effectively used:

Ibyang’s tips for intelligent BI:

  • Let employees adjust to the new system and let them fully understand the process
  • Share with them the best practices from other organizations that use BI
  • Set realistic expectations for employees
  • When data mining, big data is good, but relevant data is better
  • Clean the data gathered and sort them out before processing to prevent confusion
  • Customization of software is allowed, but always be careful!
  • Don’t forget to document everything in the project, for future reference
  • Give incentives and rewards to employees who are excellent in BI, and much better, commend their performance to the executives to be recognized.

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Sources:

Business Intelligence Definition and Solutions. Retrieved from www.cio.com/article/2439504/business-intelligence/business-intelligence-business-intelligence-definition-and-solutions.html

Implementation of BI: Useful guidelines for effective execution. Retrieved from http://www.computerweekly.com/tip/Implementation-of-BI-Useful-guidelines-for-effective-execution

Top Business Intelligence (BI) Tools. Retrieved from http://www.softwareadvice.com/bi/

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