The digital revolution has produced the largest information explosion known in human history. As modern-day technology is generating data with every digital interaction, utilizing the power of data is no longer just a competitive advantage for businesses but is essential for survival.
To leverage the wealth of data, companies are not only rushing to increase the size of their databases – they are learning how to use it to inform their decisions and enhance performance properly. To accomplish this, businesses across industries are employing business intelligence (BI) tools.
Business intelligence uses software technology that analyzes and transforms data into actionable insights and findings; these are usually presented in reports, dashboards, and other layouts. BI tools allow businesses to make decisions based on the large-scale and strategic use of data analysis.
To provide a full guide into the world of business intelligence, we have covered its evolution, the benefits, and ways of employing such tools for your business.
Databases – How To Store Data
When it comes to storing the data they collect, businesses will typically opt for one of the two primary databases – SQL (relational) and NoSQL (not relational) databases.
SQL databases are a good fit for structured data where your input requirements are defined, like in customer information or accounting. Due to this type of data’s structured and unchanging nature, BI tools for SQL databases will present your data in pre-designed rows and columns.
If, on the other hand, you are dealing with unstructured data where the data requirements are expected to evolve, you will need a scalable and high-performance NoSQL database. Nowadays, MongoDB business intelligence is the most popular NoSQL database among developers, so if you are using a NoSQL database you will likely choose this one.
Traditional VS Modern Business Intelligence
In the past, business intelligence was managed by IT teams. This meant that decision-makers had to ask IT specialists for data analysis or reporting, which posed a barrier to on-demand or real-time reporting. Traditional BI platforms could also only analyze structured data, which is no longer viable today for companies that handle large amounts of unstructured data.
As the software evolved, so did its accessibility. Modern business intelligence is an essential business function that is now accessed and used across organizations. Users can interact with the data in real-time and create reports with no delays.
Essentially, business intelligence now includes the necessary tools and technologies that allow user-first analysis. The process can be as simple as logging in and accessing reports or dashboards that digest the data into actionable insights. While data teams are still necessary for maintaining the data, a self-service BI allows data specialists to focus on more advanced analyses.
How Modern Business Intelligence Can Help Your Business
BI tools share a unifying purpose – to aid decision-making and analytical power. Businesses need BI to unlock the wealth of their data, which helps them improve the organization’s performance and remain competitive.
Modern business intelligence can help companies make faster decisions by showing real-time data. When decisions are time-sensitive, real-time reporting makes it easier to inform the decision with accessible, updated data. On the other hand, historical data is used to identify trends that might provide long-term performance and competitor benchmarks that companies can use to improve their success.
How To Successfully Implement A BI Tool
– Set Up A Proper Database
A BI tool can produce meaningful output only if it receives meaningful input. In other words, a functional and adequate database is a prerequisite for successful BI analysis. You should make sure your data is cleaned and centralized in a suitable database before choosing a BI tool to implement. Compare the data you have to the data capabilities of the tool to make sure it can effectively access and use your data.
– Choose A BI Tool That Meets The Company’s Needs
Before you choose a BI tool, ensure that its capabilities can act as a solution for your business’s needs. Think about what you need the tool to do for your business – perhaps profit increase, better consumer insights, or enhanced efficiency – and find the tool whose features can support this kind of analysis.
You should also think about the technical proficiency of the tool’s users. Depending on whether it will be used by the data or the business team, it will have a more technical or user-friendly interface.
– Encourage Active Usage
Implementing a BI tool does not end with choosing the right one – it will also require proper support and usage from the organizations’ employees. Although this will require an investment of time and resources, the benefits it will produce will be of transformational value to your company.
Business intelligence significantly improves a company’s approach to decision-making by using data analysis for complex business questions. Modern BI tools aid this process by providing self-service solutions that enable stakeholders to access and analyze both real-time and historical data for themselves.
Although every business has unique conditions and needs, implementing a BI-focused approach will most definitely streamline your decision-making process and help you reach your goals.