The last full year has been one of change and disruption impacting just about everything from consumer behaviour and preferences to markets and economies. While enterprises are doing everything they can to keep a pulse on the market, it has become extremely important for them to align their operations based on data, technology, and market trends.
Today, there's a wealth of data enterprises can tap into that can give them clarity right into the granular details about their respective markets. What they need is business intelligence to transform data into insights that can help them strengthen efficiencies and uncover new opportunities.
As digital transformation, cloud adoption, IoT devices, sensors, cameras, etc. become the norm there has been a rapid increase in unstructured data. This in turn has fueled a huge demand for dashboards that facilitate data visualization to help enterprises make smart business decisions.
Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Business Intelligence or BI to make sense of their unstructured data and study metrics that can help them chart a future course of action. The rationale is to get actionable insights that can lead to increased revenue and high-quality customer support.
For the forecast period 2021-2026, the global business intelligence market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% to touch USD 27.87 Billion by 2026 from USD 18.72 Billion in 2019. A Berlin-based business intelligence tool- a collaborative data platform called y42 - has raised $2.9 million with its excellent capabilities. Looks like Business Intelligence is just the kind of game-changer enterprises have been looking for.
While several enterprises are already leveraging the benefits of business intelligence systems, there are others that are still warming up to them. Data-driven decision-making is just what we need today and if you are still unsure why it matters, we will tell you how it can open up a world of possibilities for you.
Understanding the Impact of Business Intelligence
If customer data is like a gold mine, Business Intelligence shows new ways to dig into its vast riches. For starters, let's say you have a small organization. But you are still going to have loads of unstructured data being generated every single day in the form of emails, agreements, contracts, research, etc. No matter what, the glut of excess information that you will grapple with will almost always come from unstructured data unless of course, you embrace BI. Nucleus Research claims investment in BI can yield 1.5 times the ROI for enterprises.
When used well, Business Intelligence can help resolve business inadequacies, increase competence, and improve operational efficiencies. But if you are wondering about the exact areas that are impacted by Business Intelligence we've put together everything you need to know right here.
On the business front, BI can help:
- Align resources to business objectives - That's correct; because Business Intelligence helps identify inconsistencies in the way people, processes, and business functions are aligned with core objectives. Enterprises can take cognizance early on and amend practices as required.
- Provide actionable insights - When business problems become critical, it becomes imperative for decision-makers to look for solutions based on information obtained from large volumes of data. BI helps save invaluable time by extracting critical facts at the speed of thought.
- Analyze consumer behavior - If you look closely, you will realize there are patterns and trends to observe in consumer behavior. The right analysis can help you spot them and determine which customers are more important, which ones you want to retain and those you want to let go of.
A sneak peek at the future of Business Intelligence
Modern enterprises are now eagerly adopting Business Intelligence to further their business objectives and ongoing initiatives. In the coming years, it is expected to get more collaborative, proactive, and intuitive. Here’s how we can expect it to evolve in the future as it continues to hold a coveted place across business functions.
- Collaboration - Teams will be more in sync marking a shift from siloed and independent operations to a more connected and collaborative style of working.
- Integration - The marrying of third-party systems to BI will simplify data processing and lead to better insights. Users can shut down idle servers, update records, and streamline workflows without even opening the BI program.
- Machine Learning and AI - In tandem with these, BI will analyze historic data for forecasting and insights. With intuitive BI software at the helm, its predictive capabilities will help respond to questions more specifically based on factors mentioned in the query. BI expels the 'what ifs' from situations by analyzing past trends and patterns giving greater clarity to users.
- Data-driven culture - Modern enterprises need much more than mere graphs and charts wanting more vivid data visualization. As we embrace the concept of data proactivity, the BI systems will provide more intuitive solutions and conclusive data. This will help enterprises empower employees with the right resources to integrate BI into day-to-day operations to make informed business decisions.
Business Intelligence Implementation
Data-rich BI is now a necessity and businesses will implement it sooner than later. It's easier to implement a Business Intelligence solution within your enterprise when your business objectives are clearly defined, roles and responsibilities are properly assigned, and data is duly collected and analyzed. The BI solution you choose should typically offer reports and interactive dashboards, data analysis, data visualization, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Make sure you understand how data is collected and evaluated for each business area and how the BI solution handles it. It is also important that expectations are correctly set because expecting miracles overnight from BI implementation is not fair at all. You need to set your priorities with respect to clients, consumers, markets, sales, etc., and then start working towards streamlining these areas with the right BI initiatives. You may want to consider executing a proof of concept (POC) on your data to validate criteria while choosing a solution for your enterprise.
There is a growing inclination to rely on cloud-based platforms for BI, analytics, and data management deployments that offer:
- Data security
- Ease of integration
- Reduced implementation downtime
- Predictive and proactive insights in decision making
Data integrity is a crucial aspect to consider and hence calls for continuous data validation. Many find it easier to roll out BI applications gradually to specific departments first and then moving on to other departments and business areas to ensure smooth implementation. After all, BI is neither a one-size-fits-all solution nor a one-time project. It will require an iterative deployment strategy for fruitful business outcomes.
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