How using the right business intelligence platform helps with better decision making
Business intelligence platforms
Businesses can succeed or fail for any number of reasons. But for the most part, the difference between scraping by and achieving your goals comes down to one thing — making good business decisions.
That seems like it should go without saying, but too many businesses rely on outdated means of gathering insights into their business. They will spend hours trying to spot trends in a massive spreadsheet of the last quarter’s data while forward-thinking companies can make their decisions based on the up-to-the-minute analysis.
Business intelligence and decision-making are at the forefront of the technological revolution that is happening right now in businesses all over the world. So what tools do you need to improve your strategic decision-making?
Understanding Business Intelligence
The first thing you need to understand is just what business intelligence (BI) is. BI is not your savviness or strength at the negotiating table.
Business intelligence information. It is the data collected across your core business processes. BI gives you a current picture of your business landscape that you can then use to make decisions. That data can include customer trends and demographics, team productivity, production capacity, and more.
Not all data is created equally
With the sheer amount of data that has become available to businesses in the 21st century, manual business intelligence gathering methods simply don’t cut it. You need quality BI software that can sift through all the structured, unstructured, and dark data you collect to give an accurate, up-to-the-minute snapshot of the ins and outs of your business.
There are so many factors to consider when making a business decision, and trying to make a move with incomplete information is a recipe for disaster.
Features of strong Business Intelligence
When looking at business intelligence and decision making, you need to be sure that your BI software provides you with good information for analysis. You want to see key performance indicators from across your business to make the best decisions.
When looking at your tools for decision making, ask yourself if they give you actionable insights in the following areas:
- Market Trends: Does your BI include information about what your customers are buying and when? Can you look backward to see where new trends developed and use that information to predict what will come next?
- Operational Efficiency: Good BI isn’t just outward-facing. It can give you information on how your decisions affect your organization’s short and long-term goals. It also gives you insight for your individual departments.
- ROI on Process Innovations: Have you begun to automate some of the more repetitive functions that can tie up hours of your team’s time? BI software can quickly run calculations on those processes to see how much time you are saving and give you insight into what other processes could be further automated.
- Inventory Management: Are you keeping enough inventory on-hand to meet demand? Are you keeping too much? How much does storage and logistics cost you, and how can you ensure you are getting the most out of those costs? Your BI should be able to answer these questions.
In addition to providing information about all of these areas, it is important that your BI software works quickly and simply. BI is best when it is up-to-the-minute. If it takes you 45 minutes to run a report, you need an upgrade.
Utilizing Business Intelligence
Reaping the benefits of good decision-making doesn’t only come from having the best, most current BI. You have to be able to interpret it.
To get the most out of your BI, it is essential to understand the process of making a business decision. Whether the decision you are making is strategic, operational, or tactical, these steps show the best decision-making practices.
- Identify a need or requirement
- Gather relevant information
- Evaluate options, including factors that influence those options and potential outcomes
- Take action
- Track results to better inform future decisions
Looking at those steps, you can see several places where quality BI plays an important part. BI is central to gathering information and tracking outcomes from your decisions, but that’s not all.
BI software and decision making
BI software as part of a decision-making platform can help your team identify and prioritize business needs and requirements. With artificial intelligence, your BI software may even spot opportunities among the dark data you’ve collected over time that you might never have noticed in a thousand years.
BI is also integral to the process of identifying the factors that influence the options for a decision. Internal factors like production capabilities and inventory management and external factors like market trends can all be tracked with BI software.
And by extrapolating BI into the future, you can base your business decisions on the most complete information possible.
Data Analytics Simulation
Predicting what will happen in the future based on BI is a key to seeing the best decision-making benefits. But, as detailed above, there is a lot of data that goes into the image of a business’s place in the world that BI software provides.
It’s easy for BI software to compile reports that show trends across your business over the course of years or even decades. Running that information through a data analytics simulation can then show you predictive models based on your records’ past results.
This functionality is a godsend for companies looking to make strong decisions. You can see predictive analysis based on marketing choices, production quotas, team size by department, or any combination of factors represented in your BI.
Business Intelligence and Decision Making
The more complete a picture your Business Intelligence can provide, the better you can use it to predict outcomes of decisions.
Of course, you also need a team that understands how to base their decisions on the information they get from your decision-making platform. Even with data analytics simulations and state-of-the-art software, in the end, people make the decisions, and every decision comes with risk.
People make the difference
You have worked hard to put together the best team possible. You need to give your team the best business intelligence tools possible. You get the most significant benefits of good decision-making when you have the best people using the best information for strategic decision-making.
The intersection of business intelligence and decision-making is the crux of success and struggle. With the right software aiding your team, you can stay on the road to success and avoid the pitfalls of uninformed decisions.
If you need help navigating the complex world of business intelligence, you can count on Strickland Solutions to partner with you. With our assistance, expertise, and tools - every decision is the right decision. Reach out today!