Your Guide to Software Selection

How Business Intelligence Helps You Leave the Competition Behind

Coming up with strategies to surpass competitors is vital to the success of your company. One of the most popular ways to innovate these days is with Business Intelligence, or BI. BI is the assortment of systems, software and processes used to collect, analyze and make decisions on data from a business.

It’s not a novel concept. In fact, any legitimate business should be managing data, even if that means doing it manually. However, the way the data is collected and used can make the difference between simply operating and thriving. An Accenture study found that 79 percent of respondents felt that companies that don’t make the most of their data will die out.

Advances in Data Collection

Technology has made it easier to record and scrutinize data, increasing the amount of information that can be collected. This has made gaining insight into business operations and customer awareness simple, straightforward and absolutely vital. You don’t have to be a large organization to implement and utilize an effective BI strategy. Even small businesses can benefit from executing BI in their enterprises.

Using Business Intelligence Wisely

However, just having BI doesn’t set you apart from the competition. It’s what you do with the collected data that really can set you miles above the rest. Although only about 29 percent of companies use data to forecast growth or enhance operations, those that use it effectively can outperform those who don’t. If you’re doing exactly what your competitors are doing, it’s going to be difficult to surpass them. If you’re taking steps to use technology in a way your competitors are not, you’ll get ahead.

Take, for example, the retail industry. Most retailers who sell online and in physical locations make most of their revenue in stores. However, many customers go online while they’re at a store to check prices and find out more about certain products.

The right BI software can track what customers are doing online while they’re shopping in stores, helping both in-store and online marketing departments fine-tune processes in order to ensure a sale. Monitoring customer behavior now can also help businesses predict future behavior, designing marketing campaigns and operational systems around those predictions.

Business Intelligence and Marketing

BI is becoming almost synonymous with marketing. Gone are the days in which marketing departments were simply responsible for promotion. Now, marketing involves using data to develop campaigns. Finding out what consumers are already purchasing can be crucial to creating the next campaign. If you can forecast future trends, you can use that data to develop other products and services. Once marketing campaigns have been implemented, organizations can track exactly how targets are responding.

The marketing department isn’t the only department that can benefit from BI systems. Every department, including operations, human resources, logistics and manufacturing can take advantage of insights gained using BI.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

As other organizations begin to implement BI software and systems, you’ll need to ensure that you’re managing your own systems effectively to stay competitive. All data isn’t created equal. Make sure you are collecting the appropriate data to enhance operations. If you’re not tracking everything, it will be difficult to determine what’s important when it comes to analyzing and using the information.

In addition, select the right software for your needs. Some BI software is designed for certain industries, and some is fully customizable. Asking these questions can help you select the right solution for your needs.

Do employees in your organization make decisions based on estimates and intuition? Imagine how much more successful you could be if decisions were made based on the right data analysis. If your company uses business intelligence to record the right information, analyzes that data appropriately and takes innovative action, you’ll rise to the top of your industry.

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