What's Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence (BI) refers to the collection, integration, analysis and presentation of business information. Over the past 10 years, BI has been firmly on the agenda of larger well-known companies. This has been to highlight financial opportunities or weaknesses with a view to improve profit. However, BI is also being used to monitor corporate sustainability — such as environmental or social impact. SMEs are also latching on to BI, too.
Why should you use BI?
The benefits of BI are clear. Having a visual, high frequency reporting dashboard – which may display granular profit & loss drivers in real time, or perhaps the current happiness index of customers or employees, can help your business manage performance better.
What's involved in the setup?
Once the right right raw data is in place, Excel or tools such as QlikSense and Microsoft PowerBI can be implemented by end users without too much outside help. These tools represent a paradigm shift to Self Service Business Intelligence (SSBI), empowering SMEs to uncover deeper insight about their performance. The aforementioned tools can be used free of charge for a single user with additional licenses starting at $7.99 to $15.00 per month.
Getting help with implementation
Sometimes, implementation can be hard to achieve. There may be the need for new hardware or application development to collect, analyse and store data ready for a BI tool. For example, a happiness index of customers in a store might require implementation of ‘happy or not’ hardware. However, in most cases, these metrics can be captured and transformed into analytics with low setup and ongoing costs for SMEs.
Visual and live reporting of sales and GP can be quickly implemented for SMEs too. If you're stuck, Finacta offer free consultations for businesses