Business Intelligence (BI) tools are mostly used by analysts to help them make strategic decisions. A useful BI-tool combines and connects diverse data to help companies define and reach business. From a strategic perspective, BI makes understanding and setting profit and growth goals faster and easier. At the same time BI is very useful when working with short- term goals, such as daily sales and rental performance.
Common business intelligence tools make it possible to create detailed analyses of databases coming from different types of systems. They also foster insight across the whole organization. Of course, the ultimate goal should be to create “The Holy Grail of business intelligence” for your company. Let’s explore some examples.
Image 1: Example of a business intelligence cock-pit using a business intelligence tool
Compare and decide: agility vs. efficiency
The focus within business intelligence is changing. Companies need to go beyond historical reporting, because forecasting has become just as important. New technologies are making accurate predictions possible. A future-oriented approach to business intelligence helps companies become more agile. They can anticipate emerging needs and customer demand and work proactively to address those predictions. This agility leads to better strategic decisions.
ERP software, on the other hand, is built to deliver efficiencies to a company. It comes in many forms: improved communication between departments, cost savings and business process performance. Many analysts, including Gartner and CIO.com, believe that proper ERP implementation improves an organization’s overall performance.
Because data-driven business approaches have become so important, the trend is for ERP software to include embedded business intelligence tools. If companies have tools at hand, they can work flexibly with approaches to gathering insight. With a strong toolset, they can gain a thorough understanding of ongoing performance and predict future outcomes—merging both an efficiency-based approach with an agility-focused approach. BI becomes a path to making both short-term and strategic decisions about operations, profits, growth, and more.
In the end, business intelligence can work as part of your total business system to improve performance and help your company move forward.