How to Select the Right Business Intelligence Applications? Guide

From Insights to Actions: Leveraging BI Applications for Your Competitive Advantage

Do you ever desire to gain insight into your company’s operations and comprehend the reasons and processes? If so, there's some fantastic news! You can achieve this using business intelligence tools, offering more than just that. This article explains the four primary applications of BI and their benefits for businesses, addressing the question of what BI is valid for.
23 May 2023
Sumi S

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    Business intelligence (BI) software solutions are designed to analyse data that is input by users or fed from various data sources. The software then organises this data based on patterns or trends it identifies. Finally, the software presents these patterns and trends through visualisations, making the information easy to understand even for users without any statistical analysis experience.

    Organisations can develop informed and current strategies by using the insights and trends revealed by these visualisations. With the advancements in technology and innovations, a wide range of BI applications are available for diverse types of data analysis.

    Therefore, it is imperative for forward-thinking organisations to recognise the BI tools that market leaders offer and how these tools can impact their own operations positively. Here are four significant business intelligence applications that can enhance your organisation’s operations.

    List of Four Business Intelligence Applications

    1. Sales Intelligence
    2. Visualisation
    3. Reporting
    4. Performance Management

    Let’s take a deep dive into the four noteworthy Business Intelligence applications:

    1. Sales Intelligence

    One crucial application of BI is to improve customer engagement and sales performance. The sales department of any organisation should prioritise building solid relationships with customers. However, converting leads and convincing potential clients to purchase a product or service can be challenging. BI tools can make this process smoother and more predictable.

    BI collects data on specific key performance indicators (KPIs) such as customer demographics, conversion rates, and sales metrics. It then presents this data in structured visualisations like graphs, pie charts, and scatterplots. This data lets users identify trends and insights into customer behaviour and business operations. Understanding the customer allows organisations to provide better service and improve sales performance.

    Moreover, the reports and dashboards generated by BI are valuable in providing easy-to-interpret data to potential clients and supporting claims with solid evidence. Managers can use the insights from BI analysis to make data-driven decisions based on complex data and forecasting.

    BI applications provide an excellent means of optimising an organisation’s sales operations. Sales and marketing teams can leverage BI to identify trends in client preferences, enabling the organisation to maximise sales within their ideal client base. This allows them to concentrate on targeting highly qualified leads, improving conversion rates and overall profit margins.

    2. Visualisation

    Furthermore, when used alongside customer relationship management (CRM) software, BI offers businesses a sophisticated method for understanding their customers and making informed sales decisions. By integrating CRM data with BI analysis, organisations can better understand their customers’ needs and behaviours, enabling them to provide personalized products and services, strengthen relationships, and increase customer loyalty.

    Another critical application of BI is data visualisation. Business intelligence software employs various data analytic tools designed to analyse and manage data related to an organisation’s operations. The resulting data is then presented in the form of visualizations, enabling the organization to monitor logistics, sales, productivity, and more. Some BI platforms offer custom reporting capabilities, allowing users to specify their own parameters, while others offer pre-designed reporting templates that include industry-standard metrics.

    By presenting data in intuitive and easy-to-understand formats, BI systems enable inexperienced employees to draw insights from data. Rather than relying on trained data scientists to analyze data, employees can analyze and present their own data to shareholders, other departments, or teams.

    3. Reporting

    Reporting is a way of summarising data to keep track of business performance, while analysis is a way of exploring data to gain insights that can improve business practices. Business intelligence tools play a crucial role in reporting by collecting and analysing data and generating various types of reports related to staffing, expenses, sales, customer service, and other processes. While reporting and data analysis are related, they differ in purpose, delivery, tasks, and value.

    Simply put, reporting takes raw data and transforms it into easily understandable information, while analysis takes data and extracts valuable insights to enhance business practices. Although both processes can incorporate visualisations, their approaches are distinct. Reporting reveals what’s happening, whereas analysis explains why it’s happening. Traditionally, data visualisations were static, requiring the creation of a new one for every variable change. However, contemporary BI software provides interactive dashboards that can update in real-time, resulting in enhanced usability and flexibility in data analysis.

    4. Performance Management

    BI tools can help with performance management by allowing organisations to set and track performance goals using data-driven insights. This can include goals related to project completion, delivery time, or sales targets, among others. For example, a BI system can analyze past sales data and recommend a realistic sales goal for the future based on previous performance. This helps organisations stay on track with their goals and make data-driven decisions to improve performance.

    With BI applications, organisations can closely track their progress towards pre-defined or customisable goals within specific timeframes. The data-driven plans could include meeting project completion deadlines, target delivery times, or sales targets. For instance, if an organisation wants to achieve a specific sales target, the BI system can analyse previous data and suggest a reasonable goal based on past performance.

    By monitoring goal progress in real-time, businesses can stay informed of any remaining gaps and take timely action to bridge them. Users can also set alerts to notify them when they are nearing their target or when the time limit is approaching, and they haven’t achieved their goal. This helps managers and employees stay on track and focused on achieving their goals.

    Moreover, users can also assess the overall productivity of an organisation by monitoring the fulfilment of goals and tracking progress data. Since the information is readily accessible, there is no time wasted in tracking down urgently needed data, thus saving businesses time and money.

    Three Steps to Choose Right Business Intelligence Tools

    To choose the right Business Intelligence software for your organisation, it’s crucial to identify the features and capabilities that your organisation requires. Follow the three steps below to find out which Business Intelligence tool suits you the best:

    1. Selection
    2. Compare Applications
    3. Shortlist and Trials

    Now, let’s explore in detail the three steps to choose the right Business Intelligence tool:

    1. Selection

    It’s recommended to select only the modules you will use rather than opting for a solution with a long list of features you don’t need. Overbuying can increase the cost and lower the chances of a successful implementation, so it’s better to start small and upgrade as your company expands.

    2. Compare Applications

    You should compare various options based on your specific requirements to choose the right BI software for your organisation. Each vendor may have different strengths and specialities within the BI field, so it’s essential to prioritise your needs and preferences. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, it’s better to focus on the most critical features and evaluate solutions based on how well they meet those requirements. It’s also important to remember that the most expensive solution is not always the best one, and sometimes paying a higher price can result in better quality and long-term benefits.

    3. Shortlist and Trials

    Once you have a shortlist of vendors, it’s time to narrow it down further by considering factors such as pricing, demos, and trials. Many vendors offer free trials or demos so that potential users can get a feel for the system’s user interface. Make sure to choose a system that most users can use and keep your budget flexible. Consider the type of user support each vendor offers, determine whether you need any integrations with other business software, and confidently make your final decision.

    Summing Up

    Business Intelligence applications can benefit organisations, from improved decision-making to enhanced performance management. By gathering and analysing data, businesses can gain valuable insights into their operations and customers and use this information to drive growth and success. When selecting a BI tool, it’s essential to identify your specific requirements and carefully compare different vendors based on their features, pricing, and support.

    Business Intelligence services extended by Beinex deliver solutions to all your business questions. At-a-glance analysis facilitated by cutting-edge BI tools does wonders for every industry. With BI tools, analysing enormous and complex data couldn’t be mind-boggling for you anymore. With Beinex, you can interact with an agile and intuitive system to validate your data, navigate your vision, and execute it data-driven to tap into the potent entrepreneurial potential.