What is business intelligence?

Business intelligence (BI) is a set of processes, technologies and tools that transform data into meaningful and useful information for making business decisions.

BI collects data from various sources, analyzes it and presents it in the form of reports, dashboards and interactive visualizations.

According to a study by Mordor Intelligence, the global BI market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.6% between 2020 and 2025.

This growth reflects the growing demand for tools that help companies make the most of their data to improve their competitiveness and efficiency.

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How does business intelligence work?

The business intelligence process involves several stages that ensure that data becomes valuable information:

  1. Data Collection : Data is collected from various sources such as databases, ERP systems, CRM, spreadsheets and cloud platforms.
  2. Data Preparation : The collected data is cleaned, transformed and organized to ensure its quality and consistency.
  3. Data Storage : The prepared data is stored in a data warehouse or data mart, facilitating its access and analysis.
  4. Data Analysis : Analytical techniques, such as data mining, predictive analysis and statistical analysis, are applied to identify patterns and trends.
  5. Data Visualization : The results of the analysis are presented in the form of dashboards, reports and interactive graphs, facilitating their interpretation.

What are the benefits of business intelligence?

Implementing a business intelligence solution offers multiple advantages for organizations:

  • Informed Decision Making : BI provides accurate and timely information, improving the quality of business decisions.
  • Opportunity Identification : By analyzing data, companies can discover new market opportunities and areas for improvement.
  • Operational Efficiency : BI helps optimize internal processes, reduce costs and increase operational efficiency.
  • Improving Customer Satisfaction : By better understanding customer needs and behaviors, companies can offer more personalized products and services.
  • Competitiveness : Organizations that use BI can react quickly to market changes, staying competitive.

What business intelligence tools are the most popular?

There are several BI tools on the market, each with unique features and functionality. Some of the most popular include:

  • Microsoft Power BI : Known for its ease of use and integration capabilities.
  • Tableau : Noted for its powerful data visualization capabilities.
  • Qlik Sense : Recognized for its focus on associative data analysis.
  • SAP BusinessObjects : Widely used in large companies due to its robustness and scalability.
  • Looker : Prized for its integration with Google Cloud and advanced analytics capabilities.

How to choose the best business intelligence tool for your company?

Selecting the right BI tool depends on several factors specific to your company:

  • Company Size : BI needs vary depending on the size of the organization. Tools like SAP BusinessObjects are more suitable for large enterprises, while Power BI and Tableau are ideal for SMEs.
  • Budget : Consider the cost of the tool, including licenses, implementation and maintenance.
  • Ease of Use : The interface and ease of use are crucial to ensuring that employees adopt the tool.
  • Specific Features : Make sure the selected tool offers the features your business needs, such as advanced visualizations, predictive analytics, or integration with other platforms.
  • Support and Training : Evaluate the availability of technical support and training resources to maximize the use of the tool.

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What challenges may arise when implementing business intelligence?

Implementing a BI solution can present certain challenges that are important to anticipate:

  • Data Quality : The accuracy of the analyzes depends on the quality of the data. Incorrect or incomplete data can lead to erroneous decisions.
  • Resistance to Change : The adoption of new technologies may encounter resistance among employees. Promoting a data culture and offering adequate training is crucial.
  • Systems Integration : Integrating BI with existing systems can be complex and require additional resources.
  • Initial Cost : Implementing a BI solution can require a significant investment in software, hardware, and training.

What impact does business intelligence have on business strategy?

Business intelligence transforms the way organizations develop and execute their business strategies:

  • Strategic Planning : BI provides data and analysis that supports the definition of long-term objectives and strategies.
  • Performance Monitoring : Allows companies to track progress toward their goals and adjust their strategies in real time.
  • Innovation : BI encourages innovation by discovering new opportunities and trends in the market.
  • Adaptability : Companies can quickly adapt to market changes based on up-to-date and accurate information.

Written by Moises Hamui Abadi : I am an entrepreneur, founding partner of Viceversa and SoyMacho. After leading several digital businesses and advising several other businesses; I decided to form MHA Consulting, a digital marketing consultancy dedicated to growing and enhancing digital businesses in more than 7 countries and generating more than 1,500 million pesos.

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