What is business intelligence?

Often referred to simply as “BI” (Business Intelligence) is the software used to analyze raw data. It performs a number of interrelated processes: from queries to databases, intellectual analysis and to reporting. What does it give? Reduce costs, make better decisions and identify new opportunities.

If you have already thought about buying BI for business and you are considering the pros and cons, here are a few key points that will be useful for internal dialogue. Ask yourself the main question: can these systems give what you need?

Advantages of using BI systems:

  • Access to information wherever you are

Modern business analytics has already moved to mobile platforms. Do you want BI in the cloud? No problem. So you can always get the necessary information regardless of time of day or location.

  • Practical usage of data

Previously, business analytics consisted in reducing the heap of reports and spreadsheets. The days, nights and tons of caffeine were spent on getting results. Thanks to the huge technological leaps, modern BI applications are more interactive and effective than ever.

  • Real-time data arrays management

Sometimes you need to make a decision in minutes, or even in seconds. This means that at hand should be as much as possible “fresh” information. BI systems can process data and output the result in real time. Now it’s much easier to improve strategy and tactics.

  • Choice and easy scalability

Market for BI systems boasts several good players. Variability will make it possible to “fit” the system to the required scale and tasks.

  • Track KPI

Business Intelligence enables organizations to better track how their KPIs are met. The system can warn if the indicator falls below the required level. As a result, companies keep their hands on the pulse of their efficiency, which is difficult to do even in the SMB sector.

  • Visualize data

Modern data analytics programs can instantly interpret large data in an understandable graphic. Instead of comparing the numbers in a massive spreadsheet – “normal” graphical reports and a clear understanding of the overall picture.

  • The community of business analysts grows

The number of forums on which business analytics is discussed is constantly growing. System manufacturers and integrators are ready to help in choosing a program, building analytical scripts. Applications are constantly updated, adding new templates or ready-made settings to simplify the work. You will not remain without help in choosing or working with ever-innovative systems. And if there is an analyst in the staff, he will be grateful for the tool that will speed up his work at times.

Disadvantages of using BI systems:

  • People can make different conclusions from the same data

The analytics provided by BI applications is just an analysis and does not say what to do with these data. This is not a minus of the system, in fact. However, during implementation, one must understand that different people will look at the same data and see two different results and different ways of applying it. So meetings will be still necessary. Or to introduce a dictatorship.

  • Work against personal

Business intelligence may require employees to use personal devices to access information. Data that can be collected within the framework of such “contact” can be considered confidential.

  • Data protection

BI is a program. Like any other system, it must be secure. Developers for their side provide the greatest possible protection. However, if the system is connected to the Internet, then proactive data protection is a matter that clearly requires consideration. Plus, the human factor still has not been canceled.

  • Cost

Even with full transparency of the cost of the software itself, companies can face the costs of data management.

  • The era of business intelligence dictates new rules

Data standards around the world are being set right now. For example, the rules of dealing with data the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Legal and regulatory sanctions are constantly changing, and the technologies for them are being adjusted. And vice versa. A vicious circle, and one must keep track of the news.

  • Accessibility can also be a problem (more precisely, its absence)

Today, business intelligence is available for most companies, but not all industries are ready to provide the necessary amount of data for work. Some of them are just beginning to understand what BI can offer them.

  • A lot of BI

There are many variants of systems for business intelligence. Some of them can provide coverage of a particular work segment. To get the most out of information, you may need to invest in a whole software package to ensure the most effective BI solution.

Take informed and wise business decisions.

All the pros and cons of business analytics usually show that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages in the final result. Look for software applications and interactive tools to use available information for maximum.