Tagged: Business Intelligence
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February 20, 2020 at 10:44 pm #86336Participant@simileoluwa
Business intelligence (BI), a term nowadays intrinsically associated with information technology, has been evolving for over 150 years. It has been in existence predating the advent of computer technology, and the rapid evolution of computing advanced this field of study. The roots of Business Intelligence can be traced back to Richard Millar Devens’ 1865 work, Cyclopaedia of Commercial and Business Anecdotes. Devens detailed how Sir Henry Furnese, a banker, bested his competitors by gathering information about market trends and used it to propel his business to success.
Business Intelligence refers to the set of technologies, procedures, architectures that aid the transformation of raw data from relevant sources into actionable insights, capable of driving decision making processes of an organization. The purpose of Business Intelligence is to support better business decision making. Essentially, Business Intelligence systems are data-driven Decision Support Systems (DSS). The government of the world has various intelligence-gathering organizations including CIA, FBI, MI6, etc. for various reasons including Crime-fighting, terrorism prevention, etc. likewise the Business world also requires Intelligence for effective decision-making processes of the organization. There are many important reasons that businesses of all sizes will want to invest in BI to gain a competitive advantage. These includes:
BI turns data into usable information: Raw data doesn’t tell us what to do in business all on its own. These data collated from the relevant sources must be properly analyzed to check for patterns, trends. These sorts of repetitive trends have high impacts on business and once identified they can be monitored to modify or implement strategic plans for a productive endeavor.
Identifications of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s): KPI’s evaluate the success of an organization or of a particular activity in which it engages. BI helps to understand how well a product or strategy already executed performs well in the market through the use of various metrics called KPI’s. BI through the identification of KPI’s helps to know which component of a business is effective, needs improvement and thus, to make changes.
To Gain Competitive Intelligence: BI can also be used to gain an insight into what your competitors are doing. A large number of BI tools possess Data Mining capabilities, which can be used for examining real-time activities on competitors’ platforms such as prices, stock gains or losses, etc. This strengthens your company’s ability to make decisions and plan for the future.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM): This is an approach to manage a company’s interaction with current and potential customers. By applying BI techniques and toolsets on data about customers’ history with a company, businesses can improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth through the identification of what consumers are buying, this information can then be used to develop products that match the current consumption trends and consequently improve your profitability.
Power Up Productivity: Business Intelligence has the potential to release inefficiency bottlenecks, refine existing business processes, automate routine tasks and bring new levels of organization and prioritization to everybody’s work.
Business Intelligence Tools
Having looked at the various importance of Business Intelligence, there are toolsets that organizations endeavoring to harness fully, the capabilities of Business Intelligence must possess, these tools are called Business Intelligence Tools. Business Intelligence Tools or BI Tools are types of application software that collect and process large amounts of structured or unstructured data from internal and external systems, including books, journals, documents, health records, images, files, email, video, and other business sources. These are the toolsets that hasten the processes of Business Intelligence and helps facilitate real-time decision-making processes. There are quite a number of them, but we will discuss a few and why you should use any of them for your BI processes. These tools will be listed in no particular order because they all have their strong points and they should be selected based on the organization’s needs and what the tool offers in meeting these needs. These tools include:
SAP Analytics: This is a versatile BI tool as it can be used for various activities including real-time monitoring of KPIs, Data Analytics and user-friendly Machine Learning implementation to spot patterns in data. They provide Office integrations with Excel and PowerPoint where you can create live presentations and hybrid analytics that connects to their on-premise and cloud SAP systems.
PowerBI: This is a BI tool developed by Microsoft. Power BI can be used to access data in real-time and it possesses some fascinating drag and drops features. It has great capabilities for speedy visualizations and data wrangling features. Asides from these very handy features it also can handle large chunks of data accessible on various databases. The real-time data access means that teams can react instantly to business changes fed to Power BI from the CRM, project management, sales, and financial tools. Another great extension this tool offers is the ability to use programming languages such as R and Python for Analytical processes.
Tableau: There are quite a lot of similarities between PowerBI and Tableau as it also offers great visualizations for displaying KPI’s on dashboards, handles a large amount of data, allows for use of scripting languages as in R or Python i.e. While users can perform basic calculations in Tableau itself, you might want to go ahead and do some complex calculations.
Datapine: Datapine provides dashboards and user-friendly dashboard-building software, which can be embedded in a customer’s website or application or used solely for internal reporting. In doing so, datapine makes the complicated task of data analysis and reporting quite simple, giving their customers tools that clearly highlight successes and pinpoint areas for improvement.
SAS Business Intelligence: This is another BI Tool offering numerous products and technologies for data scientists, text analysists, data engineers, forecasting analysts, econometricians, and optimization modelers, among others. It possesses capabilities for text analysis, Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning for Data Exploration. You can also integrate your SAS results into Microsoft office products such as PowerPoint and Word for presentations.
Google Data Studio: This is a BI tool from Google, it allows a user to create a branded dashboard with data visualizations. It is a fully web-based BI Tool that enables you to produce customized graphs and reports in seconds and it is easy to use, customize, and share reports. The fact that this tool is also free makes it widely used by a lot of startups and Small Enterprises.
There are more BI tools other the six mentioned above, however, these were selected based on its wide usage and high compatibility with other platforms such as Microsoft Office platforms, programming languages. There are basic capabilities any BI service you want to opt for must have asides their more specific functions.
- Ability to connect to different databases and retrieve data in different formats.
- Ability to handle large amounts of data.
- Possess great data wrangling and visualization techniques for dashboarding of KPI’s.
- Speedy execution of processes.
- Cost efficiency: While large enterprises could opt for any platform regardless of the cost, it may not be so for startups.
The concept of Business Intelligence has been dealt with and the various Business Intelligence Tools made available by different platforms for the analytical processes of an organization. As earlier stated, it is important to understand the roles or tasks needed to be executed before picking up a BI Tool. The effective usage and application BI and its tools or procedures will also depend largely on the expertise of the staff in charge of the processes.
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