The Pinnacle

Stories and ideas from Big Blue Digital.

What is Business Intelligence? A guide for business managers.

 

Despite being touted as a relatively ‘new thing’, the term ‘Business Intelligence’ has been used for over a hundred years.
 
In the mid-1800s, Sir Henry Furnese was known for his success in business, and people wanted to know why. He used military intelligence (contacts on the frontlines reporting on when and where battles may occur) to make business decisions, and the term ‘Business Intelligence’ was born.
 
Today, the concept of is unchanged - Business Intelligence describes a process of seeking information to make better informed, timely decisions - but the method has well and truly evolved.
 

A process or a product?

In the broadest sense, Business Intelligence is about connecting and making sense of the relationships between different data sets, and exposing that information in a way that enables agile decision making.

When we use the term, we are referring to the solution that enables you to analyse all available pieces of data to make business decisions, in real time.

The modern world of business is defined by efficiency, decisiveness and transparency. The definition of a growing business is changing - it’s not just about finding more customers, but about that extra 1%.

The little productivity tweaks, cost savings and time reductions that add up to big gains.

Business Intelligence is the way you find the 1%.

The transparency of the information (or the ‘democratisation of data’) is what brings your team along on the journey.

 

What is the Business Intelligence ecosystem?

If you’ve worked with us in the past, it’s likely you’ve been exposed to the term ‘Digital Ecosystem’: it’s how we describe the various digital elements associated with your business. Like a natural ecosystem, it’s important to get the balance right to thrive in the digital space.

Effective implementation of Business Intelligence systems is no different. Each element has to work together to ensure the right results.
 

Leadership and advocacy

Turning disparate sets of data into meaningful business information is useless unless that information is used to make business decisions. A key benefit of Business Intelligence is that, by offering more transparency, your team are encouraged to change and innovate. But who will advocate for change throughout the organisation, and how will you embed more agile practice?
 

Secure and appropriate infrastructure

This is the techy bit. Just like the architectural design of a house, any IT solution has to be designed in the right way to be functional, secure and take up the right amount of land. 

Information in something other than a spreadsheet, can sometimes seem like technological sorcery. An effective BI solution will maintain control and security, while also enabling business leaders to access the information they need when they need it.
 

Excellence in design to make the data useable

When you want information fast, you do not want to have to trawl through pages of numbers. Data needs to be presented in a way that is easy to understand, visually engaging and simple to navigate. 
 

Our own best case study

We’re always looking to understand more about our business, and how to be better at what we do. From social media, to project reporting and tracking work recorded, we pull together different types of data and visualise them on screens around the office.

The emphasis this puts on KPIs, particularly on tracking work recorded, has seen our team wholly embrace subtle changes in the work they do.

They are more likely to share thoughts and ideas on how to improve processes.

This focus, especially on time recording and profitability, recently saw the whole team smash their KPI by 20 per cent.

This is why you’ll see us talking more and more about Business Intelligence.

We know how powerful data can be, and this is why we are committed to delivering these services to other businesses.
 

Get started in your business

If you'd like to know more about the process of creating advanced Business Intelligence dashboards for your business, I would invite you to,

 

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