Blog: Data Insights

Why BI? Companies Invest in Business Intelligence Software for Actionable Insights

October 16, 2018 - by Synoptek

Companies in every industry are investing heavily in business intelligence (BI) tools. The Global Business Intelligence Market report projects a 10% compound annual growth rate for BI markets in the next two years. Three factors driving market growth include increasing use of data analytics, big data, and BI flexibility in the cloud.

Today’s competitive markets require organizations in all sectors to consider the benefits of BI as a tool to improve decision-making. Let’s look at the expansion of the science — and art — of BI.

Understanding BI

You’ve probably heard the buzzword, but just so we’re on the same page, the basic concept of BI is the analysis of a company’s raw data to produce actionable insight. The data could encompass current and historical sales figures, website traffic, or the costs and efficiencies of the supply chain. No matter the data type, the goal of BI is really about doing something with the data we’re capturing — that “something” is what we can use to change both long-term and short-term business strategies.

Professionals who practice BI employ a variety of analytics tools in BI software to analyze data sets and present information to support tactical decision-making. BI software informs how we work and creates new ways to drive profit or achieve other corporate goals. These platforms produce historical and current data and use predictive analytics to inform users. Data visualization in documents and presentations then help key decision makers adjust their strategies.

Traditionally, IT departments controlled BI tools — they possessed the access and the technical knowledge to assess all information. Today, BI tools are intuitive and user-friendly, allowing varieties of business users to pull data, run reports, and make business decisions based on big data. Finance, marketing, sales, and operations now commonly use BI analytics to inform their tactics.

BI benefits

Applying the science and insight inherent in the practice of BI has several key commercial benefits which extend across industry sectors to all business sizes in various locations. Generalizing, the ultimate benefits of the software include the potential for cost reduction, increased sales, improved productivity, and captured market share. For example:

  • BI software can help cut costs by finding and eliminating waste, maintaining optimum inventory levels, spotting supply chain weaknesses, and detecting production gaps or other obvious bottlenecks.
  • BI can help sales teams identify opportunities to capitalize on market trends by tracking customer service tendencies and buying patterns.
  • BI software can improve productivity by highlighting areas of underperformance and inefficiencies.

Ultimately, BI creators have designed extensive tools to allow companies to capitalize on more available information so that they can better grow their businesses and revenues.

Future trends in BI

Like so many other enterprise-focused tools, BI software is undergoing a revolution. At least two big disruptions are on the horizon for BI software:

  • Augmented BI — Machine learning, one of the building blocks of artificial intelligence, is getting baked into BI. This will likely make future BI software smarter and more intuitive.
  • Integrated enterprise BI — “Operational Business Intelligence” can break down silos and bring together content management and BI to form an entirely new self-service platform to drive business performance.

The team at Synoptek partners with Microsoft to provide BI capabilities to our clients, including machine learning-enabled BI tools that help improve business processes and predictive decision-making for our clients. Learn more about how BI can change the course of your business by attending our upcoming webinar, Elevate Your Business Intelligence, or contact us directly for more info.

About the Author

Synoptek is an established firm that provides information systems consulting and IT management services. Synoptek and its predecessors have been providing these services for 23 years.