It’s one thing to start a business, it’s an entirely different thing to understand the inner workings of that business. For some people that might take them years of trial and error to figure out.
Understanding a business and making the best decisions around it requires information and such information gathered from business analytics is called Business intelligence (BI).
Therefore, Business Intelligence is all the processes or techniques applied to gather data, analyze the data, draw up reports, make decisions, store and even retrieve that information for future references.
Business intelligence leverages technology in transforming data into uasble insights that when applied improves the business. This comprises the strategies, tools, and business analytics processes.
Business analytics in itself is the use of quantifiable processes to deduce meaning from data gathered about the business, to have a holistic view of the business performance, and to make more informed business decisions.
So everything about Business intelligence revolves around data, utilized in three identifiable steps: understanding of the previous trends and patterns, prediction of future occurrences, and subsequent advice on next steps that will improve the business.
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First in the BI process is Data Mining, which involves the extraction and discovery of patterns, correlations, outliers using statistics, machine learning, or any other technique within a large data set.
Data comes in various forms and it is expected that in whatever form it comes, that the data be aptly analyzed and presented in such a way that meaning could easily be deduced. Presentation of data in that way is called Data Visualization.
Data visualization indicates information that is represented graphically. By using visual elements like charts, graphs, and maps, data visualization tools provide an accessible way to see and understand trends, outliers, and patterns in data.
The various forms of data that can be gathered from a business include quantitative data, these are data that have a statistical background and can be enumerated or quantified. There are also qualitative data, these are data that cannot be enumerated.
For BI applications, data integration and data quality management tools are used to integrate every data gathered, harmonized, and cleansed. This way information used is accurate and consistently maintained.
Then the information can be used to conduct performance metrics and benchmarking, this involves comparing the present business situation and financials to what was previously obtainable.
At this point, business problems can be pinpointed and sorted out. The information will also help the business management team identify ways to ensure better performance going forward.
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Studies have shown that Businesses, where business intelligence strategies have been applied, have doubled their revenue in less time than it took them to make the first.
As BI helped them understand their customers better and they were able to evaluate their stand in the market when compared with their competitors and their market value.
This helped the businesses deploy strategic market entries, explore new products or service offerings. Some even rebranded and the business ship sailed.
Now, various organizations have adapted Business intelligence as an integral part of their business, unlike a one-time process. They continually carry out research, send out surveys, and continue improving businesses with their findings.
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