Your business is a data producing factory. From customer details to product information, sales figures, purchasing numbers and various expenditures, you’re generating data on daily basis at a rate of knots. The question is, can you easily access and interpret this information?
As your company grows, the need for visibility across your business increases. Gaining quick insights into how your business is performing will instantly give you the ability to identify issues, trends and opportunities to make faster business decisions to benefit your bottom line.
That’s where business intelligence comes in. It’s a tool for analysing the data inside your business and presenting it in a digestible format so you can make more informed decisions. Essentially it pulls data from multiple sources like your warehousing, human resources, CRM and financial system. And with the right ERP, you can pull it all together into a consolidated, easy to understand dashboard of your key business metrics on a single screen.
Not too dissimilar to your car’s dashboard, business intelligence dashboards can give you a birdseye view into your bank balance, sales, upcoming bills, profitability and more. You can also drill down into the underlying information to take action such as purchasing more stock of high-selling products or addressing cashflow issues before they become crippling bigger issue. For more information on how dashboards can further empower your business, have a read of our article on 10 Steps to Effective Dashboards.
5 Reasons You Need Business Intelligence in Your Life
There are many upsides to business intelligence – particularly if you’re serious about growing your business:
See the Bigger Picture
With data running rampant in your business, it’s hard to see the wood from the trees sometimes, especially if you have to spot important facts from multiple reports or a wade through a gigantic spreadsheet. Business intelligence can help you make sense of your data by turning it understandable tables, charts and graphs. That way you’ll never make decisions without having all the facts at hand or being based on the most accurate data available.
One of the best things about business intelligence is that it dramatically increases your productivity. You no longer need to compile or analyse data manually, which is often the bane of any small business. Business intelligence does it all for you at a click of a button and automatically updates information on the fly. It will free you up to be productive on other tasks. What’s more you’ll have total confidence in the numbers presented because they come from the one, single source.
Close the Gap Between Goals and Results
Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, are important indicators of the health of your business. Business intelligence allows you to define the right KPIs to help you achieve what you’re aiming for. You can set realistic KPIs to keep track of areas that matter most, such as stock turnover, operating margin, days outstanding on debtor payments, and more.
Many businesses create objectives then fail to measure them, or act on the results. With business intelligence, you can tie your results to your KPIs so you know exactly where you stand. This means no more waiting for monthly or quarterly reports to see if a product or sales plan is performing as anticipated.
Having complete visibility of your sales, productivity and profitability will allow you to evaluate what’s driving your business to success and identify any roadblocks. Business intelligence simplifies complex data into a user friendly dashboard so you can see what’s working and what needs improvement.
By giving you complete control over the important processes in your business, business intelligence lets you make decisions to invest in areas that need it or lower costs in others to respond to customer feedback and compete more effectively.
Be One Step Ahead
While Business intelligence is not a crystal ball, it can help you spot important trends and proactively solve potential problems before they happen. By understanding what your customers are buying, you can use this information to have the right stock on hand to ensure timely delivery or extend product ranges based on preferences. Knowing what stock is going to be in demand at which times can dramatically improve your purchasing and ensure you have the right amount of stock to cater to demand. Just as important, you can analyse your past performance and look at the factors that may have shaped those results.
That’s the power of business intelligence. It can help you stay one step ahead of the competition. By having the ability to identify and monitor trends, you can uncover new opportunities or adapt to changing market conditions quickly.
Strengthen Customer Relationships
Delivering a great customer service can sometimes be challenging, no matter what business you’re in. By leveraging business intelligence, you can guide decisions and choices to benefit the customer experience. For example, you can track customer support cases into your dashboard to evaluate customer satisfaction and drill down into fulfilment rates and delivery times to zero in on the areas in your business that require attention.
Put simply, business intelligence enables you to dig deeper into the numbers that affect customer service. Knowing the issues, understanding the opportunities and implementing strategies to boost customer satisfaction will strengthen your relationships, increase loyalty and ultimately increase revenue.
Knowledge Is Power
These are just 5 of the benefits you can realise with business intelligence. By accessing the valuable information that’s available in your company’s data, you can take the next step in your journey towards continued business growth.
For more information in how to leverage your business data and empower yourself to make better business decisions, get in touch to start a conversation.