Business intelligence is software that has taken data and turned it into fact-based insights that can be used to make effective business decisions, as opposed to relying on opinions and ideas. This is why you should care:
Business intelligence does four things
· Reporting – the software provides you with reports on past activity and data relating to your business.
· Analysing – business intelligence software analyses standard productivity software to anticipate future business performance in relation to a number of circumstances.
· Queries – this software enables the user to create customized data queries
· Visualising – visualisation tools help you understand your data better by creating a visual representation of it that you can understand easily
In essence, business intelligence monitors what is happening in your business currently in order to predict what might happen in the future. Predictive software extracts patterns and correlations from your data, in a process called data mining, and creates a model to predict outcomes.
While BI is not new, its popularity has risen greatly recently, and this is not only due to the huge amount of data available. Business users have realised that data analysis alone is not sufficient and are demanding BI insight instead.
BI insight can help you make smarter decisions for your business based on previous patterns and predictions. This is a much safer way of doing business as opposed to going purely on a hunch or idea. The salesman who goes out armed with information on customer’s previous purchases, which items/services customers were interested in but didn’t purchase, and predictions of what purchases will be made will be far more successful that the man who thinks that customers may be interested in product A at this time of the year.