Business Intelligence for a More Effective Strategy

Some decisions can be crucial for an organization, so managers must be able to exploit all available data (for example, data on sales, human resources, state of the market). Companies that use business intelligence (BI) are actually more effective, since they have a broader and clearer vision of their organization and the state of the market in which they are growing.

A company seeking to undertake a BI project must understand not only the potential of such a solution, but also its complexity. Conducting a BI project does not involve simply adding to the company’s technology infrastructure, it also means strengthening the business/IT relationship. To ensure this, it is often useful to think not only in terms of technology, but also in terms of governance of the business intelligence within the organization.

Inside and outside data sources can be different. For example, BI can be used to combine external data, such as data from a public source, with data held by the company, such as the number of visitors to an amusement park. Another possibility would be to combine the data in an accounting system with those in a stock management system. Moreover, companies that use a lot of BI are companies that can access and control a variety of data channels. For example, financial, retail and transportation firms are very heavy investors in business intelligence.

Those types of companies use business intelligence to produce detailed reports easily, speed up decision making and consolidate business knowledge concerning the use of data for information purposes in the company. For example, BI can answer such questions as: Which customers bring the most value to the business? How long will it take for a customer to leave the company? How can I properly segment my clientele? Who can I send a promotional letter to so as to maximize a marketing firm’s profits?

In conclusion, integrating a BI solution means, on one hand, introducing a new decision support system and, on the other, implementing a new corporate culture that will change how decisions are made, where data are a key source in strategic roles. To make that happen, more and more companies have been moving towards BI in the past few years, and those that have already made the investment are continuing to do so given their brilliant success in an area known for massive innovations. Those innovations include integration of the cloud and functions driven by artificial intelligence. The purpose of using artificial intelligence is to improve performance and have a more intelligent system; for example, for interpreting human language.

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