Great Business Intelligence Software Companies – All business is powered by data – information from your company’s many internal and external sources. And these information channels serve as a pair of eyes for executives, providing analytical information on what is happening with the business and the market. Accordingly, any misconceptions, inaccuracies or lack of information can lead to a distorted view of the market situation and internal operations – then bad decisions.
Making data-driven decisions requires a 360° view of all aspects of your business, even those you may not have considered. But how do you turn unstructured pieces of data into something useful? The answer is business intelligence.
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We have already discussed the machine learning strategy. In this article, we’ll discuss the right steps to bring business intelligence into your corporate infrastructure. You will learn how to develop a business intelligence strategy and integrate the tools into your company’s business processes.
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Let’s start with a definition: Business Intelligence or BI is a set of practices for collecting, structuring, analyzing and converting raw data into actionable business insights. BI considers methods and tools that transform unstructured data sets, compiling them into easy-to-understand reports or dashboards of information. The primary purpose of BI is to provide actionable business insights and support informed decision making.
A big part of BI implementation is using the right tools to perform data processing. Various tools and technologies form the infrastructure of business intelligence. Often, the infrastructure includes the following technologies covering data storage, processing and reporting.
Business Intelligence is a technology-driven process that is highly input-based. Technologies used to transform unstructured or semi-structured data in BI can be front-end tools for data mining as well as for working with big data.
. This type of data processing is also called descriptive analysis. With the help of descriptive analysis, businesses can study the market conditions of the industry and their internal processes. An overview of historical data helps identify business pain-points and opportunities.
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Based on data processing of past events. Rather than providing overviews of historical events, predictive analytics makes predictions about future business trends. Those predictions are based on analysis of past events. Therefore, both BI and predictive analytics can use similar techniques to process data. To some extent, predictive analytics can be considered the next level of business intelligence. Read more about analytics maturity models in our article.
Predictive analysis is the third type and involves finding solutions to business problems and suggesting actions to solve them. Currently, predictive analytics is available through advanced BI tools, but the entire environment has not yet matured to a reliable level.
So here’s the point, when we start talking about proper integration of BI tools into your organization. The entire process can be broken down into an introduction to business intelligence for your organization’s employees, such as the concept and proper integration of tools and applications. In the following sections, we’ll go over the highlights of BI integration for your company and cover some of the pitfalls.
Let’s start with the basics. To start using business intelligence in your organization, first clarify the meaning of BI with all stakeholders. Depending on the size of your organization, the wording may vary. Here, mutual understanding is very important because employees from different departments are involved in information processing. So, make sure everyone is on the same page and don’t confuse business intelligence with predictive analytics.
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Another objective of this chapter is to introduce the concept of BI to key people involved in information management. You’ll need to define the exact problem you want to work on, set up KPIs, and organize the expertise needed to start your business intelligence.
It is important to mention that at this stage you will, technically, be making assumptions about data sources and levels to control the flow of data. You can validate your assumptions and define your data workflow in later steps. That’s why you need to be ready to change your data acquisition channels and your team’s lineup.
After setting the vision, the first big step is to decide what problem or team to solve with the help of business intelligence. Setting the objectives will help you define more high-level metrics such as:
Along with the objectives, at that stage, you should think of KPIs and evaluation metrics to see how the work has been done. Those may be financial constraints (budget applied to development) or performance indicators such as query speed or error rate reporting.
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At the end of this step, you should be able to set the initial requirements of the future product. This could be a list of features in a product backlog that includes user stories, or a simpler version of this requirements document. The bottom line here is that, based on the requirements, you should be able to understand the type of architecture, features and capabilities you want from your BI software/hardware.
Compiling the required documentation for your business intelligence system is a key point in understanding the tools you need. For large businesses, building their own custom BI ecosystem can be considered for several reasons.
For small companies, the BI market offers a wide range of tools available as embedded versions and cloud-based (software-as-a-service) technologies. Offers can be found covering any type of industry-specific data analysis with flexible options.
Based on your requirements, your industry type, size, and your business needs, you can understand whether you’re ready to invest in a custom BI tool. Otherwise, you can choose a vendor that carries the burden of implementation and integration for you.
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The next step is to bring together people from different parts of your organization to work on your business intelligence strategy. Why do you need to create such a group? The answer is simple. The BI team helps to bring together representatives from various departments to facilitate communication and gain a certain understanding across the department about the required information and its sources. Therefore, your BI team lineup should include two main categories of people:
These people are responsible for providing resources to the team. They also contribute their domain knowledge to select and interpret different types of data. For example, a marketing specialist may determine that your website traffic, bounce rate, or newsletter subscription numbers are important types of data. When your sales rep can provide insights into meaningful interactions with customers. On top of that, you can get marketing or sales information per person.
The second category of people you need on your team are BI-oriented members who lead the development process and make architectural, technical, and strategic decisions. Therefore, you need to define the following roles as necessary criteria:
Head of BI. This person should be equipped with theoretical, practical and technical knowledge to support your strategy and implementation of the right tools. This could be an executive with knowledge of business intelligence and access to data sources. The head of BI is the person who makes the decisions to advance the implementation.
What Is Business Intelligence (bi) ?: Key Takeaways
A BI Engineer is a technical member of your team who specializes in building, implementing, and configuring BI systems. BI engineers usually have a background in software development and database configuration. They should also be well versed in data integration methods and techniques. A BI engineer can lead your IT department in implementing your BI Toolset. Learn more about data professionals and their roles in our exclusive article.
The data analyst should be part of the BI team to provide the team with expertise in data validation, processing and data visualization.
Once you have a team and consider the data sources needed for your specific problem, you can begin developing a BI strategy. You can document your strategy using traditional strategic documents such as product roadmaps. A business intelligence strategy can include different components depending on your industry, company size, competition, and business model. However, the recommended classes are:
This is a document of the data source channels you have selected. These should include any type of channels, whether stakeholder, industry-wide analysis, or information from your employees and departments. Examples of such channels could be Google Analytics, CRM, ERP, etc.
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Documenting your industry standard KPIs and your unique documents can reveal a complete picture of your business’ growth and profitability. Finally, BI tools are created to track these KPIs with additional data.
In this step, define what kind of reporting you want to conveniently extract useful information. In the case of a custom BI system, you may consider visual or textual representations. If you pre-select a vendor, you may be limited by reporting standards, as vendors set their own. This section can also include the types of data you want to deal with.
An end user is someone who views data through the reporting tool’s interface. Depending on the end users, you may also consider reporting.
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