BI System: Business Intelligence Turbocharges Your Company

Business Intelligence

BI System: Business Intelligence Turbocharges Your Company

However, the acronym BI, which stands for business intelligence, is today part of the management dictionary and is increasingly present in the tables where companies make choices and plans.

What Business Intelligence Software Does

The so-called business intelligence system incorporates an analysis process that studies changes and evolutions, starting from company information,  to understand the areas of improvement associated with them. Thanks to BI processes, estimates, simulations, and evaluations of the corporate and business context are carried out, markets and competition are analyzed, and all the necessary actions are implemented to project your business onto a winning path, identifying new revenue opportunities and optimizing departments, products, and much more.

It is precisely with the business intelligence system that, starting from specific statistical functions and hypothesizing future scenarios, it is possible to simulate a company’s performance over time or about a particular production process. This, in terms of choices, makes the difference, because you have the possibility of generating forecast estimates and evaluating whether one decision compared to another really has that extra value, in business terms, to be adopted.

What Is A Business Intelligence System?

The business intelligence system allows us to analyze company information and, therefore, we can identify in BI a decision-making process that generally involves leaders and managers of every type of company to gain awareness and acquire reactivity based on an interpretation of company facts and information.

The expression business intelligence describes a set of processes that allow the company’s information assets to be collected and transformed into significant data, such as to become the source in an analysis process aimed at the company’s strategic development. BI develops in 3 phases:

  1. DATA COLLECTION: through a set of business processes;
  2. the ANALYSIS AND PROCESSING of strategic information;
  3. the RESULT : verification of the information obtained as a result of these processes.

The Input Into The Business Intelligence System

From a technological and purely IT perspective, when we talk about a business intelligence system, we are referring to a software tool designed to collect and reprocess all data flows to transform them—returning information, representations (reports, statistics, indicators, graphs, etc.), and crucial inputs for the company’s decision-making processes.

The input of a business intelligence system involves collecting information from external systems (including those generated by social media or mailing systems, but also those produced by cloud services used by the company) and internal or in the company.

Feed Data Into Business Intelligence Software

Therefore, the data can be taken from “n” databases and archives, but once acquired, after being processed by the BI tool, they will be allocated to a specific database. The process of acquiring information through business intelligence (BI) tools is carried out through a query, i.e., the execution of a query, which extracts the significant information for the analyses you want to do to obtain a specific result.

The Data Processing Of The Business Intelligence System

A business intelligence system’s reprocessing of information allows for creating an output or presentation of the results in a form that is immediately understandable for all users, regardless of their skills. Data transformation is preparatory to carrying out a timely analysis to grasp the evolutionary dynamics of your business. The reprocessing phase, therefore, allows you to prepare and transform the data to :

  1. analyses
  2. reports
  3. dashboards (dashboards for representing information)
  4. visualization for creating graphs
  5. generation of KPIs, i.e., indicators that reflect the critical success factors 

The Output In A Business Intelligence System

The output of the process of a business intelligence system is made up of data which, in different expository and representative ways, are, on the one hand, significant for supporting the strategies that can be adopted by management and, on the other are, on turn, information that can be updated and used easily even by the end user.

Business intelligence—through analysis and the aid of graphic tools, reports, and dashboards—transforms the most complex company information into data that is simple to read and interpret, thanks to its representation in interactive reports.

The Advantages Of A Business Intelligence System

Support for the decision-making and planning process within a company is achieved thanks to a specific business intelligence system, bringing together the systems for detecting and transforming company information and the management systems with which daily operations are carried out, i.e., thanks to the correlation between business intelligence and ERP. Thanks to the business intelligence system, management identifies the strong points of a business area, product, or department. 

Likewise, it can detect any gaps, inefficiencies, and unexploited opportunities. The application of a business intelligence system allows management to create scenarios, simulate changes in existing ones, and outline perimeters to meet future needs, including those aimed explicitly at competitiveness to win over competitors in a globalized and digital market.

What Are The Key Figures Of A Business Intelligence System?

To manage the business intelligence system, the company must have technically trained figures within it, and technological changes also help us on this front. In fact, we are witnessing an evolution of Business Intelligence that derives precisely from the development of technologies, hardware, and software connected to data management.

There are increasingly more cloud solutions that allow you to create information dashboards. These solutions have the advantage of streamlining development activities, making the business intelligence system accessible even to “non-technical” personnel who can become data explorers without the need to resort to figures specialists in the IT area.

If the company is more structured, the data is multiple and complex ( BIG DATA ), and the analysis and data extraction needs to manage a business intelligence system instead require specialized IT figures such as:

  1. Data Architect, 
  2. Developers, 
  3. Data Analyst.

Practical Examples Of Business Intelligence

The practical examples are endless. Suffice it to say that we access a BI process every time we purchase a product on Amazon by clicking the app on our smartphone.  Or Netflix which, through customer database analytics systems, not only decides which films to offer to each user, but the information collected is used to choose the titles to include in the catalog depending on origin, gender, age group, etc., and even to establish what type of film productions to undertake.

Of course, those mentioned are multinational giants with “stellar” budgets. Still, the critical thing to remember is that business intelligence systems today are accessible to the Bigs and to all SMEs thanks to single modules, software distribution models as a service (SaaS), and other purchase/rental systems. The point is that once the data has been collected, it must be transformed into insights; that is, it must inspire business decisions. 

What Are The Applications Of Business Intelligence?

Just like practical examples, the applications of BI are also potentially endless. Any business process can represent an application area. The most common are sales, finance, purchasing, and logistics. In manufacturing, for example, the most common application concerns using BI systems to interconnect machinery with 4.0 technologies, such as IoT, to optimize production, prevent failures, and minimize machine downtime

However, the strength of business intelligence lies precisely in the ability to extract value from the data it collects, regardless of the application sector: whether it is manufacturing, services, or retail, the data available to the company contains beneficial information for management, operational and strategic business. 

Let’s think about retail sales and how, starting from “simple” data, such as customer status, turnover, and margins, through a business intelligence system, a comparative analysis of all the sales points of a company can be carried out, discovering points of strength, any critical issues and even managing to intercept new trends and business opportunities. In short, if data is the “oil” of the 21st century, business intelligence is the engine that propels your company through this data.

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