As your business grows, understanding how it runs may not be as simple it once was. There was a point where you may have known everything there was to know about it. You knew the vendors and the first name of every sales rep. You knew who were buying your goods from, you knew who made them, and how much they cost to make, package, and distribute. This is the story of business in the 21st century; and the shift that is making businesses run better: business intelligence.
What is Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence (BI) is exactly what the name suggests. It is the platform and practices that provide business owners and administrators the ability to analyze all facets of their business. By knowing about all aspects of your business you can better make decisions that can reduce costs, efficiently manage resources, choose vendors, etc. Making better business decisions can really benefit your bottom line.
Businesses that were dealing with market volatility, uncertainty, and runaway costs have to find a better solution than to simply extend their current practices with the hopes that everything will work itself out. Many now have the ability to store, and easily get at, the data that decision makers need, expressed the way that makes the most sense for them to make some of the most important decisions.
How Does BI Work?
The first place to start if you are looking to implement a passable business intelligence strategy is structuring your data for your BI software to be able to easily crawl it. You have to understand where your data is stored and set up a system that makes gathering that data, sorting the data, and crawling that data for analysis, simpler. This is called a data warehouse.
Typically, your business will have a few separate databases that contain the majority of the data your company has stored. For BI purposes, these normally disparate systems are all in play. Once they are set up as a data warehouse, the BI system will collect data and help you run reports against that data to help users make sense of it. You wouldn’t believe the kind of data that you have, and how much using it can help you set up a more efficient and productive business.
Better business intelligence can help the business that is drowning in data, or one that feels like the numbers just don’t add up the way they’d like to see. To build greater visibility, efficiency, and profitability for your business, reach out to Advantage IT Management’s IT professionals today at 251-662-9770.
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