As a business leader, you may understand that data management and business intelligence are essential to your organization's success. Business analytics enable you to make informed, fast decisions, react to market changes efficiently, and always stay one step ahead of the competition. Companies that successfully implemented master data management continually grow, but how can you ensure that your business's intelligence is optimized and working for what you need?
If you're looking to tie together business data from all areas of your company to inform and discover opportunities but aren't sure how, we've got the answer for you.
So What Does Business Intelligence (BI) Include?
Business intelligence refers to the technology that enables businesses to organize, analyze, and contextualize their organization's data from all aspects of the company in one single source. BI includes multiple tools and techniques that help transform raw data into meaningful and actionable information.
How Is BI Used?
When used correctly, BI can be leveraged by many different organizational departments. For example, sales, marketing, finance, and operations departments can harness business intelligence to help guide their strategies.
For example, various teams and departments may use business intelligence for the following:
- Data scientists and analysts: Analysts are usually very familiar with BI and use the centralized data to understand where opportunities for improvement exist and what strategic recommendations should be made to company leadership.
- Finance: Finance departments can blend financial data with operations, marketing, and sales reporting to offer insights into which decisions make the most sense regarding profit and loss.
- Marketing: BI can help marketers track campaign metrics and efforts from one centralized place. These systems also offer real-time tracking, measure each effort's performance, and allow marketers to better plan for future campaigns.
- Sales: Sales data analysts and operation managers often use BI dashboards and key performance indicators (KPIs) to quickly access complex information like discount analysis, customer profitability, and customer lifetime value.
1. Evaluate your data management and business intelligence ecosystem
To create a path towards success, you first need to evaluate where you currently stand. Identify how your business uses analytics to drive decisions and communicate across departments. Your marketing, sales, customer service, and other teams are all probably using data analytics in one way or another. Ask yourself if these departments are siloed or collaborative in data management and sharing.
And if you're not using data at all but seem to be succeeding, the wave you're riding will only last so long. Without data to drive your decisions, strategy, and path forward, you're taking shots in the dark and guessing what will work.
As you evaluate your team and how they're using BI currently, try to keep the following questions in mind:
- What's your BI vision, and do you have any? How is that vision aligned with your IT and corporate strategy?
- Who are your BI players, and how coordinated are they? Is there function overlap?
- How do you handle data management and data governance? How do you support BI users?
- What factors do you use to make business decisions?
As you uncover answers about your current business processes and how your team utilizes them across departments, you should see where improvements can be made in areas that cause frustration or hold-ups.
2. Create a strategy
Deliver actionable business insights by creating a business-aligned reporting and analytics strategy. Well-designed data management processes can help your business benefit from productivity improvements, cost efficiencies, and a flexible ability to respond quickly to changing needs.
When your data is well organized and managed, you can reduce data movement, uncover performance breakdowns, and better empower your users to access the information they need in one simple click. In addition, with data management in place, companies like yours can avoid unnecessary duplications, and employees won't conduct the same research or fulfill the same tasks repeatedly.
A company's success depends heavily on its ability to make the right decisions quickly. If it takes too long to react to market shifts or activities of competitors, businesses are likely to lose money, miss opportunities, and fall behind the competition. The solution is in organized data, allowing decision-makers to acquire vital information faster and respond appropriately.
3. Emphasize the big picture to employees
It's essential to train your employees to think critically and make decisions quickly. While all businesses rely on their employees to make critical decisions, in today's fast-paced economy, it is more important than ever.
The ability to think critically involves analyzing information, interpreting its meaning, and identifying key issues. It also requires seeing both sides of an issue and evaluating the implications that different decisions can create. The ability to make quick decisions depends on how employees can weigh out the pros and cons of various options quickly and efficiently. When employees do learn these skills, businesses gain a competitive edge.
Moreover, they can help ensure that their employees are better equipped to handle the challenges of the modern workplace.
Start achieving success through data management and business intelligence today.
If you're ready to provide real-time insights and solutions to your team, WCI Consulting can help you make that happen. Learn more about our business intelligence consulting services and how they can help grow and support your business.