Once upon a time when satellite navigation was yet to make its move onto smartphones I decided to take a trip to the Netherlands just to get away from my hometown of Brownhills, UK for a few days. My mission: to travel around and discover the sights on offer. For this trip I decided to take my portable sat nav unit, which stated on the box that it had access to European maps. On to a winner… or so I thought. Once I powered up the sat nav I found out that it didn’t have pre-loaded maps and that I had to download them. So there goes my easy exploration and out comes the few Euros to buy a paper map!
The point of my boring story? Not having what you need, when you need it is a real pain the gluteus maximus and sometimes you need an answer before you have even asked the question.
Fast-forward a few years and businesses and their customers are even more impatient at finding answers. Do they know what they want? Well not always. With the introduction of ‘anticipatory’ solutions those pain points are starting to fade away.
Take Google for instance. They give you popular searches the second you type in a letter, basically anticipating what you are planning to search for. Amazon is another example with continuous improvements to their delivery process such as using drones in their distribution centers (I’m not talking about R2D2 or C3PO though). Amazon has also patented another solution called ‘anticipatory shipping’ – essentially a way for Amazon to ship you products before you even order them. Google and Amazon get the concept that their customers hate having to wait for the things they want. Everything today is instant.
So why should business be any different? As a CEO, Sales Director, Finance Manager and so on, you will have questions that need to be answered. You don’t want to spend the next hour or day chasing down the information you need. You want that information to already exist in a format that’s easily accessible, that’s easy to action and is up to date. This is the purpose of Business Intelligence (BI) software.
BI software helps ensure that you always have the answers you need at the correct time by focusing on four areas:
1. Data: When you’re looking to execute your daily, weekly, quarterly or yearly initiatives, what data is valuable? This needs to be found quickly.
2. Bringing all that data together: When you need quick answers, the last thing you want to do is chase down information. You’ll want it to be accessible in a moment’s notice.
3. Keep it current: In today’s business world data gets old… fast, and is pointless if it’s not up to date. No matter how easy it is to access it will still need to be current to make reliable business decisions.
4. Take action: So now your data is reliable, current and in one place. But is it actually useful? BI software will allow you to slice, dice and arrange your data in such a way that you’ll get the answers you need before you’ve even asked the question.
BI software is a fairly new concept and is a see it, get it notion. With year on year growth and adoption levels BI software is the next big thing for businesses. Take a look at sales-i and see how we can answer your questions in an instant.