Business Intelligence. It sounds like something made somewhere between Wall Street and Silicon Valley. It even has a suave acronym to join it: BI. But the truth is, it’s not really all that complicated.
So, what is BI? And what are the benefits of Business Intelligence? Put simply, it helps you to ensure every call you make is both personal and profitable, simply by giving you visibility. So, let’s delve into exactly what Business Intelligence really is and what it can be used for.
Business Intelligence is a set of techniques and tools for the acquisition and transformation of raw data into meaningful and useful information for business analysis purposes. – Dawn M. Turner.
Let’s break that down a little, shall we?
A set of techniques and tools – Business Intelligence systems covers a lot of ground when it comes to data analysis. It is the act of analyzing data via a dedicated system that has been designed to read, collate and report on mass data.
Acquisition and transformation of raw data – BI gleans information from all relevant data sources, before interpreting the information and reporting it back to the user in an easy to digest format.
Meaningful and useful information – Business Intelligence uses the data gathered to make actionable suggestions based on current operations, making recommendations on potential or missed opportunities.
Business analysis purposes – The ultimate goal of a Business Intelligence tool is to review existing operations to see what is working, what can be improved, and what needs changing completely in order for the business to continue to grow and succeed.
Right, you’ve read the brochure, but how about a more detailed look through the showroom at a few Business Intelligence examples to understand what it can really do?
Case Study #1: Bravissimo
Using Business Intelligence solutions creatively can result in significant benefits for your business, as shown by lingerie retailer Bravissimo. By using a BI solution to interpret Met Office data, they were able to align their campaign with the changes in the weather. This resulted in a reported 600% increase in sales in their swimwear range when compared to the same quarter two years previously.
Case Study #2: Maidenform
Interestingly, another lingerie brand, Maidenform, also saw great benefits from using Business Intelligence. The ability to analyze more than two billion POS records in a matter of seconds gave Maidenform the capacity to interpret valuable data in otherwise unattainable volumes. This gave them access to the information required to gain answers surrounding customer demand which then allowed them to form educated predictions to further increase sales.
Case Study #3: ANZ
Australia and New Zealand Banking also present an interesting case for utilizing Business Intelligence tools. Differing from e-commerce businesses, the banking group implemented Business Intelligence with the aim of driving efficiency. And it worked. Using a large data structure to interpret information that was previously being undertaken by analysts allowed those analysts to actually analyze what they found. With a heavier focus on analysis rather than data collection, jobs become more fruitful, and the business more efficient.
Business Intelligence tools can be a treasure-trove to businesses of all types and sizes, as seen in some of the examples of Business Intelligence in practice above. Used against internal key performance indicators, and with an outlined, structured approach to what your business wants to achieve next to succeed, there’s little BI software can’t provide for you.
All that’s left to do now is take it for a test drive…