Today the term “Big Data” is the new hot topic, but what does that actually mean for your business. Anyone can have an infinite amount of data, but without the proper tools, it is truly meaningless. As everyone focuses on gathering data, the shift should be focusing on what to do with the data. Luckily, that’s where Business Intelligence comes in.
Imagine your data is a tiny seed. Alone it has the potential to grow into something wonderful, however without the proper care and tools, it will never bloom. Now imagine your BI tools are the rich soil, refreshing water, and the bright sun. With the right combination, your data has now grown into a magnificent tree with each branch representing knowledge about your company’s operations that you never had before.
Business Intelligence can be applied in almost every aspect of life. Data is everywhere, but BI helps us read between the lines and see the underlying story it is trying to tell us. Hopefully, it’s a story of how to improve business processes by understanding buyer behavior, or help see into the proverbial future through forecasting trends. From there we can gain better visibility into the businesses’ every day operations so that we can plan more strategically and therefore create more accurate and insightful reporting.
Depending on your business and what knowledge is important to your company, the tools you use might be different than your neighbor’s. Whatever the combination, the idea remains the same. By gathering requirements and ideas on what you’d like to see out of your data, your company will be able to find their soil, water, and sun to grow the best knowledge possible.
Here are some tips to use while searching for the optimal BI tools:
- Define key requirements with the users and IT. Both departments need to work together to make sure all aspects are covered.
- Gather a list of questions for vendors, this will help you gain insight and compare options.
- Find tools that work with your existing platform. Whether it’s on-premises or in the cloud, smooth integration is the key to success.
- Be sure to understand the BI tool categories and what each individual tool can offer along with being able to play nice with other BI tools.
Once you start implementing BI into your business, the possibilities are truly endless. From there you can use your newfound knowledge to help you business thrive.
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