Defining Business Intelligence: A Guide to Understanding and Using It

Defining Business Intelligence: A Guide to Understanding and Using It

Once upon a time, businesses had no choice but to make decisions based on little more than the collected knowledge and experience of those in the room. While human knowledge and experience can lead to good decisions, there is also a lot of room for error. The purpose of Business Intelligence (BI) is to overcome some of these shortcomings by providing decision-makers with better access to and a clearer picture of the relevant data.

In this post, we are going to look at what Business Intelligence is and how it can be used to guide better decisions and improve operations at an organization.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence is not one standalone thing or process. It covers a range of technologies and processes concerned with collecting, storing and analyzing data at a business. Beyond data gathering and analysis, it can also include things like intelligence reporting and the creation of visualizations. When you put it all together, you have a comprehensive system for knowledge management.

The following are some of the processes that go into business intelligence:

  • Data preparation: This involves compiling data from different sources and preparing it for data analysis.
  • Descriptive analysis: The process of analyzing historical data to gain a picture of what happened in the past.
  • Data mining: Using statistical models and machine learning to find patterns and trends in large datasets.
  • Data Warehousing: A system for the storage and aggregation of structured data to support its use for Business Intelligence processes.
  • Intelligence Reporting: The preparation of data and analysis for sharing across an organization.
  • Visualization: Taking the results of analysis and turning it into visual aids like charts and graphs.
  • Query: A request for information concerning a dataset.

The Benefits of Business Intelligence

The core idea behind Business Intelligence is that people can make better decisions when they have more information. A good BI system can provide a business with a clearer picture of what happened in the past, identify important trends, and provide insights to help leaders make smarter decisions. 

The following are a few of the ways Business Intelligence can benefit an organization:

  • Make informed decisions
  • Speed up the decision-making process
  • Understand customers better
  • Identify revenue opportunities 
  • Competitive analysis 
  • Identify potential problems before they cause harm
  • Increase efficiency and reduce waste
  • Track performance of key metrics
  • Predict outcomes
  • Make intelligence more accessible

Using Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence is now more accessible than ever before. With technologies like machine learning and natural language processing being applied to BI platforms, it is now possible for non-technical users to interact with these systems and gain insights and data analysis. Many businesses might still need a BI team to handle certain functions, but modern BI tools can make them more effective than ever before.

When it comes to using Business Intelligence, you need to evaluate the demands of your business. What goals are you trying to achieve? What questions will you need to ask the platform? What types of users will be using the BI tools? You also need to understand the types of data your organization uses and how they might interact with different systems. You may also need to consider the technical needs of your organization. With Crux Intelligence, the key is AI and Automation. We believe analytics must come to us, hence delivering personalized intelligence to decision makers at their disposal.

See what Crux Intelligence can do for your organization by scheduling a free demo with one of our experts.

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