With the advent of the digital age, small businesses are taking root exponentially. However, many of these firms don’t have resources like larger corporate entities. They can’t hire armies of consultants to build strategies and analysts to review data sources. However, they do still need an analytical understanding of their customers, market and industry. To grow in size and base, many analytical intelligence firms offer small business intelligence software to fill a much-needed gap.
What is BI?
BI, or business intelligence, is the ability for decision makers within an organization to make informed decisions on all areas of the business, like marketing, service or product offerings or operations. This “intelligence” uses analytics to spot trends, find exploitable markets and identify problem or opportunity areas.
What can BI do?
When you think of BI tools for small businesses, the essential tools help to answer the following questions:
- Who are your consumers, customers, and potential clients?
- What services and products do they want?
- When do they want these services or products?
- Which services or products sell better under what conditions?
- Where can you reach your target demographic the best?
- Is your supply chain at risk of issues?
- Is your pricing optimized for your clientele?
- Are there any improvements in customer relations that could help external communications?
BI analytical software is developed specifically for the individual company’s needs, to cater to the type of data collected and the depth of analysis needed. Many BI platforms utilize a “command center” that acts as a full-service administration console for customization.
Here you can review, manipulate, compute, reorganize, and analyze everything from your data to the look of the generated outputs. BI tools are meant to be flexible so you can gain the insight you need to answer specific questions on your pertinent issues.
How To Get the Most out of BI
Many employees feel overwhelmed or unhappy when working with data, and avoid using data to complete a task. This is common in small businesses as workers oftentimes are wearing many hats and do not have time to dedicate to digging through all available data. At this stage in the business, employees need tools that aren’t just powerful, but that also make data analysis more accessible to help uncover key insights quickly. When considering a solution assess which data sources are most important to drive growth. Organize and harmonize your data sources from the start. Understand the relationships between sources and build a model for success as the business, and data, grows.
Business intelligence tools can help transform big data into insightful information to guide decisioning, identify trends or risks and ultimately grow the business. Look for a solution that allows you to drive growth today. A good BI tool will scale up with you as you grow, to offer additional features and automated insights to help take your business to the next level.
Instead of shooting from the hip with gut reactions to problems, shoot for the stars with improved decision making for targeted growth.