Today large volumes of data are generated as companies function. But this data will not be vital till it offers valuable insight that can help companies gain advantages. Therefore, organizations use BI, or business intelligence, to extract trends, patterns, and information from raw and unstructured data.
BI is not just a tool but a necessity for many companies in this digital age. Through this article, let’s understand what business intelligence is and why companies need it.
What is Business Intelligence?
Businesses depend heavily on their data for multiple purposes. To manage these large datasets, they use data analytics services. On the other hand, business intelligence services fall under the broad category of data analytics. It is the process through which companies can gather, evaluate, and present data in a suitable and presentable way. It makes it easier to understand and use the data for decision-making.
Often people think business intelligence is just about collecting and visualizing raw and unstructured data. Instead, it also consists of tools and software needed to carry out its activities. These tools help extract the required information and present it as graphs and charts. BI is used to gather and analyze organizational strategies on a day-to-day basis.
Importance of Business Intelligence
Organizations often use business intelligence to improve strategies and plan better executions. Creating strategies is only possible if they have the required dataset to understand their organizational environment. Here are some of the ways through which BI can help companies:
1. Gather and Store Data
When we talk about data, it is not readily available in one place. It is stored at multiple places and needs to be collected and kept in one place. Doing so makes it easier for companies to use it when needed. All this is done with the help of business intelligence. BI tools assist companies in collecting data from all sources and storing them in one place.
2. Achieve Business Goals
Everything revolves around data, starting from creating strategies, formulating policies and processes, and measuring performances. When companies use data to measure and track their performance, they will know and understand where they stand on achieving their business goals. These reports also help companies make instant decisions in case they need to improve performance and achieve goals.
3. Enhancing Workflow Efficiency
The primary purpose of business intelligence is to develop strategies and gather insights. Companies can extract better insights with the help of business intelligence tools and data science services. These insights further help organizations during decision-making and formulating processes and strategies.
What is the Business Intelligence Process?
Business intelligence consists of several elements in addition to BI software. Data warehouses built for the entire organization or smaller data marts, which commonly connect to an enterprise data warehouse and carry subsets of business information for particular departments and business units, are common places to keep business intelligence data.
Log files, text, sensor data, and other semi-structured or unstructured data are often stored in data lakes created on Hadoop clusters or other big data platforms as repositories or landing zones for BI and analytics data.
Business intelligence uses real-time and historical data gathered from its sources. By analyzing all sorts of data, business intelligence can help design strategies and improve decision-making processes.
But the data is not just given to the BI teams as it is to analyze. Before the data reaches the BI teams, it is cleaned, consolidated, and integrated using data quality management tools. It is done to help the BI teams to analyze accurate and consistent data.
Below are the steps involved in business intelligence:
- Data is prepared by organizing and modeling it for BI analysis purposes.
- The prepared data is used for analysis.
- KPIs and other valuable findings are shared with the business users.
- The acquired information is used for decision-making purposes.
In today’s world, every company needs business intelligence more than ever. Today the world is changing constantly, and so is the way businesses operate. To do so, these companies must evaluate data for better business decisions and increasing revenue. All these are done with the help of business intelligence to gain a competitive edge.