Any business owner will tell you, the more you know about your business and its relationship with its customers, the better decisions you can make. For years, small and medium-sized businesses have been rolling out solution after solution to try and make their business run as efficiently as possible. Today, we’ll go into the concept of business intelligence, how it works, and why your business needs it.
What is Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence is a strategy that utilizes software and other services to transform the data your business takes in and creates into actionable intelligence. Also called descriptive analytics, it is designed not to tell you what to do, but what has been, and what is. Often confused with business analytics, BI isn’t trying to give out answers about what is going to happen, it studies what has already happened so that you have a better idea about the workings of your business.
How to get started with BI?
Your business has information strewn about across databases. In order to get them in order, you are going to have to do a little spring cleaning. Setting up a data warehouse will allow you to get all the important data that is spread around into one place. In this place tables can be linked in order to create what’s known as a data cube.
Some data warehouses utilize dynamic links to the databases, which adds the data to the inventory database, and reconfigures the report with the new data represented. Some don’t offer dynamic links, however, and relies on the warehouse to import it from specified databases.
How Does It Work?
Once your data warehouse is set up, you will then start your analysis by performing multilayer queries. Since all the databases are connected you can enter search queries for all types of information. For example you can search through your inventory, and in the same query, search that list of products for which are the most popular, and then still yet cross reference with which products sell when. By having all this information on hand and available, you can get a crystal clear look into your company’s makeup.
Reports Are the Name of the Game
Every query will end up in a report, because what good is this information if it is not in the hands of the people that can utilize it? Besides, they know better than any technician about where to place product and where not to. The surprising development that BI will provide your business is that the tried and true methods and strategies that once made sense might just be revealed to be antiquated. From a strategic standpoint BI can be a complete game changer, so the upfront costs of setting up a data warehouse and purchasing the software may be inconsequential since the data you get out of it will likely pay for the cost of implementation.
At Out of the Box Solutions we can help you deploy analytics systems that will help you get more out of your business. For more information about building a business intelligence platform for your business, call us today at 800-750-4OBS (4627).