Business Intelligence (BI) has become an integral term in today’s business world. However, since the term is used everywhere, and in very broad contexts, the actual meaning of BI may be difficult to grasp.
Below, we have therefore clarified what we believe to be the true meaning – and not least the value – of Business Intelligence.
Gathering all data into one analysis platform
The primary reason why organisations often start to discuss BI is that while there may be vast amounts of organisational data, this is often scattered across systems as well as it is immeasurable in its current form. There is a need for overview and consistency – two traits that is obtained through BI.
Thus, in its basic form, BI is a computer-based technique used in spotting, digging-out and gathering organisational data into one analysis platform, also referred to as a Data Warehouse.
However, in that process the data also needs to be converted into shareable knowledge.
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Easy and dynamic access to vital business knowledge
Therefore, apart from gathering data, BI is also about enriching your data and turning it into valuable analyses from which you can gain knowledge.
But what is the enriched data worth, if no one sees it? Once data has been compiled and enriched, the BI solution has to serve as the common, easily accesible platform from which the most important knowledge about organisational performance can be easily accessed by employees and other relevant stakeholders.
The BI platform also ensures that data validity is no longer an issue, as there is only one version of the truth.
Use of historical knowledge to spot trends and plan the future
BI is not only about using data intelligently to measure, control and understand your company, it is also about establishing a better platform to base tomorrows’ decisions on.
Having established a foundation for understanding the past and the present, a BI solution should also encompass budgeting and simulation tools such as ‘what if’ analyses to aid you in anticipating and making better decisions regarding the future.
By combining activity plans with your BI solution this furthermore helps in leading all employees in the same direction by visualising how the overall goals are to be reached through specific activities.
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Ultimately, we believe BI is about steering through a chaotic world of data and establishing a platform for linking the past, present and the future. This link will empower you to make intelligent strategic decisions regarding your business and its future direction.
Now you have an idea about what BI is – but is it something your company needs? Find out here.