BI (business intelligence) is about providing the right data at the right time to the right people so that they can make the right decisions – Nic Smith with Microsoft BI Solutions Marketing
What is Business Intelligence and why is it important?
What is business intelligence?
Scientia potentia est, Knowledge is Power – Sir Francis Bacon (1597)
Google, Facebook, these big companies have made, and continue to make, hundred billion dollar or more fortunes off of one thing. Ads yes, barely, but information is their primary revenue channel. It has been quoted by everyone from Sun Tzu in the Art of War, to Thomas Jefferson, to the most prominent Fortune 500 CEOs of today’s world, knowledge is power.
In today’s technologically advanced world, if you aren’t utilizing the information that is created by your business, you will fall behind, and you’re missing out on an absolutely invaluable resource. Not utilizing the data from your business is like living next to a freshwater river, but still trying to use a dowsing rod to find where to dig a well for fresh water.
Business intelligence is a pretty broad term. It’s a really general concept. I’ll explain it for you here: business intelligence is a solution. Business intelligence is a solution, or a tool, that is invaluable when it comes to critical decisions, and even everyday decisions. Most businesses use some types of business intelligence, but what if you could use more?
For example, let’s take a retail computer store the week before Thanksgiving. The manager is placing the new order for equipment to have in stock for the next week, and they order triple what they normally do. This seems ludicrous and a waste of money, because it’s triple what he normally orders. However, business intelligence tells us that Black Friday is after Thanksgiving and we know that everyone is hunting for deals, especially on consumer electronics. The manager in this situation is utilizing business intelligence to positively benefit their business.
The same could be said for a pizzeria. They order 10 times the amount of ingredients the last week of January. Why would you do this some one could ask? Because on Super Bowl Sunday, the first Sunday in February, the most pizza pies out of any other day of the year are sold in the United States. The manager is utilizing business intelligence to positively benefit their business.
Business Intelligence is essentially timely, accurate, high-value, and actionable business insights, and the work processes and technologies used to obtain them. – Futurelytics
Why does BI matter? I already know when to order more or less stock.
That’s completely fair, in fact, I doubt that you would be in business very long if you didn’t know generally when to order more or less stock, or your books wouldn’t look too great. But what if you knew more?
Business intelligence isn’t just for the Googles and Facebooks of the world anymore, there are more and more business intelligence tools for small to medium businesses, the POS on Cloud platform is one of them. Here are just a few things that business intelligence can help you with:
How can I start using business intelligence?
High business intelligence is built on massive computing power, and most often based in the cloud, just like POS on Cloud’s systems.
Implementing business intelligence solutions puts you in a continuous improvement loop. The basic process is as follows:
Gather data Make decisions and take action off the data you acquired Measure the results according to the predetermined metrics for success Learn from the results from one decision and use it for the next one
POS on Cloud does steps 1 and 3 for you. POS on Cloud can collect data for you on all of your sales, transactions, stock levels, employee actions, employee behavior, costs, profits, margins, and more. In fact we have over 80 reports that you can utilize. Will you need all 80+? Probably not, but there are some that will be invaluable to you, and they’re there if you want them.
I hope that this brief overview of business intelligence will provide you with the motivation to begin trying to use it in your business. If you like what you read, request a free consultation on your business, and I am always available for contact at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, or would like any more information.