Some time ago, it became fashionable to talk about emotional intelligence. Suddenly, the concept of emotional intelligence was introduced into our lives to show how little we knew in the most intelligent way to get closer to our own and other people’s emotions. It turns out that this concept has its equivalent within the business world known as business intelligence.
What is Business Intelligence?
Let’s start from the basic definition and answer the following question: what exactly is business intelligence? Business intelligence refers to a set of processes and technologies dedicated to collecting and fast data (or big data) generated by a company’s management system. All this with a very clear objective: transform this information into knowledge that helps and facilitates decision-making.
Okay, business intelligence may seem a bit more technical and less loving than emotional intelligence. But it is what it is. And therefore, it must be taken into account that this type of intelligence is a complex process that works at very different levels within a company.
To begin with, there is the purely operational level at which the decisions of the different workflows within a business structure will be facilitated. But there is also a tactical level where BI will help chart a near promising future for the company (we’re talking about monthly tactics, for example). And finally, it is also important to consider a strategic level in which what is planned is a long-term future.
Types of Business Intelligence tools
We have already said it when we have defined the concept that concerns us: BI refers to a whole set of processes and technologies.’ So, in some way or another, the tools become the heart of this concept.
Therefore, the first thing to do is ask: in what areas of your company could a good application of business intelligence be helpful? The answer is obvious: in all of them. We could summarize them in five areas.
- Production to collect statistical data such as production lines or inventory turnover.
- From logistics to control shipments or orders, for example.
- Finances that articulate the big data of a company based on various reports (of expenses, costs, taxes, and the like).
- Sales that monitor customer and product data (and, of course, also the profitability of these two parameters).
- The possibilities are endless, from marketing to analyzing trends in sales, social networks, and customers to segmenting a company’s potential market.
With all this clear, we could group the tools into three large groups.
- Data management tools. These are all the tools that help in the extraction, transformation, transfer, debugging, and standardization of all the big data generated by a specific area of the company (and even all areas and the interrelationships between them).
- Data discovery tools. These are the Business Intelligence tools that facilitate collecting and evaluating new data (what in English has long been called data mining and is part of the well-known big data ). The idea is that this new information is compared with the existing one to help in the predictive analysis of the company.
- Collecting data (new or existing) in the different workflows of a company is as important as collecting and processing it. That is when the reporting tools come in with which the compiled information is displayed most visually and intuitively possible.
Advantages of a Business Intelligence tool
Returning to the simile with which we opened this article, we will think that if a good emotional intelligence is equivalent to a happier life, an efficient Business Intelligence must be equivalent to happier business life. And the thing is not too misguided.
But let’s spin thinner and talk about the main benefits.
- Using business intelligence to centralize all of a company’s data improves efficiency, as it can optimize diverse lines of work and processes.
- This type of tool manages the big internal data of a company. It combines it with external sources so that its analysis is deeper, and it is easier to make tactics and predictions for the future.
- Being specialized, Business Intelligence tools offer greater depth in the analysis of information.
- Having all the data of a company carefully compiled means not only that problems are seen from afar but that it will be much easier to fix them each time they erupt.
- In the same way, the information collected is available in a history that can be used to enrich the analysis or find the source of a problem.
- Business intelligence takes special care in managing a complete and up-to-date database, which translates into much more efficient customer service. Either through email or another channel.