What is Business Intelligence

(and is it for me and my company?)

Business Intelligence

"What is Business Intelligence, really; what is it used for, and do I really need it?" is one of the most common questions we hear from many small and medium business owners.

In this section, we will attempt to answer some of the most common issues related to the uses and benefits of BI.

As its most basic level, Business intelligence (BI) can be called a process of analyzing and interpreting data to help businesses make informed decisions. It involves collecting data from various sources, storing it in a central location, and using tools and technologies to analyze and interpret the data to gain insights and identify trends.

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Is using Business Intelligence beneficial for me/my company?

Can you view sales data in more than one way simultaneously? For example, if you want to display quarterly sales data by sales manager, product line, and customer type, how long would it take to create the report?

Are there customer data that are "locked" in your own systems that you would like to see but cannot because the system is not designed the way you want it to be?

When your company makes strategic decisions, do you rely on hard data before proceeding, or is it a decision based on intuition? Do your actions rely on evidence from the past and verifiable conclusions about the future? Do you consider statistical relationships between causes and effects, or is it a gut decision?

You know which items your customers buy the most, but do you also know which items your customers buy together?

Do you know what your company does best? How/where do you know this? Is it a gut feeling or do you have metrics to support your conclusions?

These are typical topics that BI addresses. When Business Intelligence is applied correctly, it can provide solutions to these typical issues, resulting in positive outcomes for your company.

What is Business Intelligence?

Why is business intelligence important for businesses?

Business intelligence is important for businesses because it allows them to make data-driven decisions based on insights gained from their data. By analyzing and interpreting data, businesses can identify trends, optimize processes, reduce costs, and improve performance.

What are the benefits of business intelligence?

The benefits of business intelligence include improved decision-making, increased efficiency and productivity, reduced costs, improved customer service, and competitive advantage.

What are the different types of business intelligence tools?

There are many different types of business intelligence tools, including data warehousing / data mining software, reporting and analysis tools, dashboarding tools, and self-service analytics platforms. We rely predominantly on Tableau as the most powerful and widely used tool in this area. Tableau combines strong dashboarding capabilities with broad integration capabilities.

How does business intelligence help in decision-making?

Business intelligence helps in decision-making by providing verifiable insights and data-driven recommendations based on the analysis of concrete data. By having access to this information, businesses can make informed decisions that are based on evidence and facts rather than assumptions or guesswork.

What is the role of data visualization in business intelligence?

Data visualization plays a crucial role in business intelligence because it allows businesses to present complex data in an easy-to-understand format. By using charts, graphs, and other visualizations, businesses can quickly identify trends and patterns in their data, and make informed decisions based on the insights gained.

What are some common challenges in implementing business intelligence?

Some common challenges in implementing business intelligence include ensuring data quality, managing and integrating data from multiple sources, finding skilled personnel to manage and analyze data, and ensuring that the insights gained from the data are used to inform decision-making.

What is the difference between business intelligence and data analytics?

These terms are often used interchangeably. While both business intelligence and data analytics involve analyzing and interpreting data, business intelligence focuses on providing insights that can be used to inform decision-making, while data analytics is more focused on using data to identify patterns and trends. In real life, the differences are marginal, if even meaningful at all.

How can businesses use business intelligence to improve their performance?

Businesses can use business intelligence to improve their performance by using the insights gained from their data to optimize processes, reduce costs, improve customer service, and identify new opportunities for growth.

What are some examples of successful business intelligence implementations?

Some examples of successful business intelligence implementations include McDonald's using BI to optimize its menu and promotions, and healthcare providers using BI to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. Another example is Amazon using BI to analyze customer data and provide personalized product recommendations.

Where/how can BI help my business?

Business decision making

Instead of going with a gut feeling or simply looking at one chart, BI software can combine multiple data points to help businesses make informed decisions. BI tools can provide insights on when to increase or decrease production, how to optimize supply chain management, or when to hire new employees to cope with incoming demand based on historical trends, sales data, and other relevant information. By using data-driven insights, businesses can make decisions that are more likely to lead to successful outcomes and improve overall performance.

Financial planning / financial management

BI can provide insights into cash flow, profitability, revenue, and expenses, helping businesses make informed financial decisions. With a more informed view of financial flows and projections, financial planning can be more reliable. This could include things like helping decide whether the profit/loss balance sheet will be stable in the next two quarters to support opening a new site, or how much to payout to shareholders this current year.

Understanding customers better

Whether it’s marketing feedback loops, product sales, or lead conversions, when fed the right data, BI platforms can tell you more about your customers’ wants and needs. This could include whether the number of touchpoints influences customer value, or natural customer segmentation based on their collected demographics.

Operational efficiencies

BI can be used to uncover hidden operational inefficiencies. It can, for example, help in planning for machinery downtime, allocation of employee hours, or by identifying current bottlenecks in your product or service rollout. All of these can in turn improve profitability.

Sales and marketing

BI can help businesses analyze customer data, track sales performance, and identify trends to improve their marketing strategies.

Inventory management

BI can provide insights into inventory levels, demand, and supply chain performance, helping businesses optimize their inventory management processes.

HR management

BI can provide insights into employee performance, retention rates, and training needs, helping businesses make more informed HR decisions.

Customer service

BI can provide insights into customer satisfaction rates, service response times, and resolution rates, helping businesses improve their customer service processes.

Production management

BI can provide insights into production efficiency, equipment downtime, and product quality, helping businesses optimize their production processes.

Competitive analysis

BI can be utilized to provide insights into competitors' strategies, pricing, and market share, helping businesses make more informed strategic decisions.

Risk management

BI can help businesses identify and assess potential risks, such as supply chain disruptions, financial risks, or cybersecurity threats, helping businesses mitigate potential risks.


BI can provide insights into future trends, demand, and sales projections, helping businesses make more accurate forecasts and predictions.


BI can help businesses ensure compliance with regulations and standards, such as data privacy laws or industry-specific regulations, minimizing the risk of fines or legal issues.

 73% of all SMEs have yet to take full advantage of the benefits hidden in their data.

73% of all SMEs have yet to take full advantage of the benefits hidden in their data.

The vast majority of companies generate valuable data in their daily activities that contain important approaches for internal optimization and increasing revenues. However, most struggle to truly utilize this treasure trove of data.

Why do you need BI?

Why do you need BI?

Every organization today should be looking into getting at least some BI solution integrated in their business. Why? Because a unified approach to data can help across all aspects of a business - from sales, to HR, management, operations, security - everywhere.

As more and more organizations pick up BI solutions, it is going to be increasingly important to keep up, lest the competition will move ahead of you. Finding optimizations, identifying new opportunities, and doing accurate business projections is the way to ensure longevity in your industry.

Intelligent companies collect the right business data, process it professionally, and deliver informed reports quickly to the right hands.

If your company is currently not equipped technically or personnel-wise for this task, contact us. We offer complete outsourcing of data engineering, data processing, visualization, and analysis. We stand for business intelligence that doesn't push itself to the forefront, but reliably and unobtrusively delivers the results you need for your daily work.

Get more out of your data.

Book your free consultation now.