What is business intelligence?

Business intelligence uses the power of people and technologies to collect and analyze data to be used by organizations in their strategic and daily decision-making processes.

How is business intelligence used across departments?

The role of business intelligence is to improve the overall performance and trajectory of an enterprise. Analyzed data can uncover important trends, patterns, and key performance indicators (KPIs) in nearly every area of the enterprise, including sales, customer service, production, security, and more. A modern business intelligence tool can help organizations understand what happened, why something happened, and what will happen to optimize their operations better.

Measuring and tracking sales performance

Business intelligence can provide insight into customer journey and sales activities. That knowledge can be leveraged to enhance performance and identify areas of opportunity to support company growth.

Optimizing processes or company operations

When data is gathered from all areas of company operations and leveraged through a business intelligence tool, companies can develop impactful key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs strengthen organizational understanding of performance and identify opportunities for efficiency improvements.

Identifying ways to increase profit

From helping to optimize the effectiveness of marketing programs and improving the accuracy of sales forecasts to identifying the best prospects, business intelligence can provide actionable insights to improve your organization's bottom line.

Financial planning, budgeting & forecasting

Using business intelligence to explore the trends in an enterprise’s financial data helps decision-makers effectively draw up and request budgets based on data-driven ROI statements. Decision-makers can then allocate resources where they are best invested.

Finding opportunities for new business lines

When companies use business intelligence to inform their decisions on every level, they can adapt quickly to the changing business landscape. Business intelligence helps define new product lines, find new customers through targeted marketing plans, and optimizes sales channels.

Business intelligence examples

The right business intelligence platform helps you dig deeper and do more with your data. Here are a few examples of how progressive businesses leverage the value of business intelligence:

Business intelligence manages growth

Smartphone accessories startup PopSockets used a business intelligence platform to manage and utilize massive amounts of data that led to explosive growth.

Business intelligence enhances decision-making

By leveraging the efficiency of a centralized data platform, Sunrun, a residential solar panel company, enhanced business decision-making by defining key metrics through business intelligence gained from a wealth of data from different sources.

Business intelligence increases operational efficiency

Heroku, a leading cloud platform as a service (PaaS) company, used business intelligence to increase operational efficiency to more effectively deploy, manage, and scale modern apps.

Why is business intelligence important?

Companies with a goal of increasing their efficiency in making fact-based decisions understand the importance of business intelligence. Business intelligence uncovers important patterns and trends within your business data, delivering a deep view of organizational processes, consumer behavior, and internal productivity. That insight is vital to optimizing decision-making and performance.

When evaluating different business intelligence tools, you should determine both the long- and short-term goals of your company, as well as which features are most important to your business. The challenges and successes of today will be different than those of tomorrow. The tool you select should grow and evolve with your organization as technology changes.

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