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[shutterstock: 369093563, Alex_Po]
Big Data Blog

BI Tools Are Changing How We View Business

Managing data for business becomes tougher every year. The amount of data that businesses need to make strategic choices increases as measuring tools and analytics become the deciding factor for high-level decisions.

While gathering data can be easy, processing and understanding them is a different story. Business intelligence tools allow everybody to gather the data collected and organize them understandably. These tools are key factors on how to cultivate great leadership and how management leaders can make the decisions they need to. 

What are business intelligence tools?

Business intelligence tools (BI tools) are software – their job is to gather, process, and analyze data. Overall, the goal of these software programs is to give analysis on collected data that allows for actionable steps to be taken in solving problems or improving functions within a business. Practically, this software generates reports and visuals for leaders to better understand trends. 

BI tools are there to make the data analysis part of solving a problem easier. Data are automatically gathered and analyzed by the software. Once reviewed, the software then generates the reports. These reports can then be used as the first step to change things as needed for the business to improve. 

What business intelligence tools can do

Business intelligence tools offer a myriad of tools and functions depending on which software each company is equipped with. While different software suites will favor different sectors, they should all have similar kinds of benefits.

Aggregate data

No matter how big the business is, data are gathered in droves. Sales data, inventory, databases, and APIs all offer information for managers to act on in their ventures. Analyzing data across these multiple sources can be a nightmare, even for a data analytics specialist. 

Data connectors within the BI tool of choice will allow the software to connect these different data sources. By integrating these data sources into a single place, each manager opens up the chances for connections to be made in their varied data sources. Having all data in one place means that they can then be reviewed and analyzed together, too. 

Reduce manual task requirements

Before in business management, static spreadsheets and presentations were the way to go. These tools offered a snapshot of how things were running at a given time. While these tools were great for reporting how things were, they required time to work well. This usually meant that companies were looking at data that was weeks or months old.

Now, with BI tools, data are automatically analyzed and tabulated. These organized data are accessible at any point in the software, meaning that each manager is working with more accurate data in their discussions and meetings, all with less manual effort. 

Reduce costs

By having up-to-date data available at a moment’s notice, it’s possible to make adjustments quickly. What would have taken days or weeks to verify and prove before can now take minutes or, at most, hours. 

This cutback in time spent on analyzing data means that solutions can be implemented faster. The quicker turnaround time means that, over the long term, everybody can save on costs related to inefficiencies in their business. Also, since the data are analyzed via software, there’s little to no chance of human error affecting the results. This fact makes it possible to avoid future mistakes. 

Self-service analytics

With BI tools, it does not take a specialized data analyst to sift through the generated data. This specialist also does not have to be the sole person to render results, either. Instead, anyone related to the task can go into the tools and review data or generate reports. 

This self-service style of data analytics means that those working on the project can work at their pace. If one of the team members is normally stuck in meetings in the afternoon, that doesn’t mean they have to rush to get with their data expert. The data can be pulled as the team member is ready, increasing efficiency.

Make and act on predictions

Because BI tools allow anyone with access to the software to review data, that means there are more eyes on the data than before. With more people reviewing the information from these different sources, predictions and trends can be picked up by the BI tool of choice. 

Overall, this change means that the business can be faster on its feet to change direction or implement a change. Also, using data alert settings in the software, members of the team can be notified when conditions or data trends change. These alerts are another tool in the box for reacting to changes in each business’ landscape. 

Conclusion

Business intelligence tools offer the capability for each business to react to changes and inefficiencies in a way that wasn’t possible before. Empowering managers and your team with these tools is how to cultivate great leadership by giving everyone a chance to act.

About the author

E-3 Magazine

Articles published through E-3 Magazine International. This includes press releases by our partners as well as articles and reports from the E-3 team of journalists.

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