Sarita Digumarti, Co-Founder & COO, Jigsaw Academy, The Online School of Analytics
While Business Intelligence (BI) is growing rampantly in developed countries, India is still warming up to it. Simply put, Business Intelligence is data-driven decision-making that includes the generation, accumulation, analysis, and visualization of data in a bid to help managers make better business decisions. In other words, BI is technology with a human touch: it involves processes and procedures that strengthen our capacity for collecting, sharing, and analysing data and making informed decisions.
Customer data is like a gold mine and Business Intelligence can help businesses leverage this data to increase customer engagement and satisfaction and resolve business inadequacies. Slowly but surely, Indian companies are realizing the hidden potential of BI. Factors such as increasingly discerning consumers, coupled with stringent government and industry regulations and a volatile marketplace, have led to the adoption of Business Intelligence. This has led to drastic improvements in operations and processes, and increased competence.
Relevance of Business Intelligence in organisations
So how does BI help an organisation move towards greater success? According to a recent study by Nucleus Research, organizations earn an average of $10.66 for every dollar spent on analytical applications such as BI and predictive analytics. That’s a 1000 percent return on investment!
Some of the ways in which BI can most directly affect and improve businesses and business processes include:
1. Aligning processes to the business objective – BI helps detect functions, people or activities that are improperly aligned with core business objectives. This in turn helps management take immediate action and improve practices. Lean and mean is the way to go.
2. Providing insights to the most difficult business problems – Quick access to large volumes of data helps extract critical facts at a rapid speed, and as they say, time is money!
3. Determine patterns in customer behaviour – Knowledge of customer patterns helps an enterprise know who its most valuable customers are, how to retain them and in some cases, when to let certain customers go.The better you know your target audience, the more likely you are to grow your business.
4. Empower employees – BI equips businesses with the most important tool for successful decision making: real-time information! With this, every employee can make informed decisions, increasing the success rates of business processes multi-fold. Real time information helps transform effort into efficiency.
5. Monitor the usage of companies’ resources – With BI, organisations can determine the cause of loss of productivity by tracking internet usage and how much time employees spend on activities unrelated to work. Better use of resources equals better returns for
6. Helps in cost control – BI improves the visibility of functions like inventory management. It lowers storage and maintenance costs by preventing to in manufacturing, by maximising production efficiency.
7. Scale performers in the organisation – BI helps reveal information on who the top and bottom performers are and enables one to reorganise a team to reap better returns from existing talent. It’s always beneficial to let your top performers know who they are.
8. Eliminate time spent on data entry –BI, when well-configured, can reduce and in some cases eliminate the time spent on data entry; time which can then be spent analysing outcomes and making better and more
Future of Business Intelligence
Oftentimes enterprises under-estimate the power of BI and think that Business Analytics is the answer, but BI has a very important role to play in terms of collection of data which includes interrogating, reporting, and can answer questions pertaining to what happened in the past. When an enterprise has all this in place, it is more likely to use business analytics and consulting to answer questions pertaining to the future, like ‘What is likely to happen in the future and why will it happen?’
BI certainly is emerging as a fast growing function. Today, Indian Companies like Housing.com and Eveready Industries are using BI to enhance customer interface and analyse sales data. BI as a function is finding a strong footing in the sectors of e-commerce and retail, finance (banking, insurance etc.), and surprisingly in the industries of gaming, food, fashion, public transport and governance. There is definitely going to be a strong dependence on Business Intelligence to advance user acquisition and growth in
As the dependence on data increases, almost any usage of data will require analytics and Business Intelligence to extract actionable insights in future. Experts predict that while the enterprise software solution giants like Cognizant and Wiprowill continue to offer Business Intelligence solutions, younger companies are poised to offer most of the fun and exciting BI software products. It’s a good time to be a data driven company when it is evident that data is the future. So why wait, join the data revolution and leverage the edge it will give your company.