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What are Business Intelligence solutions?

17 May 2024

Business Intelligence (BI) is a collection of advanced tools, activities and technologies that allow companies to, among other things, analyze the effectiveness of current activities, identify trends and forecast future events. They also enable organizations to transform raw data into information.

Business Intelligence systems allow companies to effectively integrate, analyze and visualize data, thus supporting the process of making accurate business decisions.

What distinguishes Business Intelligence solutions?

There are many tools on the market that facilitate working with data and extracting valuable information from it. Business Intelligence solutions are distinguished by several factors that prove their superiority over other tools:

  • Access to real-time data

Business Intelligence tools enable real-time data analysis, allowing companies to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) in real time and react quickly to changes. This allows fast, uninterrupted access to data and the ability to present it without the need to prepare reports in advance.

  • Reporting and data visualization

BI solutions offer advanced reporting and data visualization capabilities that enable presenting data in a clear and easy-to-understand manner, making it easier to interpret. Reports can be prepared with specific areas of the company in mind. These may include HR, sales, financial reports, but also reports on data from the production floor or inventory levels.

Graphic 1. View of the “Salaries” tab of the sample report

  • Data workflow solutions for small and large companies

Business Intelligence solutions are flexible and scalable, which means they are able to adapt to the needs of growing organizations, serving small businesses as well as large corporations. Already deployed BI solutions allow flexible and quick connection to new data sources that have been implemented in the company.

  • Integration of data from multiple sources

BI solutions allow integration of data from different sources, such as databases, Excel files, or CRM systems, which allows for a holistic approach to data analysis. The above-mentioned features make the use of such tools beneficial for companies.

Graphic 2. A diagram of how a business intelligence solution works

Why implement Business Intelligence solutions in a company?

BI systems support organizations in automating and streamlining numerous processes. Implementing this type of tool can bring a company numerous benefits in many areas. Based on real, properly correlated data, companies can make valuable decisions regarding:

  • Process optimization

With BI, companies can identify areas where processes and efficiency can be improved, saving time and resources.

  • Monitor business performance

BI tools allow companies to track key Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in real time, while the visualization of financial statements and the ability to explore different aspects of the data enable quick understanding of trends and visualization of key indicators.

  • Increase the profitability of ongoing operations

Predictive analytics available in Power BI enables the prediction of future trends and behavior based on historical data. Through process optimization, better data management and more effective decision-making, BI contributes to the profitability of companies’ operations.

  • Personalization of offerings and services

By analyzing data through Business Intelligence tools, companies can better understand customers’ preferences and individual needs, which allows them to tailor their offers and services to specific market segments. Thanks to such measures, one of our clients recorded a 10% increase in the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, which you can read about in our case study.

  • Faster response to market changes

BI enables companies to monitor trends and changes in the market in real time, which allows them to react faster and adapt their business strategy to changing conditions.

  • Reduction of risk

Analyzing data using BI systems allows companies to identify potential risks associated with business operations, enabling them to minimize risks and potential losses.

  • Streamlining reporting processes

BI tools enable automation of reporting processes and real-time report generation, eliminating the need for manual data collection and processing. Power BI reports automatically update as new data comes in, ensuring that users have access to up-to-date information.

Available BI solutions

There is a number of Business Intelligence tools on the market that offer a variety of features and capabilities tailored to the needs of different companies. One of the most popular Business Intelligence programs is Microsoft Power BI. It is an advanced tool for collecting, analyzing and visualizing data, characterized by ease of use, intuitive user interface and a rich set of visualization tools. They enable the detection of trends and the easy presentation and quick understanding of data, so that complex processes, such as the visualization of financial statements, literally take a few moments.

Power BI allows users to connect to various data sources, such as databases, Excel files, and CRM systems, and create interactive reports and charts. It also makes it easy to share reports and dashboards across an organization and collaborate on them in real time. Integration with other Microsoft tools is also possible, making it ideal for companies using this toolkit.

Graphic 3. View of the “Demographics” tab of the sample report

Other popular tools for data analysis and visualization that differ somewhat in terms of features, user interface and licensing models are Qlik and Tableau. The final choice between mentioned options depends on the specific needs and preferences of the user and should be consulted with experts.