What Is Business Intelligence and Why Do I Need It?

by Kayle Simpson, on May 3, 2016

A couple weeks ago we discussed what a Data Warehouse is and how it can help your business. In that post we mentioned Business Intelligence briefly, so I wanted to go a little deeper into the world of BI and how valuable it really can be! To the unfamiliar, Business Intelligence just kind of looks like two important words put together to form a buzz worthy term. However, there actually is a lot of substance to BI, and it is vital to companies big and small!


So, what exactly is Business Intelligence anyways? Business Intelligence is...


1.Technology Driven 


Almost anything can be automated by computers these days, including how much coffee your office goes through in a day! In order to be as accurate as possible, information used for BI needs to be from technology. One of the biggest problems with tech-driven businesses these days is how complex it can get - every app or piece of software you use creates its own set of data. In order to get the most out of Business Intelligence, you need everything to be in one spot. The best way to do this is with a Data Warehouse!

Example: Your customer purchases are in one system, like Stripe, and their account information is in another, like SalesForce. You can't use the two together unless their data is integrated!


2. Derived from Data Analysis


Data Analysis and BI are actually a little different! You can't have BI without analyzing some data first. Otherwise, it's not really intelligence! Data on its own doesn't tell you much of anything. Data analysis is what seperates numbers from stories - it's the process of taming and wrangling your data to give you the insight that is vital for making well informed business decisions! 

Example: Data Quality is a big part of successful Data Analysis! If you want to tell how many purchases are coming from the same household, with multiple customers, do you have a way to connect all of those customers to the same household and are all your addresses formatted the same way? Once you standardize a way to do that, you can get all the information you want!


3. Useful Insights


The most important part of BI is how you can use it - based on your technology driven data analysis, business intelligence is what happens next! This is why a good BI professional is both data driven and business savvy - two things we highly prioritize here at Arkatechture. We also know that managing a business comes with a lot of difficult decisions - who to give a raise, whether or not you need a new employee, what social media channels you should focus your marketing on, and what your target customers are most interested in buying. Wouldn't it be nice if instead of following your gut blindly, you could get an answer you can feel good about? That's what Business Intelligence is for! 

Example: Going back to the household of customers, now that you know what they are buying, you now have the opportunity to market to them what they aren't buying! Or you can develop a new product based on their purchasing patterns. 

BI is pretty cool, right? If you or someone you know could benefit from Business Intelligence, go ahead and set up a consultation with us today

Topics:Data Science

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