Making Business Intelligence a Part of Your Organization

Posted September 25, 2013 by Mark Scott on Social Media Today


Business intelligence is a relatively new field of inquiry that is interested in how we gather, analyze, interpret, and share information in a business setting. Business intelligence, or BI, can be observed in small organisations, large corporations, and in the greater global business environment. Even though all businesses are engaged in data collection, analysis, and sharing an applied study of how these processes take place is now possible as a result of cutting-edge computer technology. Business intelligence software is used for data collection and analysis. Data mining and Internet-based analytics are just two examples of popular business intelligence software.

Identifying your data needs

Before business intelligence applications can be brought into your organisation you need to identify what sort of data you want, why you want it, and what you hope to accomplish with it. These questions will help you identify what program suites are going to be most useful in your organisation.

Intelligence programs can be used to track:

  • Frequency
  • Saturation
  • Duration
  • Intensity
  • Correlation
  • and many user-defined data categories

The program mines, records, and stores raw data which can then be compiled and viewed for analysis. Intelligence programs have become a key factor in the trend towards data-driven operations and decision making.

Who needs intelligence software and what do they do with it?

Business discovery programs are used by many people in many difference fields. Intelligence software has been successfully applied to industries such as food service, sporting, retail sales, wholesale, third party order fulfillment, transportation, education, and research.

CFOs and other people who work in the financial sector are familiar with many intelligence tools. Intelligence software is necessary to transform raw financial data into a useable, comprehensible format. Until raw financial data is translated into meaningful conclusions and trends, the data remains all but meaningless. Waste, surplus, spending, and saving have to be shown in relation to each other and to other financial forces inside and outside of the organisation.

The healthcare industry has been quick to apply business discovery to their operations. Data-driven decision making and evidence-based practices are familiar to many in the medical industry since business intelligence information modeling has been used in this industry for some time. Just as the intelligence programs used by the financial sector transform raw information into a comprehensible form, the programs used by healthcare workers helps them make sense of the measureable trends that can be observed inside their complex industry.

Many people working in the IT industry will encounter intelligence software at some point. As interest in evidence-based practices grows there will be an increasing demand for the implementation of these tools and for meaningful analyses of the data collected by them. IT employees should also anticipate a surge in requests for training in BI software. This is a good time to study these programs and become familiar with the theories underpinning their design.

Where can I find BI software and other resources?

There are several big names within the BI industry – IBM, MicroStrategy, SAS, Oracle, Microsoft, Domo, and Infomatica are just a few of the best-known vendors of full stack and niche business discovery tools. Each company can introduce you to its own products; free or low-price demo versions of these programs may be available. These programs can also be purchased from any specialty software dealer, technical business supply source, or IT vendor.

You will need to inquire about training opportunities. Guided learning sessions will help your team make the most of these new computer programs. Most vendors have an educational staff that works with their clients, so simply ask your sales representative about how you can access training services.

Business intelligence is a fast-paced field that touches on virtually every industry. Advanced technology and software make it possible to collect and analyze data in entirely new ways. Businesses need to be familiar with this software in order to remain competitive and understand the data-driven world around them.