One of the most important aspects of business growth today is B.I, Business Intelligence; something the COVID-19 global pandemic highlighted even more in 2020.
Being able to collect and analyse your most important metrics in real-time is critical. Having the right tools to automate this process is crucial.
One of the major driving forces encouraging business to implement new ERP or business software systems is their inability to get the information they need from their existing systems. Many have an idea of which customers, products or branches are performing well but they lack the timely data analysis to back this up. They require an ERP solution that will support their business intelligence strategy.
Why you need B.I. Software
B.I. is an essential process of gathering data, analysing it and aiding more informed decisions. It’s not just an add-on application you dip in and out of; it’s an integral part of running your business and places information at the heart of your organisation.
If you’re not accessing the information you need to make good business decisions then the chances are you could be missing out on numerous opportunities you could exploit.
In today’s fast-paced environment those who are pre-empting the information they need are staying ahead of the game.
Companies who are able to access accurate and effective real-time data are able to maximise their potential by having the correct products in stock at the right times and can readily make changes such as adjusting staff rosters based on retrospective hourly sales information. Or adjusting to changing customer behaviour and working practices.
Good business intelligence not only enables you to spot trends and forecast opportunities but it connects your staff to critical information at the point of decision. This is essential if you want your staff to be given every opportunity to maximise sales. If a customer buys paint, your staff should be given every opportunity to up-sell paint brushes, masking tape or protective eye-wear etc. Or if a product is not in stock but a similar product is available, you’ll want to offer an alternative product in the hope of not losing out on a sale.
And for the MD of James Hargreaves Plumbing Depot, Gordon Rothwell, the ‘decision to go-live with Intact iQ on the 2nd of March 2020 proved to be a godsend” because the information it provided them aided their decision making during a very challenging year.
Ensure B.I. is Reliable
Your business intelligence should provide the opportunity to make insightful business decisions. The challenge however is to keep the underlying databases accurate and up-to-date so decisions are made on trustworthy data.
Unfortunately, many companies find the reliability of their data questionable. This is particularly evident now as businesses try to gain as much insight as possible in order to react quickly to market volatility and ever-changing consumer demands.
If you are currently assessing your company’s business intelligence, it is important you…
- Know the importance of how you gather, process and verify data
- Integrate business intelligence into every aspect of your business. This is best achieved through a single business management system that encompasses strong built in B.I. tools
- Find ways to minimise the time it takes to search for information. The use of workflows, alerts and scheduled reports are extremely beneficial here. Tools such Intact Nexus enable you to quickly and easily tweak these without reverting to your vendor. It’s where competitive advantages are gained
- Ensure your system can deliver instant, accurate and targeted information as required or even better, before you know you need to know!
Good business intelligence systems will enable you to turn volumes of data into meaningful information which will ultimately lead to more strategic business decisions and impact the way you run your business.
How effective is your B.I.?
If you don’t know how good your current B.I. is then ask yourself the following…
- Are you able to quickly get real-time answers to your questions?
- Can you easily see your key metrics anywhere at anytime? Who is buying what, your most profitable customers & bestselling products?
- Are staff accessing the information they need to serve customers as efficiently and effectively as possible? Have your sales reps got mobile access to the information the need on the road?
- Are you getting relevant information automatically delivered to you without you having to search for it?
Today, business intelligence is what you need to gain (and sustain) a competitive advantage so don’t be afraid to review your current B.I. capabilities. If you are not able to maximise the data available to you to exploit every opportunity to increase sales and survive in challenging times then maybe it’s time you looked at improving your current system or review other systems.
If you find your system is not only restrictive in terms of what it offers but requires expensive third party data analysis tools to get at the necessary data then it is definitely time for a change.
Modern B.I. tools have moved on from being general-purpose, off-the-shelf tools for reporting and ad-hoc queries to more enterprise-wide, fully integrated systems that offer a complete and accurate view of your business every time.