What is Business Intelligence?

There is no business that likes to leave money on the table. It’s tempting for companies to try to squeeze as much output as possible from their workforce. The issue with this approach is that it’s not sustainable. Stressed out employees get burned out easily.

Too much data, demand, and digital elements—while also an enormous source of growth—can contribute to increasing work stress. A key solution to fight this business crisis is to deliver more intelligence to work.

If you’re a business owner, business intelligence lets you make intelligent decisions by using data to generate desired business results, saving you from squandering time, resources, and energy.

Business Intelligence in a Nutshell

Business Intelligence (BI) pertains to a variety of tools, programs, technologies, and practices. These are used to collect, integrate, measure, analyze, and present raw information to generate insightful, valuable, and actionable business data.

BI provides a range of techniques and systems that make it easy for your business to:

  • Gather data from internal and external sources

  • Prepare data for analysis

  • Design and run inquiries against the data

  • Produce reviews, dashboards, and data visualizations

These all aim to generate analytical results that will be available to both your company’s executives (decision-makers) and employees (operational workers). BI tools and programs are used to glean important details such as market trends, internal insights, and parallels in lost opportunities.

You can also use business intelligence to:

  • Reduce costs

  • Discover new business ventures and prospects

  • Identify ineffective business techniques

Evaluating which work makes the most significant impression becomes a struggle for organizations without business intelligence.

How Does Business Intelligence Work?

Technically, business intelligence is not new technology. Modern BI descends from the foundation of the Decision Support System (DSS) in the mid-’60s. It took about three decades before BI achieved widespread approval. Today, it has become an effective tool in all kinds of businesses.

So, how does business intelligence work? The simple answer: by using a data-capture process, pieces of information are obtained from several sources and documented in a database specially designed for your business.

The final BI output presented is visual, but to completely understand how BI works—and to fully maximize its benefits—you need to go back to the fundamentals of the process: the data. This area is often the realm of the company’s IT department, but as a business owner or executive, you need to know its workings so that you can apply BI more effectively and accurately when you market your product or service.