Brad Lathrop, Key2 Consulting
By: Brad Lathrop  
 
 
Business intelligence is one of the best processes/methodologies companies can invest in to increase success. And businesses worldwide know this – the global business intelligence market is predicted to reach nearly $30B by 2022.

What is business intelligence exactly, though? We define business intelligence as the process of taking actionable data and transforming it into meaningful information. This meaningful information is then used by stakeholders to make better business decisions.

Companies who maintain strong BI practices enjoy serious benefits. Here are 3 invaluable benefits of business intelligence:

  1. Better decision-making
  2. Increased data quality
  3. Increased reporting quality

 

  1. Better Decision-Making
  2.  
    The point of business intelligence is to make better decisions. It’s that simple, and it’s for that reason the global BI market is so enormous.

    If your current business intelligence initiatives aren’t helping you make better decisions, you should change your BI strategy and processes immediately.

    Here’s a quick client example of a company reaping the benefits of better decision-making thanks to business intelligence.

    We are currently helping an educational nonprofit organization build a robust dashboard that empowers the organization’s customers (district level decision-makers) to identify schools that are struggling to meet certain standards.

    Not only does the dashboard we are creating provide valuable, organized information, it also provides the information in a timely manner. The information is derived from the analysis of various data sets, from parent, student, and teacher surveys to test scores to classroom observations.

    You can imagine the value this dashboard brings. Without great business intelligence, these decision-makers would be making far less-informed decisions. They wouldn’t have access to valuable information and reporting that encompasses the various data sets mentioned earlier. And that valuable information wouldn’t be organized into one central, organized, highly useful location.

    Businesses that are making better business decisions because of sound BI practices are simply winning in the competitive marketplace. According to a recent Forrester report, “by 2021, insight-driven businesses are predicted to take $1.8 trillion annually from their less-informed peers.”

    That’s staggering.
     

  3. Increased Data Quality
  4.  
    Our second top benefit of business intelligence is increased data quality. The higher the quality of your data, the better your business intelligence is going to be.

    What exactly is data quality?

    Global big data software company Syncsort defines how to assess data quality very nicely. According to Syncsort, data quality can be effectively measured with these five dimensions: completeness, validity, timeliness, consistency, and integrity. We agree very much with this list.

    When your data is of the highest quality, you can be assured that it’s reliable. And once it’s reliable, you can have confidence in basing important decisions on your data and reporting.

    Here’s a diagram we use in our slide decks to illustrate the decision-making value you can receive from working with high quality data thanks to sound business intelligence.
     

     
    Business intelligence enables companies to increase their data quality because many BI practices, processes, and technologies entail tasks like cleaning data, organizing data, testing data, matching data, applying logic, and so on.

    Here’s another client example. We are working with one of the largest healthcare organizations in the world. This company’s data is vast and complex, and includes interesting data sets like patient appointment records.

    To improve and maintain this client’s data quality, we frequently check the data (quality assurance – QA) to ensure all foreign keys are in sync with the primary table we are working with. So, if there is an appointment table, for example, we make sure that any keys that reference the patient table match up for the specific patient.

    Can you imagine the implications of this organization having low quality data?

    High quality data enables this client to provide better care for patients, resulting in better health outcomes, healthier people, higher customer satisfaction, and increased profit margins. This is crucial to their success.
     

  5. Increased Reporting Quality
  6.  
    Our third top benefit of business intelligence is better reporting! First and foremost, good BI practices gives you confidence in your reporting because you know your data is clean, accurate, and timely (high quality like we just discussed).

    This enables practitioners to create powerful reports and visualizations that can be trusted (check out our blog post, 3 Power BI Map Visuals to Bring Your Data to Life, here).
     
    Power BI Bubble Map Visual
     
    The better your reports are, the more empowered your users are going to be. The more empowered your users are, the more knowledge and information they’ll have, and thus, the higher the likelihood they make the best decisions and thus create the best outcomes.

    Think about it – imagine trying to create a powerful visualization without data. You couldn’t do it. Reporting is essentially nonexistent without strong BI initiatives fueling it. How could you ever have interactive reports or other powerful reporting tools to monitor KPIs and other company performance metrics in real-time?

    You wouldn’t be able to. Thus the importance of BI.
     

    Do you want to improve your business intelligence?

    If you’re struggling with your BI processes and/or your organization is not obtaining these benefits, we can help. We can help you create a new, custom BI solution from scratch or can adapt and customize an existing one. Contact us today for more information!
     

    Questions?

    Thanks for reading. We hope you found this blog post to be useful. Do let us know if you have any questions or topic ideas related to BI, analytics, the cloud, machine learning, SQL Server, Star Wars, or anything else of the like that you’d like us to write about. Simply leave us a comment below, and we’ll see what we can do!
     

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    Key2 Consulting is a data warehousing and business intelligence company located in Atlanta, Georgia. We create and deliver custom data warehouse solutions, business intelligence solutions, and custom applications.

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