Business Intelligence Basics

Andrea Steffes-Tuttle Insights

Part detective, part interpreter—business analysts play a role in everything from strategic planning to business models to information systems, all in an effort to help companies make better business decisions. Considering the amount of available data these days, that’s no small feat.

But, deriving insights through data analytics is only part of the job. To truly help executives and stakeholders make informed decisions, Business Analysts think in broader terms and it requires business intelligence (BI).

BI allows you to optimize business investments by combining and analyzing your organization’s data. It makes sense of data in graphic representations—pie charts, pivot tables, and column charts—enable you to easily see and understand the patterns and trends of your business activities and outcomes.

Best of all, you can use BI to evaluate just about any part of your business, including:

  1. Measure marketing’s performance and impact.
  2. Segment and optimize campaigns.
  3. Improve search marketing performance.
  4. View the attitudinal insights of your customers and prospects.
  5. Optimize your distribution channels.

The list of BI benefits goes on and on. Is it any wonder that research firm Gartner predicts CIOs will continue to focus on Business Intelligence and Analytics through 2017?

Now that we’ve pitched all the power of BI, the question becomes, “what are the available solutions for business who want to leverage BI?”

Business Intelligence Solutions

As a mindset, BI means using relevant data and available tools to form a subjective, yet informed, analysis. It’s big-picture thinking.

But in the form of software, BI helps you come to objective, data-supported decisions through data mining, online analytical processing, querying, and reporting. It’s how you drill down to make sense of the data.

Just a few years ago, only large companies could afford to invest in BI solutions— and hire the data scientists to run them. But now that BI is a Cloud-based service, the solutions are more accessible to more businesses and employees.

Even better, today’s solutions offer simple and accessible dashboards that allow users to easily build dashboards and manipulate data.

When evaluating full-stack BI solutions, look for the option that meets the right mix of data preparation, data analytics, and data visualization capabilities for your business. Some companies offer more services and others are more automated and self-service driven. Based on the resources at your company, you might need additional support. And, be sure to note that companies who offer more limited data preparation functionality will most likely require an additional investment in data warehousing.

Gartner identifies over twenty BI and analytics vendors in its 2017 Magic Quadrant report, listing Microsoft, Qlik, and Tableau as the industry leaders.

These are excellent options to check out. Tableau, specifically, has various packages for businesses of many sizes. So, if you’re an earlier stage company or have a small budget you can still get access to the powerful insights and business advantages that BI provides.

Looking for insight from an analyst? Connect with us to learn how Lityx can partner with you to help you leverage your data and advanced analytics to make faster, smarter business decisions.