Image: Allan Ajifo Image: Allan Ajifo

It may sound like the latest piece of digital jargon, but business intelligence (BI) software is an increasingly crucial resource for firms that want to thrive in today’s data economy.

It refers to the use of services and software to process raw data into intelligible information. Bosses then use analytics tools to observe and collate this information, so that it can be clearly presented. Those in charge are thus given forensic levels of corporate insight, and are able to make far more effective business decisions.

This is the level of intelligence that’s needed for modern business, but accessibility is also a key theme; no longer the preserve of IT specialists, bespoke BI models are user-friendly and they stand to unlock far-reaching benefits that can be felt throughout the strata of an organisation.

Below we break down what bespoke business intelligence software can do help your company retain a crucial competitive edge in today’s digital domain.

A light in the darkness

Growing a company can feel like a risky business, but there’s no need for every decision to be fraught with a terrible sense of ‘what if?’ when data is used to guide the way.

Beyond accumulating and storing data efficiently, business intelligence software will update records in real time so that your firm’s knowledge stays fresh. Detailed forecasting models can be created off the back of this data, enabling bosses to replicate multiple business scenarios, offering a more rationalised view of future possibilities.

Hunch and guesswork are replaced by evidenced, reasoned objective clarity, greatly improving the integrity of decisions.

Insight on demand

The aforementioned accessibility of business intelligence is a real winner because it grants wisdom with speed and flexibility, which are both essential in our dynamic digital age.

Gone are the days of paper reports stored in offices that won’t be available until Monday morning; BI tools put authorised individuals in touch with online metrics on a round-the-clock basis.

Mobile devices make dashboards and documents available irrespective of a manager’s geographical location; as long as you’re online, you’re in the corporate cockpit and ready to fly. The result: better insight to facilitate creative responses to business questions at unprecedented response times and efficiency.

Get closer to your customer

Digital transformation is enabling companies to understand market needs like never before. BI software plays a crucial role in this dynamic, enabling bosses to perceive buying trends and anticipate opportunities to maximise profits.

Managers can more accurately identify ways in which products and services can be up-or cross-sold, greatly enhancing a firm’s provision to customers and clients alike. Building the consumer relationship, companies can use intelligence software to personalise the customer’s online experience. This targeting process strengthens the brand’s offering to the user, and streamlines marketing processes which in turn saves money.

The efficiency of service models can also fall under more detailed scrutiny, enabling firms to refurbish packages according to specific client requirements, thereby improving customer satisfaction.

Optimised internal efficiency

BI software doesn’t just improve your firm’s relationship with the market, it also enhances and strengthens internal structures.

Traditionally, data can be processed from separate applications, creating islands of disconnected data. Bespoke BI tools can unify these disconnects to paint a holistic portrait on a single dashboard, based on information taken from multiple sources.

As a result, forecasts are made with far more efficiency and at quicker speeds within an always-connected internal ecosystem.

Nick Thompson is the Managing Director at DCSL Software, and a major advocate of BI. “Business Intelligence really is the highway to decision-making,” he says.

“There aren’t many things more valuable to a business manager than being able to get instant access to key information like business performance and analytics. BI is what underpins great decisions.”

There is also an aspect of collaboration to BI, which helps bring members of different teams together by understanding how they all connect across the business. As Nick explains: “It can be a great motivational factor to see how the work you do in one area of the business has a tangible impact on another department. With BI, you can create a sense of transparency that brings people together. If we’re all looking at the same data, we can understand the overall direction of the business. And of course, this is great for the leadership team too, because it supports them in driving productivity.”

The DCSL Software team is experienced in setting up or improving BI systems for clients of all sizes. “The most rewarding thing for a developer like us is when we see quick return on investment in the client’s business. Often it’s that insight into the everyday data of the business that makes the biggest difference, as it helps managers make intelligent decisions much faster than ever before.”

Prepare for a smarter future

Ultimately, bespoke BI software is about business behaving in the smartest possible way so that a company can future-proof its growth.

Better reporting, improved analysis and optimised planning nurtures business processes to make for a happier and more productive workforce.

Further down the line, streamlining stands to make substantial savings while customers and clients alike will benefit hugely from the business relationship that they deserve.

By Stephen White, Amplified Business Content