“How’s everyone doing today?” is one of the questions that company heads always seem to like asking – and they’re not always making conversation either. (Sometimes they might be, but let’s assume they’re serious).
They’re usually asking this question for two reasons: to appear to be friendly, and because they’re at the top of the org chart and want to see the big picture of how everything looks at their level.
This doesn’t necessarily mean they want or need a full, comprehensive answer from everyone that requires them to dig deep and soon be overwhelmed with ALL the data. This can make a long meeting even longer! And company heads are very likely quite busy, you know. So, unless they specifically request a drill-down of a particular segment of a company, it’s safe to assume that they want a quick digest of the more important parts.
In a well-run meeting, various department heads can go quickly down the list of each unit and say that things are running well or share any areas of concern. This provides a good glimpse into the company’s overall fitness at this moment in time. Then, any speculation about “what’s next?” can be discussed later once all the metrics are known.
This formula generally works well, and is also the same concept behind a new tool called Business Intelligence.
Real-Time Information With Business Intelligence
Through a combination of data mining, business analytics, data visualization and current digital best practices, software has been developed to offer real-time information about different metrics, delivered in the form of a customized dashboard of how different units are currently performing.
Using Business Intelligence software, any authorized user – even the CEO himself or herself – can access whatever vital info points in real time, such as sales figures, product inventory, workforce, time for different processes, raw materials, production, deliveries and so on.
They may not have to conduct meetings to request regular reports if they have this regularly-refreshed data in front of them all of time. They can also look deeper in certain areas or receive more reports.
Companies in this current climate can use Business Intelligence features to spot possible weak points in their supply chains and plan accordingly, such products taking longer than expected to be produced or delivered. It can allow a company to adapt and pivot faster if change is needed.
Having all of these data points easily accessed through a central source can present a useful sky-high view.
It also removes some of the filters or biases that other organizations may experience if they rely on data from their analysts to form their decisions. They can still to reach out to different employees to get more details of unusual or unexpected data points,
As we describe it here at MIBAR, Business Intelligence helps companies be more responsive and gain a leg up on their competition, who may not have the ability to access and summarize all of this data at once, and then be able to act on it.
Its version can be embedded into its ERP packages, or it could be available as a stand-alone service.
Looking Ahead With Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence by itself is useful, but when combined with Business Analytics, another tool, users can discover even more insight into the state of their organizations or divisions. It also provides more data to make better predictions about future performance.
Yes, the disruption that COVID has done to our economy has shaken things up quite a bit, and “supply chain issues” barely covers all the delays, price changes, increased costs and other factors.
But companies still can include these details in their summaries and projections so they can have more real-time data always coming in from various sources.
Looking ahead can start with everyone being on the same page and having the same foundation. This prevents different types of measurements being used to plot different sales and performance projections. This way, different groups can share their input but stay on the same page.
Better Decision-Making With Business Intelligence
Since everyone involved in decision-making is able to share the same dashboards, not just top managers, it creates a common point of reference moving forward.
Using this shared foundation, companies can use Business Intelligence to make better decisions by:
- Spotting market trends
- Optimizing their operations
- Studying the behavior of their customers
- Identifying and responding to problems
Business Intelligence tools can be configured in larger ways beyond the company, if your company has the capabilities to find data sources. How about your competitor’s sales and price points? Store visitors? Fuel prices or other commodities? If your business has different branches, the top metrics from each branch can be objectively examined, especially if there are noticeable increases or decreases in revenue.
Make Better Decisions With Power BI and MIBAR
Power BI is a suite of cloud-based business intelligence and analytics tools designed to deliver insights across your organization. Leveraging hundreds of available data sources, you can see metrics and business drivers in a new light, slicing and dicing the data how you see fit. Advanced analytics, feature-rich business intelligence, and context-based analytics combine to provide enterprise-level measurement and analysis at a small business cost (learn more about Power BI pricing).
MIBAR has helped companies just like yours to discover, implement, and operate essential business intelligence software for more than three decades. Schedule a free consultation to learn more.