One of the many keys to creating a strong data culture is providing a comprehensive, consistent, and easy-to-use product that’s available to everybody. How can the right tools make it easier for teams to access and work with data? Let’s take a look!

What Exactly is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence involves the process of mining and analyzing data so businesses can use that information to make well-informed decisions. Business intelligence, or BI, includes a broad spectrum of technologies and methodologies—from how data is organized and examined to the ways in which those findings are reported. It’s used to answer the questions about how a business is performing and why certain performance successes or opportunities occurred in the past.

How Business Intelligence Supports Business Teams

BI instrumentation can be used by every member of a company across all teams, including sales and marketing professionals, as well as CSRs. Naturally, executives will have access to these tools, as well, helping to bridge the gaps between employees and leaders. Here are some ways the use of BI tools support teams from the ground, up:

1. Visualization

With business intelligence tools, team members can easily see the volume of products they’re delivering, services that are being performed, or number of people who are visiting the company’s website.

2. Tracking

BI tools enable team members to track potential leads through the sales pipeline easily, enabling them to learn more about their prospects as those targets work their way down the funnel.

3. Measuring Performance

BI tools allow employees and business leaders to measure metrics that showcase successes and opportunities against foundational standards and ultimate goals.

4. Evaluating Performance

With business intelligence, teams can more easily evaluate the performance of their marketing strategies and experiments with various campaigns.

5. Segmenting

BI enables users to segment their target audiences by demographic characteristics, thereby enabling more honed-in marketing tactics that speak to people’s needs and desires at exactly where they are in the buying process.

6. Generating Reports

BI is filled with all sorts of data, meaning reports can be run for decision-making processes across every aspect of an organization.

Business Intelligence Best Practices: Making the Processes Work for Everyone

If your organization is trying to determine how to implement business intelligence in ways that don’t disrupt your day-to-day functions, it’s important to take a step back and create a plan first. Doing so will ensure that your organization—and all of the people within your company—get the most from your investment into your BI tools. How do you do that?

Ensure the Tool Meets Your Company’s Needs

You never want to purchase a BI solution before you understand its capabilities and the solutions it could offer to your organization. Otherwise, committing to a product that doesn’t represent your business’s needs and goals can be an expensive investment that ends with a lot of frustration and lack of trust on behalf of your team.

It’s vital to get to know your own priorities first so you can seek out a BI solution (like Power BI) that offers the features that will help you achieve your overall strategies. The following are a few features you might want to investigate as you create your prioritization list:

  • Connections to data sources. It’s vital that your business intelligence instrument is able to link up with your other data-storage solutions. Make sure your BI tool can gather the most recent and relevant nformation so it can make timely decisions. Also, do your best to steer clear of workflows that force custom data pipelines to be implemented; these can cause disruptions if there’s a change or problem with the raw data.
  • Data querying. Another important point to check is how easily information maneuvers between your BI tool and the other data sources. Ideally, you’ll want to be able to connect and merge data from multiple sources so you can glean additional insights that otherwise wouldn’t be possible without all of the information working together.
  • Data visualization and dashboards. Charts and graphs can make all the difference when you’re trying to comprehend what the data is telling you. A good BI tool will come complete with various charts and the possibilities for customization to meet your brand’s unique needs. Look for a BI tool that can arrange groups of charts and tables into easy-to-use dashboards. In researching options, you’ll also want to find a tool that automatically updates its dashboards so your team members always have access to the latest information.
  • Data analysis. What type of analyses will your team be performing with your BI tool? The answer to this question can guide what product works best for your organization. BI is often focused on two types of analysis: descriptive and diagnostic. While other bells and whistles may seem attractive, ask yourself what you really need to ensure your team has all the tools it needs to get the job done right.
  • Data availability. You’ll want your team to have access to as much data as possible (for so long as it’s relevant to their particular job functions). Consider the freedom that BI tools can provide your business, making it easier for data stakeholders to perform more in-depth analyses. If you’re still in the process of driving your organization towards being data-driven, a self-service tool might be the best option, as these BI tools often don’t need the level of personnel more traditional BI tools that require dedicated data teams do. This can often ensure an easier buy-in from the whole team.

MIBAR Can Help

Let MIBAR help you unlock the potential hidden in your business data. Thanks to Microsoft and Power BI, the MIBAR team can transform your static business information into a rich interactive experience, delivering ad-hoc capability for even the most technophobic executive. With Power BI, MIBAR can now do in days what used to take weeks and months to achieve. If you’re ready to leverage all the information your data is trying to tell you, we’re ready to help you make the most of your business insights. Connect with us for a free consultation today.

Additional Business Intelligence Resources

Business Intelligence Made Easy—Power BI Case Study

5 Reasons Clients Ask for Power BI Data Visualization Software

Business Intelligence: Simplified for Corporate Finance