The importance of business tools for a competitive edge

Published December 6, 2019   |   

Many companies tend to disregard newer business intelligence (BI) trends in favor of tried-and-tested older methods. While traditional methods do have their benefits, today, it is more important than ever to use effective, modern business intelligence tools to remain competitive. Stay current to succeed in today’s digitally-driven and fast-paced world. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the various ways in which different business intelligence tools can help your business succeed.

BI tools can help save money

In an article on Biztech, Wayne Eckerson, founder and principal consultant of the analytics strategy firm Eckerson Group, states, “It may seem intimidating to implement BI and analytics. But off-the-shelf tools that can be adapted to a business’s unique environment are becoming increasingly viable (and valuable) for small and midsize businesses.” In reality, implementing BI has many benefits — from yielding a huge return on investment, streamlining internal processes, saving your business money, and so much more.

Biztech goes on to offer the example of the LaVan & Neidenberg law firm in Plantation, Florida. This law firm, that specializes in veteran’s disability and Social Security cases, created a BI software for themselves to use. The BI application automatically recommends whether to accept or reject a potential case. It considers hundreds of data points and then determining whether the case could be won. In turn, this saves the law firm lots of time.  They can avoid spending time manually going through potential cases. Additionally, because the BI application can estimate the odds of winning or losing a case, it also allows the law firm to reduce risk by not accepting a losing case, thus saving the firm a significant amount of money.

BI tools give quick access to data

According to this infographic by Ohio University, every day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are collected. But this data is absolutely meaningless. Unless it’s synthesized into actionable insights. This is where BI tools come in. By using the appropriate tools, this data can help your business grow. It’ll increase the relevance of marketing campaigns, boosting website views, and driving conversions.

Macro Ophthalmic is a great example. It shows how BI tools are used to gain access to data, and then utilize them in an appropriate manner. As per the BizTech article, the vision diagnostic equipment provider uses tailored BI tools to “process both its transactional and analytical workloads in memory to gain better insights into customer data and, as a result, increase the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and identify demographic opportunities.”

Essentially, the BI tools give Macro Ophthalmic quick access to data.  Then make insightful decisions, further target marketing efforts, and improve real-time customer service.

The ability to make immediate decisions can give your business a huge competitive edge, especially considering that 47% of business professionals report that untimely access to information hampers decision-making ability. Additionally, the inability to respond to external circumstances in as little time as possible is also a threat to the cybersecurity of any business. Both these problems could easily be solved by utilizing BI and analytics tools that allow for real-time monitoring, the detection of intrusions, and an always up-to-date bird’s eye view of your business.

How to use BI tools to stay competitive

Now that you know some of the benefits (amongst many others) of implementing BI tools into your company’s working, you might be wondering how exactly to go about doing so. To get started, consider these general recommendations by experts at Datapine, based on their 11-Step BI Roadmap:

  • Define Your Objectives: Before choosing what BI tools to use, you need to clearly define your objectives are. Then consider what exactly you want BI to help you with.
  • Asses Your Current Situation: Figure out what is working, what isn’t, and be thoroughly aware of operational procedures.
  • Build a Timeline: Put together a realistic timeline that details short and long term goals. This timeline should act as a roadmap to follow when it comes to your BI efforts.
  • Clean Up Your Data: Clean data is essential to realizing actionable insights. So, be sure to spend some time tidying up all the data you have on hand.
  • Hire Additional Help (if needed): Sometimes, you might not be able to effectively handle the complexities of BI tools on your own. In case you are struggling, consider hiring a Chief Data Officer. As well as a small team that can focus solely on data and business intelligence.
  • Choose the Right Tools: Take some time to try free trials, interview various BI and analytics providers, and consider building a custom application. Choose BI tools based on your needs and objectives, considering things like the ability to scale up and whether the tools should be cloud-based or on-site. Do not rush this step. The more effort you put into finding the right tools, the better the results will be.

In conclusion

These are just some of the ways in which BI tools promote business growth and success. There are many other benefits that come with BI. The ability to identify loopholes in operations processes. The ability to tighten the company budget based on insights. And the potential to keep customers loyal and engaged.

It goes without saying, but turning to BI is no longer an option.  It is a necessity to stay relevant in today’s business marketplace. Ultimately, choosing to use business intelligence tools is a surefire way to stay competitive, and increase your company’s revenue.