Every company has data – and lots of it. Data tells you what your customers buy, what your sales trends, where your inventory, what are the advantages and disadvantages, and many more. Or rather, your data will tell you all these things, if only you could take a big pile of facts and figures and make sense of it.
Welcome to the world of BI(business intelligence). It describes the tools and technologies that help you understand your data. Business intelligence is vital for any company looking to excel in today's rapidly evolving business environment.
Business intelligence includes functions such as reporting, analytics, and data mining, and one of the easiest and quickest ways to gain insight into your data is to use a business intelligence software solution that will allow you to harvest in-depth data and generate BI reports for internal and external use.
A business intelligence reporting tool can give you the ability to:
- Locate company data quickly
- Connect multiple, dissimilar data sources and quickly and simply and define the relationships between data sets, no matter how convoluted they are
- Locate specific data using a very user-friendly interface
- Select data in a narrative style, which is natural to an individual's approach in focusing on desired data
- Present metadata as you wish it displayed and described
- Display selected data in a spreadsheet with critical numbers represented by a gauge in a summation cell for each row
- Generate reports on your schedule that can be delivered to multiple individuals in a variety of ways
Business intelligence gives your company up-to-the-minute information on your past, present, and future by turning a mass of jumbled data into key summaries and detailed reports that can guide critical business decisions.
Business intelligence reports come in many forms, depending upon the reporting software you use. Some programs let you create graphical tools such as charts, gauges, and dashboards that automatically refresh to display up-to-date information that is easily and quickly understood.
While business intelligence reporting tools vary in cost and capabilities, they all have one thing in common: the goal of providing your company with the information it needs in order to thrive in today's competitive environment.