What if you found yourself needing to present a solid case in front of your boss for why you want to purchase a Business Intelligence solution? What would you say? Anything that involves asking your boss to spend money might cause you to begin to sweat. You may never have to face this situation but, frankly, this scenario is making me nervous. So to help us both feel better, I’ve laid out a few points to help you understand a few advantages of BI.
A streamlined structure for reporting and analytics
Having a Business Intelligence solution with a data warehouse and cubes generally presents a very streamlined way for our users to get access to data. It’s widely known that ERP systems are designed and optimised for inputting information, but they are not built with the end-user in mind for getting information back out in an intuitive or user-friendly manner. A Business Intelligence solution helps ease the process of getting the data out, making it very, very easy to create stunning reports and dashboards. And most importantly, we can structure the data in a way that makes sense for the end users.
Consolidate multiple data sources into a single place
Business Intelligence allows you to consolidate data from multiple places in the same data warehouse. For example, if you have a legacy system in addition to Dynamics NAV plus Dynamics CRM, and a separate system to handle logistics, you can consolidate all of that information into a single set of tables in the data warehouse. The data warehouse would allow you to create a Finance Transactions table to present all of your financial transactions from your different data systems all in one place. In addition, this would give users one single point of access for all reporting across the organisation.
Control business rules and calculations for a single version of the truth
Business Intelligence provides the ultimate control over the business rules and calculations while facilitating one version of the truth for the end users. I’ve been in multiple meetings in the past where we sit down to talk about something regarding sales, and the meeting turns into two people arguing about who has the right numbers because their numbers are different. One person was looking at gross sales, and another person was looking at net sales with returns. Business Intelligence makes sure that everyone is looking at exactly the same information, and the information is being pulled from the same place.
Data-driven companies simply perform better with Business Intelligence
An MIT Sloan School of Business study surveyed 3,000 global executives, managers and analysts to understand how companies use analytics to drive operations and strategy. In the study, they classified organisations as top performers and low performers, looking for anomalies between the two. They found top performing organisations were more than twice as likely to use analytics to guide future strategy and operations. Many people tend to look at Business Intelligence as a long-term investment, but it’s important to note how top-performing companies use analytics to guide day-to-day operations in addition to more strategic initiatives.