4 Business Intelligence Trends for Your Small Business
Posted by Erica Bell on July 11, 2013 in Business Software, Business Technology [ 4 Comments ]
Businesses, marketers and decision-makers are becoming more data driven in an effort to decrease costs and increase profits. Marketers use data to target ideal audiences more accurately and efficiently. CFOs are using big data to predict trends that could affect the success of their business’s bottom line. Sales managers and teams use data to determine whether or not quotas are met and where are there is room for additional sales opportunities. Business intelligence, as a result of data, is becoming more prominent. There are four business intelligence trends small businesses need to be aware of moving forward in 2013.
Data Becomes More Structured
Data doesn’t do a whole lot for businesses if analysts and team members who could use the data can’t easily collect it and break it down. A faster analytics experience comes from more structured data and businesses are taking note. In the past, a more structured approach to big data for business intelligence was just an idea. Now, it’s become more of reality. Structured data makes businesses and the decision making process more efficient.
- SMB Tip: Creating simple queries that provide more pin-point structures to huge data sets can provide insights more quickly and with more accuracy than trying to create complex algorithms geared at smaller samples.
The Cloud Matures for Collaboration
We may be used to collaborating in individual CRM systems or help desk solutions, but cross-company collaboration isn’t always easy. The cloud is maturing and BI providers are looking for ways to use this maturation for better collaboration and business intelligence. The ability to collaborate in the cloud using data across an entire company opens doors for better decision making and process redefinition.
- SMB Tip: If your business is considering an upgrade with one of the system’s it currently uses, consider going big with Big Data in the cloud. While a cloud BI solution won’t be a fit for everyone, do some research to see if any of the cloud solutions available will provide your business with analytics it needs to make better decisions.
Self-Service Makes a Splash
Self-service business intelligence is the idea that any user within your company can access and analyze the data they need. Different teams will need access to the same information to make better decisions. A self-service platform provides each with the right data in a format they can use to become more self-reliant. From which products should be placed on the counter in the morning vs. the afternoon to which supplies need to be re-ordered, look for ways to enable your employees.
- SMB Tip: Have IT focus on providing the right data in a secure, easy-to-use manner to different teams. Only allow employees access to the data that will enable them to become more self-reliant. Keep confidential, sensitive information only available to those who must have access.
More In-Depth Text and Visual Analysis
Visuals, such as infographics, can break data down to help more people understand business analytics. Visual analytics allow everyone to explore, understand and collaborate over the data presented. Part of the analytics now being more incorporated into business intelligence is text data, e.g. customer feedback, emails, and social media conversations. With social data continuing to grow, more in-depth text analysis is becoming more popular and it’s often being reformatted as a visual.
- SMB Tip: As your business collects customer feedback, whether it’s via email, a phone call or social media, make sure you are including the information in your data and analysis. Use the data you collect from all channels to create visuals for your marketing teams to distribute, customers to engage with, and employees for overall understanding.
Olivia Rud, author of “Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy” defined BI as a set of theories, processes, technologies, etc. that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information to help a business identify and develop new opportunities. As technology, such as cloud solutions, advance and businesses develop a better understanding of how people learn, e.g. via visuals, business intelligence will become more pertinent to your small business success.
(Image Source: adamr via freedigitalphotos.net)