Breaking Down Business Intelligence for SMBs
Posted by Erica Bell on September 19, 2013 in Business Technology [ 3 Comments ]
With the advances in technology and the awareness businesses have about what their consumers are looking for, business intelligence (BI) providers are looking to offer solutions at relatively low costs. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are a lucrative marketing and business intelligence providers are well aware of this. While BI may be a hot topic, some SMBs may not be aware of what types of solutions are actually available and what each means for their business. Let’s break down the 4 of most common types of BI and what the benefits of each are for SMB owners.
Mobility is becoming a must for many businesses. From remote HR to tablet sales, businesses are more mobile than ever. Mobile BI is taking the business world by storm. According to IDC, the world’s mobile workforce population will reach 1.3 billion by 2015. With a mobile workforce, you need to be able to deliver the insights and data of your business to your employees, no matter where they are. Mobile business intelligence solutions enable your business to do this without miscommunications or missed opportunities taking place. Mobile BI should be able to track near real-time data, alert users to data abnormalities, and equip someone to take immediate action based on available data.
Cloud BI is one of the biggest BI trends of 2013. Storing data and software in the cloud — essentially a series of large servers shared by a multitude of users — is increasingly popular both for matters of convenience and cost-effectiveness. Cloud BI puts dashboards and KPIs on the web. The data visualizations cloud-based BI applications provide and the associated software are hosted on a network, which means users don’t need to invest in additional software or hardware to access BI information and analytics.
Social business intelligence refers to the creation, publishing and sharing of custom BI or analytics reports. Social media BI allows you to view, in real-time, what people are talking about. Pulling data from different social media networks and reports can help your company refine and define its social media strategy and how it can most effectively use social networks for feedback and action. What people do online and on social networks provides an increasingly accurate picture of a customer’s profile, including lifestyle choices, buying preferences and brand perception. Small businesses can use this information without the extra spend of hiring yet another consultant.
While some say traditional business intelligence may be phased out in the near future by mobile, cloud or social BI, that’s not the case. Traditional BI is evolving as businesses strive to streamline their processes, dashboards and analytics tools. The more dated tools provide businesses with the basics – converting raw data into meaningful information that can be used for more informed decisions. While some may want more robust options that include a combination of social and mobile BI, or one that’s cloud-based, traditional BI solutions can be a best bet for small businesses who just want the basics at a low-cost price.
Understanding what options are available for your business can help you make the right decision when it comes to business intelligence. Even without a big budget, business owners and managers can find a business intelligence (BI) solution that can enable them to make more informed decisions for a better business strategy.
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