s a small business owner, you might have been forgiven for ignoring the value of business intelligence (BI) software in the past. Perhaps you felt like this type of data analysis was reserved for big companies with huge budgets and expansive IT departments. However, this is no longer the case.
In 2019, self-service BI means that small businesses will have the ability to produce more analysis than data scientists and traditional BI systems, according to Gartner. This information has led to business app specialists GetApp putting together a list of key reasons that small businesses should invest in BI software. They’ve also provided some insight into which type of BI is the best fit for your business through the help of a useful tool.
What is BI Software and How Can it Help My Business?
In a world run by numbers and statistics, a solution that helps your business organize and analyze its data makes for a crucial asset. BI software helps your organization analyze these data assets, enabling you to make better-informed decisions and improve processes. With BI, you can access dashboards and reports where you can complete all the data analysis you need to help your business thrive.
As a small business, this data can be instrumental in driving forward your future plans, with access to KPI’s, historical analysis and future forecasting. Having such a broad view of business performance puts you in the most informed position possible. What’s more, the importance of getting regular and accurate updates on performance can’t be understated. Waiting for end-of-month spreadsheets will leave your business lagging.
What Types of BI are Available?
There are two types of BI that are commonly seen in business; traditional BI and self-service BI. Traditional BI is the original form of BI that we alluded to earlier; it’s costly and very complex, often requiring a highly-skilled IT department to make it work efficiently. These factors are the reason a lot of small businesses have kept themselves away from BI. Modern BI (or self-service) is the new and simplified option, making BI much more accessible for small businesses. This cloud-based option provides user-friendly and accessible options to business owners who want to get involved in BI, but maybe don’t have the resources to maintain a dedicated staff of IT professionals and data scientists.
When choosing BI software, you’ll also have to decide between cloud-based BI or on-premise BI. Again, for small businesses, cloud-based software is the best option. The volume of data should be much lower than in a large business, where they would most likely use on-premise BI. It would be wise for small businesses to consider the benefits of self-service cloud-based BI.
What Are the Benefits of Self-Service?
Self-service BI might be a great option that opens the way for small businesses to utilize this type of software, but what benefits will it potentially bring to your business?
- Decision Making: In the past, you may have found yourself waiting for monthly reports to arrive before making decisions with any sort of accuracy. Self-service BI allows you to access business insights whenever you need them, making your decision-making process much quicker and more effective.
- Look Backwards and Forward: With self-service BI software, you’ll have the ability to look back at historical performance data in order to find trends and patterns. Further to this, predictive analytics will help you plot the future course of your business.
- Stay Ahead of the Game: BI software will allow you to uncover areas in which you’re underperforming before you fall victim to them. Being able to predict potential stumbling blocks allows you to better prepare for them and limit any issues you may face.
- Become Self-Sufficient: The clue is in the name ‘self-service’. Being able to access your own data whenever you need to is the perfect way to empower your business and take control – allowing you to step away from the spreadsheets and gain real insight.
- Know Your Customer – Perhaps the most important aspect of any business intelligence tool is the ability to learn what your customer wants from your business. Using personalized analysis, you can gain insights that will allow you to see through the eyes of your customers.
Self-service BI software could prove to be a vital tool in moving your business forward. These are just some of the benefits you could be taking advantage of should step towards this type of software. It’s no longer just big businesses who get to use exciting data analytics to gain an advantage; self-service has helped level the playing field and open up a world of possibilities for all business owners.