Business Intelligence 1: An Introduction and its 5 Benefits

In an increasingly analytics-driven world, it is imperative that businesses conduct their decision making based on having the right data on hand. This philosophy is commonly referred to as business intelligence (BI) and it has become quite the hot issue as of late. 

An Introduction to Business Intelligence

In short, business intelligence uses software and services to convert data into action. It is a combination of business analytics, data mining tools, data visualization, infrastructure, and best practices that empower a company to make decisions based on—you guessed it—data! Through reports, dashboards, summaries, graphs, charts, maps, and more, business intelligence gives companies detailed knowledge and insight into the state of their operations. 

How do you know if you have business intelligence? If you have a comprehensive view of your company’s data and then are able to use it to drive positive change, adapt to a dynamic market, and get rid of any inefficiencies, then you have it.

Business Intelligence Concepts

Generally speaking, there are two concepts about Business Intelligence you should understand:

Data consolidation is the process of accessing data in a database, either on-premise or in the cloud, from more than one source so that it can be logically joined together. This could be a copy or a pointer to the data. Think of a data warehouse—which can then be used for analytical processing. 

Data presentation is taking that consolidated data and then showcasing it in a variety of forms, like: charts, funnel reports, simple metrics, and so on. From here, business intelligence users can determine key performance indicators (KPIs) which will help them evaluate the progress and success of a certain operation.

What Are the 5 Benefits of Business Intelligence?

1. Faster, Better-Informed Decision Making

With more data comes more factual information about how your business is operating, which gives you the power to make better, more informed decisions at a moment’s notice.

2. On-Demand Insights

Because it is capable of instantly connecting with an array of data, BI software gives you real-time information. This lets you analyze and visualize data in order to identify trends and point out any operational outliers. 

3. Improved Customer Knowledge and Support

BI software is integral for organizations that wish to understand their customers on a much deeper level. With such knowledge, you can optimize marketing campaigns and customer service to better serve current customers and attract new ones. 

4. Improve Your ROI 

With more data comes better decision making and with better decision making comes a higher return on investment. BI software can help your organization determine where you need to cut costs, while also telling you which areas of your business provide a higher ROI. That way, you can focus less on initiatives that don’t make money while putting more energy towards those that do.

5. Predict and Prepare for the Future

It may sound like magic, but a proper BI software will not only help you analyze how things are going right now, it can also allow you to effectively plan for the future. With predictive analytics, you can get a firm grasp on where your company is heading and identify new revenue opportunities.

Over the next few weeks, we will be publishing additional episodes on this series covering: 1) How to plan for when considering a BI implementation and 2) How to find the right BI tool for you. We look forward to your comments and feedback.  


If you’re ready to consider a Business Intelligence software implementation, we invite you to learn more by contacting us at and letting us know what your needs and concerns are.