According to a report published by VCloudNews, businesses create roughly 2.5 million terabytes of data on a daily basis. When collected, arranged, and analyzed, this data gives us an invaluable insight into our consumers and business performance.
But, the question is- are you getting the most of this information?
To do so, small businesses should consider a strategic implementation of business intelligence. Even though it may sound pretty intimidating to you right now, BI is not reserved for famous corporations with massive budgets only. On the contrary, it gives small businesses the opportunity to use sophisticated technologies to gather relevant information and make sensible decisions fast.
To understand the importance of BI for your small business, let’s see some of its potential benefits.
It Helps you Predict the Future
Customer retention plays a fundamental role in your business growth. However, to maintain a base of your loyal consumers, you need to anticipate their expectations before they even think of them. This is exactly where predictive analytics shines.
Unlike traditional marketing efforts, these practices go far beyond a mere brand promotion and product recommendation. They help you collect and summarize massive amounts of consumer data, evaluate their previous buying habits, and make data-driven decisions. By integrating predictive analysis into your market research techniques, you will be able to:
- Forecast the shifts in the market demand
- Keep pace with the latest industry trends
- Build personalized marketing tactics
- Offer competitive deals and prices
In today’s era of hyper-connectivity, we have transferred almost all aspects of our businesses online. From real-time communication to data storage, we use a plethora of tools that help us share sensitive information and keep in touch 24/7. Business intelligence tools ensure you that your confidential information is safe and sound even if your employee’s laptop gets lost or stolen.
Most importantly, your employees will be able to run complex queries without additional IT support, as well as access all work-related information instantly, irrespective of their location. This is exactly what has inspired numerous small businesses to turn to some non traditional working arrangements, such as remote working. While investing in reliable BI software helps them maintain high levels of productivity and collaboration, this solution also enables them to minimize their costs. Statistics show that work from home programs help organizations save on up to $11,000 a year.
Having a real-time insight into the company’s operational performance is of paramount importance to every small business. The implementation of business intelligence tools gives you the opportunity to easily keep track of manufacturing costs, management and staffing structure, inventory, sales projections, and budget. Only by taking all these factors into consideration will you make sure that every aspect of your business is running smoothly. Additionally, you can also use these solutions to understand which products are most popular in a particular time frame, and in this way, have control over your inventory, boost sales, and make sure that your company stays competitive.
Choose your BI Tools Wisely
“A tool is as only good as its user,” they say. When collecting data, you could turn to some simpler tools such as spreadsheets to keep your business rolling. However, measuring, generating, and analyzing massive amounts of digits and information this way is not only time-consuming, but also nerve-wracking.
So, to harness all the power of business intelligence (and maintain your sanity), you need to leave all the hard work to more sophisticated business intelligence tools. For starters, do a research and choose the right one that meets your business’ needs the best. These tools will handle high volumes of data simultaneously, across multiple channels, give you the instant access to your data, and offer a real-time data analysis, taking your decision-making skills to a whole new level.
Here are several affordable and easy-to-use BI tools you should take into consideration:
- QlikView helps you drill down into the business-relevant information. With it, you can make your network safer, manage revenue, support logistics, and boost workplace productivity.
- Sisense is one of the most beautiful and easiest to use tools on the market. Based on drag-and-drop features, it is specifically designed for non-technical users. Allowing you to customize features, it gives you the opportunity to analyze your data via visual connector system and create powerful reports.
- Panorama Necto is a suggestive BI suite, designed to work well with numerous data resources, from spreadsheets to OLAP. Used as both on-premise and web-based tool, it provides you with advanced analytics, social business intelligence, and automated data.
- Birst. With adaptive open client interface, networked BI architecture, and automated data refinement, it helps you improve your business strategy and explore your data almost instantly.
- Domo can be easily synced with multiple sources, such as spreadsheets, databases, social networks, and different cloud-based platforms. It also works great on mobile devices and is compatible with both Windows and Mac, which makes it one of the most practical solutions for SMBs.
Back to You
Massive business-related information is supposed to be collected, synchronized, and transformed into a meaningful whole. Only by setting this data in the right context of optimizing your production, customer services, and marketing campaigns will you be able to survive in such a competitive small business landscape.
However, without business intelligence, none of this would be possible. It helps you understand how well your business is performing and predict how fast your niche will change over time. This will help you base your business decisions on data rather than guesswork, minimizing risk and maximizing revenue.
Guest contribution by Raul Harman
Raul is a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.