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Uses For Business Intelligence [BI] Tools


BI products have historically been regarded as simply reporting tools, that need to load data from the source systems into a data warehouse before analysis can take place. The data must then be cleansed and transformed according to rules before it is analysed, making it untimely and unsuited to support decision-making. Fortunately, things have changed in the realm of business intelligence tools.

Business intelligence [BI] tools are not just for use by Marketing, IS and Finance departments. They are delivered to the desktop for use by every user in the business that requires decision support or operational measurement.

All the data extraction, transformation and loading processes [ETL] are automatically done as data is created, making data accessible in near real time to business analytics tools on the user desktop.

With the help of BI tools, organisational decision-makers are now closer to their operations - the call centre, factory floor or the supermarket.

BI tools enable individuals and teams to track achievement, collaborate with others, and follow recommended actions to improve organizational performance.

 

Dashboards

Dashboards are no longer just for executives. By assigning data access privileges by role, dashboards can be made available to all, giving them an efficient view of the status of the business. They can be used for a number of different purposes:

  • Monitor critical business metrics
  • Receive proactive alerts about business or operational issues
  • Manage goals at individual, team and unit levels
  • Track performance across business units

Visualization

Dashboards enable visualization of business performance not possible with tabulated data alone. Complex business data can be more readily assimilated and remembered using interactive visual models with charts, drop-down menus, and sliders.

 

Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting

Business goals can be transformed into financial plans and budgets that can more easily be measured and improved. Information can then be easily shared with anyone who needs it.

 

Incentive Compensation Management

Manage complex employee payouts and align with enterprise-wide performance goals while staying flexible and making quick, accurate calculations.

 

Financial Reporting

Financial reporting is a convergence point of all business transactional data and all operational data. Business intelligence tools enable a complete, corporate wide view of EVERYTHING. This can include current results and variances to provide insight into the true cost of individual financial activities and a complete view of operational costs and profitability.

Close

Reduce the time, effort and cost of intercompany reconciliation and financial consolidation to close your books more quickly and confidently than ever.

Forecast and Cost Control

Increase forecast accuracy and understand the drivers of cost so you can better predict business outcomes and maximize profitability.

Costings

  • Activity Based Costing
  • IT Services Costing
  • Process costing
  • Cost-to-serve

Profitability Applications

  • Channel profitability
  • Cost and profitability analytics
  • Customer profitability

 

Industry Use of BI Tools

BI tools are used in every industry where data is collected. The following examples in key industries only represent ONE way in which business intelligence significantly impacts the performance of the business.

Financial Services

Align operations and service to factors that drive financial success with budgeting and balance sheet planning, incentive compensation management, reporting, payroll planning, and strategic planning applications.

Healthcare

Reduce operating expenses, improve staffing levels, optimize reimbursement, shorten cycle time, and identify trends in cost and profitability across your clinical service lines.

Hospitality

Track the key business drivers for your diverse operations - from food and beverage to room occupancy.

Insurance

Drive accuracy and accountability in your underwriting profit projections, understand how changes in interest rates impact your income, align operational strategies, reduce errors, and automate creation of profit-and-loss statements.

Retail

Differentiate yourself from the competition and effectively manage operations.

Build and grow more profitable customer relationships with Customer Intelligence.

NEXT: Business Intelligence Products

 

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