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
BI tools enable individuals and teams to track achievement, collaborate
with others, and follow recommended actions to improve organizational
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
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
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.
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.
- Activity Based Costing
- IT Services Costing
- Process costing
- 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
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
Reduce operating expenses, improve staffing levels, optimize reimbursement,
shorten cycle time, and identify trends in cost and profitability
across your clinical service lines.
Track the key business drivers for your diverse operations - from
food and beverage to room occupancy.
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.
Differentiate yourself from the competition and effectively manage
Build and grow more profitable customer relationships with Customer
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