Data visualization tools give companies a way to stay competitive in their market verticles. How does business intelligence support decision making using data visualization? I will take a brief look at how major companies in three industries are using business intelligence to increase efficiency and profits through timely and informed decision making.
Oil Industry Uses BI to Reduce Costs
The oil industry has found many wonderful uses for business intelligence. The price of gas at the pump is dictated by the price of a barrel of crude oil. Since oil companies can't control the price of crude oil, the only way to influence profits is to control the price paid for distribution, marketing, and refining the oil. The oil industry has found benefit in using Business Intelligence solutions to reduce their costs and raise profits. Often times, it's a combination of off-the-shelf BI and custom BI that does the trick.
One way oil companies use BI is with regards to marketing. The price of a barrel of crude oil can change several times throughout the day. It is important for the marketing department to know the price, in real time. With this knowledge at hand, the marketing team can push sales when the price is high, and pull back when the price is low. Another example of how the oil industry can use business intelligence is when drilling for oil. Analysts combine data from geological and seismic tests to determine where to drill and the best means to do it. This information can help the oil company hedge their bets against loss and keep costs low.
Retail Industry Uses BI to Reduce Theft
Major hardware and garden store chains have also found a place for business intelligence. One issue stores tend to have is a problem with “shrinkage.” Inventory shrinkage is a term used when a product that is ordered gets lost somewhere between the time it is ordered and the point of sale. Theft tends to be over 75% of the cause of shrinkage. With this in mind, retail stores, including a large hardware and garden store chain, can take steps to prevent shrinkage. Business Intelligence tools allow for these stores to not only track how much product is being lost, but which stores see the most shrinkage, and which specific items tend to wind up lost. When a company knows this, they can put in place certain policies and procedures in order to help prevent shrinkage. If business intelligence can cut down on shrinkage for the hardware and garden store chain, profits should reach their planned potential.
Apparel Industry Uses BI to Track Latest Trends
If there is one thing we all know, it's that the fashion industry is extremely competitive and fast moving. What is in one minute is out the next, and therefore, it is critical that everything run swiftly and smoothly within the major clothing companies. They can use business intelligence and data visualization tools to make sure no time is wasted when they need to make changes. The company is able to survey competitors and develop key questions to help themselves rise above the competition. Once the questions are presented, business intelligence software can be developed to gain the answers to the questions. From there, the company can make the needed changes without wasting any time.
What industry do you work for and are you using BI? Explain below how business intelligence has helped your organization better as a company. I can't wait to hear what you have to say!
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