How To Get the Most Out of Business Intelligence Tools
by Christian Ofori-Boateng on Jun 28, 2017 8:17:00 AM
Business intelligence tools are fantastic investments. However, in order to get a return on your investment, you need to know how best to utilize those tools. Getting the most out of your BI systems demands forethought before buying. You also want tools that provide flexibility, and creative questioning skills.
Choose Accessible Business Intelligence Tools
Simply put, the more people can access and utilize your BI tools, the more effective they will be. Fortunately, every department benefits from business intelligence tools. However, if a handful of operators are responsible for generating and delivering the reports for all beneficiaries, then the flow of data is restricted. Even the best software has limits, and there are only so many reports a single operator can run in a day. On the other hand, if members of different departments readily access the company’s BI tools, your business generates more reports as needed.
Select Flexible Options
The best business intelligence software won’t just serve your business now. As you gather reports to improve your business finances and standing, your operations will likely grow. The right business intelligence software keeps up with these developments, saving you money and headaches down the road. It also helps ensure that you have continued access to the tools that helped develop your recent patterns of success.
Flexibility also ties into the first point, accessibility. Some business intelligence platforms are tailored for a very specific purpose. These naturally have value for their target audience, but their design limits their potential for business-wide use. BI products with the ability to support various business functions and departments return more results for a greater range of applications because of their flexibility. Task-specific tools limit their users and uses.
BI software tools are all about answers. How is a specific product performing? Are there production gaps in the existing system? Does the customer traffic at a given location justify an expansion? These are all fairly basic questions, but they’re built on much smaller, more detail-oriented concerns. In order to address major concerns, you should use your business intelligence tools to ask a whole lot of little questions.
If you want to examine a product’s performance, for example, you’ll need more than just one report. Basic sales numbers can be misleading, and they’re created by a host of variables. Some of these variables include which items had the highest sales and whether displays were visible. Other variables might include how many times the item went on sale, whether items were returned and how often, and if customers filed complaints. This list could on; however, understanding comes from the details. In order to build a comprehensive picture, you’ll need to ask a lot of questions.
The more employees you have to ask questions, the better results you’ll reap from your BI tools. Encourage questions through flexible BI software solutions and intuitive products. The solution to most business problems are complex, so the more information you and your team gather, the more solutions your BI tools will provide.