Business Intelligence (BI) Software Buyer’s Guide
Almost every time, big business decisions are taken on the basis of pre-analysis of available data. Organizations having strong data mining team come up with robust business decisions. With that being said, the need for a data mining team can be considered a priority. However, not every time, human works can be error free. Also, it takes a considerable amount of time for a dedicated team to hunt down potential resources to collect data. In this case, business intelligence software can be your savior.
» What is Business intelligence software?
The Business Intelligence software or the BI software is a suite of applications integrated to enhance the productivity of any business. It helps in transforming data into actionable intelligence to help managers come up with easy and quick business decisions. Also known as descriptive analysis, bi software differs from BA software (Business Analysis). Unlike BA, BI does not tell you what to do; it says what it was and what it is. Business Intelligence tools access data in a detailed manner and summarize the facts on the dashboard in the form of graphs, charts, and maps. It can provide valuable insights into your business to increase sales intelligence to a new level.
» What does Business Intelligence software do?
BI offers a series of tools to analyze the data in order to understand the current market trends better. It streamlines the effort people need to put into data mining in order to obtain the information required to come up with an easy decision to a complex problem. As it can analyze numerous data points under a single time frame, taking decisions becomes quick.
» Why do you need a Business Intelligence (BI) Solution? Is it worth investing money in?
Without a doubt, the answer to this question will be a big Yes. The business intelligence software helps tailor day-to-day work requirements without the need for technical experts which also helps in cutting down the financial expenses and wastage of resources. Hence, within a shortened amount of time and with greater efficiencies, companies can get daily essential reports on self-analytics for the efficient organization of their work environment. It’s like having a genie which helps by providing solutions which cater to every need of an organization. Moreover, the real-time instant updates also help businesses and companies to develop audience-specific products and content which aids in maintaining the traffic inflow to the organization.
» Before you choose Business Intelligence Software
With the ever-increasing rise in the competition between businesses, the race for emerging as the most recognized and sought after the business group has become a very daunting affair for companies and industries. So, one should always know some tips and tricks so as to be able to invest in a good business intelligence software.
1. Instant Support
Businesses are more and more implementing business intelligence software with instant support features to reduce the time taken for resolving user issues. This creates an additional layer of trust on the company, thereby attracting the inflow of traffic while minimizing the use of resources.
2. Access to data sources
Data withdrawal and the facility to access data from anywhere provides a streamlined process of data retrieval and authentication. Moreover, the real add-on is when a user is able to access both contextual data, relational sources, and metadata of each field involved.
3. Interaction with reports
While choosing a business intelligence software, one must ensure that proper care is being given to research that the bi software allows different interactive methods for separate communities, such as one for the casual public and the other one for the administrative users. This allows maintaining uniformity over the working of the business.
4. External Sharing
The facility of external sharing, when provided in a business intelligence software, is definitely a charm as it improves public engagement by enabling the approved members to comment, suggest edits, and many more, which results in bringing up a more refined and innovative business idea.
5. Threat Detection
Every company has its own share of confidential information which needs to be kept safe no matter what. Hence, while choosing a BI software one must be careful enough to choose a legitimate one so as to save their company’s secrets from leaking out. A good business intelligence software not only gives better protection to the confidential information but also ensures regular tracking of data usage to unveil any potential threat.
6. User Interface
Various BI software comes with user-friendly user interfaces which also plays a bigger role in the retention of the traffic. Moreover, the user interface should also be capable of meeting the user requirements, while simultaneously in compliance with the corporate environment. Also, companies and businesses providing mobile interfaces should also ensure a good responsive touch and instant page opening in their native apps.
» How to choose the best Business Intelligence software?
With a myriad of additional features available in business intelligence software, we have mentioned the most productive features which are essential for a business.
OLAP or Online Analytical Processing helps in extraction and query various data and form meaningful information out of it. With valuable information, you will have the opportunity to look them from all possible angles. OLAP assists a company with financial reporting, budgeting, planning, sales forecasting, trend analysis, etc.
All data collected from multiple sources are stored in data warehouses and classified into data cubes. Establishing a robust data warehouse, you can segregate and categorize your data according to different dimensions. All the organized data are stored in OLAP cubes and used for interpretation and decision-making process whenever required.
2. Executive Dashboards
An executive dashboard provides a graphical representation of your business’s overview. With vivid graphs, charts, credible reports and summaries on your disposal, you will have the opportunity to take viable and faster decisions in the future.
3. Ranking Reports:
This feature offers a one-look view of your company’s worst and best-performing activities. Whether it’s related to a product or a marketing campaign, you will get the performance ranking in one single page. It will let you access performance ranking based on different criteria and enables you to take corrective measure on negatively performing facets.
4. Ad-Hoc Reports
With Ad-Hoc Report feature, you can ask your non-technical team to generate their reports without massively depending on the IT department. The feature allows the end users to pick up respective elements and add data in it. For example: if you have an outside sales force who are supposed to submit their daily reports regarding sales, orders taken, client visits, etc, then they can send you daily reports through the Ad-Hoc Reporting feature. You can collect all the data from your sales team from different territories and make a meaningful assumption without any dependency on the IT team.
5. User Specific Access
It’s not logical to provide full access over classified data to everyone. Therefore, a User Specific Security feature allows you to restrict specific users regarding their power on accessing data. With this feature, you can personalize particular data sets and enable their access to only a specific individual or group.
6. Interactive Reports & What-If Analysis
This feature allows you to categorize your massive amount of data into a wide range of interpretations using functions like regression and statistical analysis.
With a what-if feature, you can run a future analysis on your upcoming business decisions. If you are unsure if your next choice is going to be fruitful or not, then you can use the what-if analysis using past data and predict the future impacts of your proposed business plans.
» What are the features of Business intelligence software?
Here are some of the basic features Business Intelligence Software offers:
1. Predictive analytics
The Predictive analytics feature of a Business Intelligence software helps in forecasting the future behavior pattern by taking raw data (new and historical data) into consideration. It offers promising predictions regarding the change in activity, behavior, and trends. The software adopts advanced algorithms and methodologies like Decision trees, logistic regression models, and time series analytics.
The emergence of big data system helped enterprises in accumulated Goliath data mining and helps the company with predictive insights. The features of predictive analysis are used by vital sectors such as Financial Services, Insurance Companies, Healthcare, manufacturing, and retail, etc.
The Predictive Analysis is a crucial feature which must include in your business intelligence dashboard software. The feature helps you with targeting online advertisements, detects any futuristic failure based on past & current mistakes, determine the purchasing patterns of customer and analyze theirs over behavior and more.
2. Budgeting and Forecasting
With this feature in your business intelligence solutions software, you can set long and short term goals for your business. The software helps you determine the required resources for your purpose and assist you with the implementation and achievement of that goal. The app facilitates a productive business environment where you can take responsible business decisions. This feature provides information based on which you can make futuristic changes in your cost prices, revenues, and sales.
Before investing in a Business Intelligence software with this feature, make sure it comes with the forecasting feature your business requires. Features include investment tracking, production forecasting, sales forecasting, financial forecasting, Human resources forecasting, etc. you can select software which consists of your required type of forecasting integration.
However, it’s always better to choose software that includes all variety of forecasts in a single combination.
This feature helps with your business’s overall performance by determining the possible improvements you must implement in your business. You can set likely targets and collects meaningful insights on various industrial trends. The Benchmarking process let you compare your different business process and performance metrics as per predefined Industrial Standards.
This helps you gain insights into your underperformed and over-performed areas of business by putting your business performance in perspective. The feature enables you to prepare for a better business opportunity by identifying the improvements which you must consider. The business decisions are backed with logical data rather than a personal perspective.
All you have to do is define a process, identify your potential partners, followed by a few other simple steps. Then the software will display the existing gap in your business along with displaying the differences in processes involved in your potential partners. You can establish your future difference, target future performance, modify your goals and implement them with ease.
4. Profitability analysis
With this feature in your BI Software, you can forecast the profitability of a business proposal or enhance the profitability of an ongoing project. The software helps you in identifying various pros and cons of your products and services by analyzing raw data. It takes the market trends in perspective and displays the potentiality by anticipating the sales and profit you can incur through it.
With this integration in your Business Intelligence system, you can identify your profitable clients and get an idea on whom you need some more work. If you are accumulating business information from different sources, then this feature can help you decide the credibility of each source.
It helps you identify the reasons behind sales decline and offer promising remedies. Also, it takes the customer demand in perspective and offers you various ideas about how to enhance your relationship with customers.
» How much does business intelligence software cost?
The pricing part varies depending upon the scalability and bi tools integrated into the software. Usually, four types of pricing structure are available – Quote based pricing, Business size-based pricing, Product set based pricing and App offering based pricing. However, taking an average of values from low to high, the average monthly price of business intelligence software can be capped at $220/ month or roughly $3000 per year.
Business Intelligence software is a boon for business people to come up with robust decision-making power. It helps to visualize data on a broad perspective and chunks out the necessary information required from the pool leaving the rest behind. Though there are many alternatives available in the market, it is better to go through tight scrutiny before subscribing to any particular software.