¿ BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE ? Know it in 5 minutes

There are extended concepts such as ERP or integral management system for companies. They allow to manage the data of the companies by modules according to activities (Accounting, Stocks, Billing, Production …).

ERPs prioritize the recording and control of operational data for the management of the company. This is necessary to be able to carry out day-to-day activities, but when the management intends to obtain information aligned with its strategic plan, in most cases these platforms are insufficient to satisfy that demand, both in content and time. The large amount of information can not be handled efficiently, requiring a considerable effort to elaborate the available data to obtain the desired information.

This raises questions: is my system able to provide me with the information of the reality of my company in a timely manner? How can I easily combine my data with external ones that are vital? What effort should I dedicate to processing them for know and understand what is happening? How reliable is the result? …

The answer lies in the Business Intelligence (BI) platforms, which emerged years ago, focusing on the real and in-depth analysis of information, providing agility and precision in the analysis to decision-makers.

The fundamental pillar of the Business Intelligence tools is to generate knowledge. Let’s see an example:

  • Traditional systems handle basic data, but these are abstract (Sales [6] = 25,000).
  • They generate information with listings and statistics incorporated (sales in June are 25,000 euros, 3% higher than the previous year).
  • Analyzing this information, knowledge is obtained (success is due to the greater penetration of two products in the European market and the objective achieved by the sales network with volume discount campaigns).

Business Intelligence tools seek to generate knowledge within the company in its different areas, being especially useful to the people who run them, equipped with business intelligence, for which accurate and complete information is essential:

  • In a basic analysis we can go from knowing if we are doing well, to determining the business areas that generate the most benefit at the level of products, such as areas, customer types, or other classifications.
  • In more complex analyzes we will know the real profitability of our products, areas of improvement and even make future projections of our business, combining information from our integrated systems (ERP, CRM …) or auxiliary (web pages, spreadsheets, … ).

And everything from the point of view of who makes decisions, since it will be able to compose the information and to arrive at conclusions of independent form without depending on a computer technician, and to share them with the rest of the company.

To conclude, to a BI tool we must ask:

  • Observe what happens.
  • Understand why it happens
  • Predict what can happen.
  • Decide the path we must follow.
  • Collaborate so that the human team knows what to do.

Without a doubt, these tools are the perfect complement to our information systems, since they greatly simplify decision making. If you are not yet using them, encourage yourself to explore them.

Article included in Vida Económica Magazine ¿BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE? Sépalo en 5 minutos(pdf)