Business intelligence (BI) software provides a variety of tools and functions that companies can use to store, analyze, and visualize data in a series of charts, graphs, dashboards, and customized reporting. This level of data insight helps guide confident business decisions, identify emerging trends, and signal issues that might be arising across business activities.
The acronym “BI” stands for “Business Intelligence.”
Business intelligence (BI) is a system that stores and analyzes business data and transforms that data into actionable insights in reports, graphs, charts, and other visualizations to help give a company a full picture of business health and future growth initiatives.
The main purpose of BI software is to help businesses make real-time, data-driven decisions across all facets of a company, from sales and marketing to finance and accounting.
The basic tasks of Business Intelligence (BI) include:
BI systems can solve many problems companies face, including:
While implementing a BI software system can bring many benefits to a company, there are some drawbacks to be aware of and plan for, including:
The top BI features include:
The core functions of BI software include reporting & analytics, Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), dashboards, data mining, data visualizations, automated reporting, real-time data and reporting capabilities, predictive & prescriptive analytics.
Business Intelligence is typically classified into stages, which include:
Business Intelligence (BI) software makes data and reporting tools much more accessible and actionable than ever before, and generally the people using BI are:
The top benefits of BI include:
Some of the most common BI challenges a company faces are:
Some of the potential barriers a company can face in successfully implementing and using a BI system include:
Analysts, executives, and IT teams tend to use BI tools the most. However, BI software can support all different types of companies and industries and provide tools and reporting for confident, data-driven business decisions. BI systems can analyze past and current data patterns to provide context, inform benchmarks and goals, and make predictions for business growth.
You can use the following checklist to help ensure you choose the right Business Intelligence (BI) software for your business:
BI software is predicted to continually improve and become more accessible and collaborative as a system for use across an organization. Data will also continue to evolve to be more insightful, giving companies more tools to make proactive decisions.
BI software typically starts around $3,000 a year for basic data and reporting tools. Depending on the size of the company and the complexity of data and reporting, can go up from there.