Learn more about Business Intelligence Software
What is Business Intelligence (BI) Software?
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.
What Does BI Stand For?
The acronym “BI” stands for “Business Intelligence.”
What is a Business Intelligence BI System?
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.
What is the Purpose of Business Intelligence Software?
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.
What are the Basic Tasks of Business Intelligence?
The basic tasks of Business Intelligence (BI) include:
- Sourcing clean, accurate data
- Analyzing data in real-time
- Assessing risk and identifying issues
- Supporting data-driven business decisions
What Problems Can Business Intelligence Solve?
BI systems can solve many problems companies face, including:
- Limited data access
- Poor corporate performance management
- Decentralized data sources that waste time and cause data inaccuracies or other issues
- Reliance on IT staff or business analysts to generate all the reporting needed in a business
What are the Disadvantages of Business Intelligence?
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:
- Compiling historical data from various sources with accuracy
- Implementation complexities and timeframes
- Upfront investment and ongoing costs
- Use limitations
What are the Top Features of Business Intelligence (BI) Software?
The top BI features include:
- Real-Time Data and Analytics
- Prescriptive Analytics
- Predictive Analytics
- Big Data Analytics
- Customer Profiling
- Data Visualization Tools and Graphics
- OLAP Integrations
- Data Mining
- Ad-Hoc Reports
- Intuitive Dashboards and Reporting Tools
- Mobile BI Tools
- Pivot Tables
- Geospatial Mapping
- Interactive Reporting
- Self-service Reporting
- Advanced Security & Privacy
What are the Common Functions of Business Intelligence?
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.
What are the Different Stages of Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence is typically classified into stages, which include:
- Gathering information & Data
- Analyzing Data
- Real-Time Reporting
- System Monitoring
- Predictions & Prescriptions
What are the Different Types of BI Users?
Business Intelligence (BI) software makes data and reporting tools much more accessible and actionable than ever before, and generally the people using BI are:
- Data Analysts
- Business Users
- IT Teams
What are the Business Benefits of BI?
The top benefits of BI include:
- Increased Data Accuracy and Relevance
- Expedited, Data-Driven Decision-Making
- Increased Adaptability
- Improved Processes through Automation
- Enhanced Competitive Edge
- Improved Insight Into Developing Trends
- Improved Customer Experience
- Real-Time Analytics
- User-Friendly, Intelligent Dashboards
What are the Challenges in Business Intelligence?
Some of the most common BI challenges a company faces are:
- Failing to create or adhere to a BI strategy
- Lack of coding knowledge or expertise
- Limited training and support for user success and adoptions
- Low impact or ROI on the BI system
- Data issues
- Failed deployment, integration, and customization
What are Some Potential Barriers to BI System Success?
Some of the potential barriers a company can face in successfully implementing and using a BI system include:
- Data understanding and expertise
- Integrating data from various sources
- Time limitations for proper data integration and processing
- Closed architecture
Who Should Use Business Intelligence?
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.
How to Buy Business Intelligence (BI) Software?
You can use the following checklist to help ensure you choose the right Business Intelligence (BI) software for your business:
- Focus on business needs and growth goals driving the decision to get a new or upgraded BI system.
- Plan for data migration, implementation costs, IT involvement, and any downtime that may impact ongoing customer interactions or sales processes.
- Make a plan to support user adoption through training.
- Understand the business processes you’re looking to streamline and automate.
- Plan for integration with existing software solutions and understand each of the data sources you’ll be tying into your BI system
- Don’t skip the product demos offered by Business Intelligence software vendors to show features and functionality.
- Understand reporting and analytics needs and how BI will support your needs and help you make data-driven decisions.
What is the Future of Business Intelligence?
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.
How Much Does BI Software Cost?
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.