[Editor’s Note: This is our second installment in our “Self-Service Business Intelligence Blog Series.” In our previous installment, we provided a brief glimpse into the oversaturated Business Intelligence market and defined its advantages and disadvantages for you—the buyer. Click here to read our previous post introducing our latest white paper, The Business Buyer’s Guide to Self-Service Business Intelligence.]
Before diving into the benefits of Business Intelligence (BI), let’s first define what it means to be a cloud-based, self-service Business Intelligence software.
According to G2 Crowd, the leading business software review site, “Self-Service BI software empowers business users to investigate company data and reveal patterns and insights. Self-Service BI products are designed to be set up and used by average business users without the need for input by IT professionals.”
As 85% of business leaders believe big data will dramatically change the way they do business, Self-Service BI will be able to provide the fast insights that are needed to compete. Whether you’re in B2B, B2C or academia, organizations are moving away from making intuition-based decisions to data-driven decisions—Self-Service BI is the answer.
If the rapid growth of the BI market tells us anything, it’s that companies need and want an analytical solution that will allow them to deliver insights that drive the business forward.
Gartner predicts that by 2018, most business users and analysts in organizations will have access to self-service tools to prepare data for analysis as part of the shift to deploying modern BI platforms. With this prediction in mind, let’s dive into the high-level business benefits of Self-Service BI.
Data Becomes Available
Studies show that 2.5 Quintillion bytes of data are created every day and 90% of the world’s data today has been created in the last two years alone. So where does all that data go? While some of that data isn’t applicable for businesses, we can still draw the conclusion that the data must be analyzed and turned into actions.
Every customer interaction with your product is a data point, and once processed through a BI solution becomes an action that drives the business forward. A simple question such as ‘how many customers churned’ can be answered just by connecting data to a BI solution.
The insights provided by a Self-Service BI solution give you a quicker response to your business questions than ever before. Historically, a business user would have to request a report from IT, wait a few days for IT to run the report and then get outdated customer information. With the modern BI, anyone can run their own analyses in real-time, ultimately eliminating the gap between raw data and insights.
Insights Removes Guesswork
With data becoming actionable, guesswork is removed from the equation. Providing access to data at a company-wide level allows for everyone to make their own decisions, based on data. Self-Service BI solutions allow everyone to access data and create dashboards that enables them to answer and ask questions that wouldn’t have been possible before.
Think about one of the main reasons why businesses fail: they miss their numbers because of guesswork. While intuition-based decisions are acceptable in certain situations, running a high-growth operation has no room for guesswork.
Metrics, When and Where You Need Them
Ever wondered what’s happening to your product, inventory, business or app right now? As our phones, web and data speed gets faster and faster, on the other end of the spectrum we expect our metrics to update just as fast.
Luckily, self-service BI empowers us to fully understand what’s happening right now via real-time dashboard and chart metrics.
Much like making data actionable, the next step is creating KPI dashboards across each department—ultimately ensuring that each one answers a specific question about the health of your business. So, with Self-Service BI, gone are the days of waiting on the numbers from IT.
Valuable Insight Into Customer Behavior
For every type of business, data is a specific business indicator: a customer interaction with your product, a prospect’s every click on your company’s website, a contact detail, etc— the list goes on.
To this point, understanding data is crucial for companies because understanding data means understanding your customer. Understanding your customer provides a clear roadmap at your customer’s intention to renew their account, the features where they’re having trouble, their company growth and potential for new selling opportunities, and if they’re not using the product altogether.
Operational Excellence Unlocked
Streamlining operations and achieving operational excellence is the goal of every Executive and Operations team—no matter the size of the company or industry. Through Self-Service BI, you can easily track and optimize manufacturing costs, inventory, sales forecasts, funding and spend/budget.
Having the real-time insight into the operational performance of the company is paramount. It ensures that the company has enough runway to stay afloat, that they’re not under or over producing their products and that their sales projections are on target.
Data is meant to be connected, explored and transformed into business insights. With the absence of Self-Service BI, data can easily go unnoticed and untouched. However, with knowing the high-level business benefits of Self-Service BI, business users can be assured that there’s a return on their investment in a solution.
Stay tuned as we continue to explore the world of Self-Service BI on our blog. For immediate action in evaluating a solution that meets your company’s needs, download our white paper, The Business Buyer’s Guide to Self-Service Business Intelligence now.