How Can Business Intelligence Better Inform?

Walter Little | Product Manager

At the heart of BI is the ability to turn raw data into actionable insights. How can these insights be used to help sales, marketing, finance and company executives make better decisions?

The key word is ACTIONABLE.

Actionable data is defined as “information that can be acted upon or information that gives enough insight into the future that the actions that should be taken become clear for decision makers.”

This is data that has already been analyzed and processed and is now presented in clear and concise way. The analysis leaves no doubt what should be done next, and perhaps more importantly, it places a level of accountability on everyone who accesses and uses the BI system. 

After running reports, creating a dashboard, and analyzing the data, your team will gain clarity on necessary actions regarding customers, products, marketing, inventory, regions, or the business as a whole.

Companies are using actionable insights to inform the following areas of their business:

1. Sales Strategy

Your BI system is helping your sales team discover sales trends and opportunities based on customers’ buying habits, promotional success, shopping experience and other customer experiences. With this knowledge, it’s the sales team’s responsibility to determine the best course of action to continue working with the customer, deliver more effective promotions and improve sales.

2. Marketing

Too many finance and accounting teams find themselves manually extracting financial data from their legacy business systems. If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. A Forrester study found that nearly 50% BI helps identify promotional returns and analyze campaign outcomes. The marketing team will utilize the results to decide how to optimize marketing strategies and produce a better return on investment.

3. Finance

BI provides a real-time view of a company’s financial situation, including profit and loss statements, general ledger and balance sheets. By analyzing incoming and outgoing finances both past and current, financial leaders can implement strategies that can benefit the financial future of their business. The captured data and future results will hold these leaders responsible for their decisions.

4. Executive decision-making

BI provides the statistical facts, business performance, and key insights that executive teams need to help guide their overarching business strategies. Armed with insights from employee management and recruiting, to supply chain and finance, executives can set business KPIs that align with business goals to help their team stay focused and on track.

These are just a few ways that companies are using BI to make more intelligent business decisions. Ultimately, your BI system will help guide your executives, managers and staff in making the best decisions they can for the company.

As your team embraces a data-driven culture and the quality of data continues to improve, your reporting and analysis will also improve, resulting in timely and strategic business decisions.

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If you’re looking for fast ROI, streamlined business processes, better resource utilization, and increased business agility that delivers a competitive advantage, ERP analytics integrations for QAD are an excellent choice. 

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