The Business Applications and Benefits of Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence or BI is a computer-based system which is used by organizations for decision making purpose. It consist of huge data warehouse or data marts of business data, from which it performs mining, spotting, digging or analyzing operations to produce appropriate results or reports. BI applications include a wide range of activities for statistical analysis, Data mining, querying and reporting, business performance analysis, benchmarking, Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), Decision Support System (DSS), forecasting and predictive analysis. It provides organizations with meaningful information regarding employees, customers, suppliers and other business associates, which can be used in effective decision making.

The Business Applications and Benefits of Business Intelligence

Applications of  Business Intelligence

The implementation of business intelligence helps organizations to achieve their goals in an effective way. Its application is not restricted to limited segments. It has a wide-spread use. It has now become mandatory for organizations to implement BI to sustain and maintain their market share in the competitive market. Some of the industries in which BI can be implemented are listed below:

  • Retailing: Business Intelligence can be used to forecast the demand and analyse its fluctuations over time. This will help in optimizing the size of inventory in order to meet the customer demands. It will also help the companies to better understand the consumer behavior in order to direct their marketing campaigns. It will also help in enhancing relationship with suppliers.
  • Banking: BI will help the banks and financial institutions in identifying the customer base. This will help them in planning their marketing strategies. It will also help the banks in deducing performance metrics and benchmarks in order to measure the business performance. It can also help in knowledge management or learning management. It will help in management of large amount of data.
  • FMCG: BI will provide predictive analysis to forecast demand and understand consumer behavior. Optimization of manufacturing processes and procurement functions will lead to better relationship with suppliers. Standardization will ease the load of transaction recording and multiple source reports.
  • Automobile: BI can help in optimization of production, research, HR, distribution, marketing and finance functions by providing effective decision making tools. In short Business Intelligence has enterprise wide applications in all departments.
  • Distribution and Logistics: BI will enhance communication with business partners which will lead to efficient and coordinated operations. BI will provide intelligent reports to optimize the whole operations of the enterprise.
  • Airways: BI will remove hindrances in the ticket management system. BI can be used to analyse the consumer behavior pattern and predict future behavior patterns in order to increase operations efficiency by improving flight management and improve sales revenue. Consumer demands can be satisfied efficiently.
  • Manufacturing: BI will enhance communications with suppliers and standardize all the transactions occurring with them hence increasing efficiency. BI will forecast the demand for product which will optimize inventory, production and procurement size. BI implemented in HR department will help in understanding the employee needs and difficulties and for their performance appraisal.
  • Hospitality: BI will help Hospitality companies to respond quickly to problematic situations. It will help them in handling problems in an efficient and timely manner. It will also give them an edge over their competitors by notifying them of new market opportunities and help them in taking advantage of it.
  • Pharmaceutical: BI will help these companies in understanding the customer behavior pattern. It will help them in research and development. It will enhance communication with suppliers and distributors.
  • Services: BI will help in people management. This is important as in services industries employees are a critical part of business success. Business Intelligence will also help in performance management of business through benchmarking and to enhance relationship with business associates. It will also help in managing huge amount of data within the company. It will also help in training the employees and in knowledge management.

Benefits of Business Intelligence

Listed below are some of the benefits of business intelligence implementation:

    • Single point access to data: By maintaining a data warehouses and data marts, BI can act as an access to point to the data present in these.
    • Implementation in all departments: BI can be implemented enterprise wide or it can be local to a single department. If implemented in all departments, organizations will benefit.
    • Timely solutions: BI allows users to make ad hoc requests and obtain ad hoc reports as and when needed in order to solve problems.
    • Customer or centrally driven: BI can be implemented in two ways: one where reports are generated according to customer demands and second where employees trigger the transactions.
    • Access to external users: By giving access of BI systems to external users like customers who might be interested in analyzing their buying behavior, can find out cost saving opportunities and suppliers can analyse the sales data.
    • Improve operational efficiency: By providing real time reports to customers and employees, BI enables quick solutions to problems and easy error detection and correction. Hence improving efficiency.
    • Reduction of delays and backlogs: BI systems allow users to design the queries in the system and get reports. Hence human resource can be managed efficiently by reallocating of backlog work to other employees, thus reducing delays.
    • Better relationship and deals with customers and suppliers: By analyzing historical data we can review the past performance of the suppliers like on-time delivery, quality, etc. which will help in negotiating with them. Understanding customer buying pattern will allow us to qualify some of the customers to discounts or other offers in order to maintain long term relationship.
    • Problem detection: BI systems provide historical, real time and predictive reports. This can be accessed by customers, suppliers and employees. This results in faster detection of problems or errors.
    • Minimize Wastage: By analyzing the performance of products, customers, projects and marketing strategies, we can allocate resources appropriately and minimize resource wastage.
    • Leverage investment in ERP: By implementing BI with your existing ERP will allow non-technical users to reap the fruits and get tailor made reports.
    • Better Marketing Analysis: BI systems provide the performance of marketing strategies or campaigns, behavior of customers and existence of new opportunities.
    • Revenue through information: Revenue can be generated by selling information from BI to customers and suppliers.
    • Informed and qualified sales force: Sales force will be provided with previous sales figures, information about clients, brands and customers thus empowering them.
    • Better decisions: Through reports generated from BI, the decisions taken by managers will drastically improve and will be a result of thorough analysis.
    • Improved internal communication: BI systems result in improved job satisfaction, knowledgeable work force and better motivation.
    • Understand Competitors and Market: BI systems help mangers with information on latest trends in the market and the actions taken by competitors.
    • Guesswork Avoided: By providing thoroughly analysed decision supporting reports reliance on guess work is minimized.
    • Improved Performance: All these factors result in improved performance of business.

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