The need for improved decision-making has fueled the development and adoption of business intelligence solutions for years. This motivation is not limited to certain fields, and it has become one of the overarching themes of recent IT development, no matter the type of business involved. From highly-advanced healthcare providers to retailers both large and small, companies can easily find powerful use cases for the agility that comes from timely insights. Aided by specialized tools like mobile BI and self-service BI systems, leaders have begun to turn the general, big-picture improvements into targeted use cases that suit their own goals.
Benefits for all
Business 2 Community contributor Andre Klein recently listed ways in which firms of all sizes can capitalize on the benefits of big data. Using data has long been more prominent among big firms than their smaller competitors, due to the limited availability of technology. Klein named McDonald's and Yahoo as organizations that already have large deployments in place helping them manage their activities, then suggested that the time has come for small businesses to make the same commitment to improved decision-making. He noted that BI software has become notably more affordable recently, letting many more firms adopt the technology.
Time and money go together where savings are concerned: Finding agile ways to accomplish business processes is likely to have a positive impact on the bottom line. Klein explained that traditionally manual processes can be automated with a liberal application of BI. He gave financial reporting as an example, stating that the traditional manner of tabulating the information is far slower than the BI-enabled equivalent. Giving accountants more free time by reducing the time needed for each of these reports seems like an incredibly promising way to make each individual more productive and add value without a budget spike.
One of the most compelling cases for business intelligence adoption is the success the technology has already enjoyed. Any given company may soon have a rival with a strong BI program, something they will need to counter through improvements of their own. This can come in many forms. Businesses loath to deploy on-site hardware and software can seek out SaaS cloud BI, those with a workforce tied to their tablets and smartphones can plug those workers into mobile BI and businesses with a variety of unique employee roles can deliver a self-service BI dashboard customized for each. There are many ways forward.