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Beyond Performance: Three Unexpected Uses of Business Intelligence

Beyond Performance: Three Unexpected Uses of Business Intelligence


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Beyond Performance: Three Unexpected Uses of Business Intelligence

28 Mar 2022

Ken Weygand
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Many of you may already be using Business Intelligence (BI) to gain useful insights on how to boost your company’s KPIs. Some of you may be looking into purchasing a BI software package to gain a competitive edge. Whatever kind of business you run, BI can boost your success by transforming data into actionable insights that will help you make better business decisions.

In the article below, we’ll discuss what BI is, and give you some overlooked ways to use the data it provides to improve your enterprise. The potential uses for BI are almost limitless—it just depends on what facets of your business that you want to improve.

What Is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence is simply a set of tools that provide insights about what is happening across the enterprise. In addition, it can help you predict where you need to make changes and look at historical trends holistically.

BI uses software or services to transform this data into business strategy and help you make smarter decisions. With BI tools, you and your fellow business leaders can access and analyze data sets. You can investigate these analytical findings through reports, summaries, dashboards, graphs and other graphical means to gain detailed intelligence about business performance from the top down.

While BI won’t give you an in-depth road map or tell you what to do, it does give you the opportunity to analyze trends and see areas where you can change strategy and make new opportunities.

For example, let’s say you want to see what’s happening with your supply chain—a very real problem for most companies right now. You can do a series of analyses to see exactly where delays and irregularities occur. After an investigation with BI, you find out that the delays are occurring with your warehouse. Pick and pack times are taking far longer than they should. Armed with that information, you can look at your warehouse and see what changes need to be made to gain better efficiency.

While that is one example, the uses for BI extend beyond just performance KPIs. Below, we’ll discuss three ways to use BI to get the full potential from every aspect of your business.

Improve the Customer Experience

Since BI tools can provide real-time analytics, you can use it in many aspects of your business that you wouldn’t normally expect to be data-driven—like customer service. BI can draw data from your various channels and platforms and then generate reports and actionable insights based on solid evidence, enabling you to react quickly to customer behavior.

Let’s face it—your customer service team has it tough. They must be one part counselor, one part salesperson, and one part psychic. Your customers expect you to already know everything about them and about their issue. They also expect to be able to interact across multiple channels. They don’t want to have to relay their problem more than once.  In fact, a recent study found that having to repeat themselves is the biggest source of customer dissatisfaction.

Therefore, the data that BI provides, showing analytical views of the entire customer journey, is invaluable.

With BI you can identify patterns in behavior and adapt rapidly to fix any issues or tailor a customized experience. Alternately, reacting quickly to new issues as they arise is crucial—agility is the key to survival in a post-pandemic landscape.

Your customers are your biggest assets, and today’s customer wants impeccable service without having to wait. With BI, the data is there—you just have to take the time to analyze it.

Forecast and Adapt to Demand

Forecasting is no longer a matter of guesswork—with BI, you have the tools you need to make accurate forecasts. This in turn means that you get a more efficient, more productive and more profitable business.

Getting accurate and immediate answers helps everyone throughout your company. For example, you’ll be able to order the right amount of stock to follow historical sales patterns, or your warehouse team can pick and pack orders before they are needed. Sales and marketing can better target customers because they can analyze the best sellers in that customers region, and more accurately cross-sell. For the accounting team forecasting can help them assess your company’s current financials and balance it with anticipated future revenue.

Business intelligence systems combine data from every department into a series of reports in one customizable central dashboard. With accurate real-time information you can keep tabs on all activity within the enterprise. Based on live trends you see when you log into the dashboard, you can forecast future trends accurately. This helps you anticipate shifts in customer demand, which in turn improves inventory management and makes the warehouse team more efficient. Your sales and marketing can tailor their orders based on individual customer preferences, leading to happier clients.

Rethink Payment Processes

According to a study conducted by Sage, more than 13% of payments made to small- to mid-size businesses are late.

You know that managing your cash flow and getting paid on time are paramount to keeping your business running. The question is, how can you recognize that revenue immediately and then accurately predict where it needs to be used? Using BI, you get predictive analytics, better cash forecasting and automated payment and ordering strategies that increase your top and bottom line.

Accounting has often been relegated to the back-office or is siloed altogether. With BI incorporated into your existing technology, finance becomes unified with the rest of your operation. With BI, you can forecast how your organization will perform, because your finance team can compare actual performance with the forecast and then drill down to scrutinize any discrepancies.

If you add in an integrated payment platform that allows you to accept digital payments from your customers and capture them automatically, the cash flow process goes even faster. A solution like Aptean Pay allows you to recognize that revenue as soon as possible, and then automatically incorporates it into your ERP. When combined with the power of BI, your payment processes go from tedious to tech driven. Using BI and automated payment tools, you uncover new revenue opportunities, which delivers a competitive advantage and positions you for growth.

Whatever you dream about improving, you can get the insights you need with BI. Using intuitive, customizable dashboards, your team gets a simple, clear overview of the data they need to make real-time adjustments to operational processes and improve business performance. With Aptean’s BI, you get more out of your business—at every aspect.

Are you ready to improve operational performance and make more money? Aptean’s tailor-made BI Solution is the answer.  Talk to one of our business intelligence experts to find out how you can harness the power of business intelligence to take your company to the next level.

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