BI is a crucial element of all business operations
The days when business intelligence (BI) was just another buzzword are long gone. Today, BI is recognised as a crucial element of all business operations, and one with many benefits, including improving resource allocation and making better, more intelligent decisions.
“Businesses of every type and size, and across every industry, operate on a different level to those of a few decades ago,” says Angela Mace, CRM and Events director at ITWeb. “Several trends, including mobility, IOT, cloud and big data have changed the game, and mean that companies across the board need a better and more thorough approach to managing their data.”
Moreover, Mace says although BI is not new, it has been democratised by the cloud and mobile technologies, which have made it far more accessible even for smaller entities. “And considering the flood of data coming from multiple sources, which is drowning today’s enterprises, they need all the help they can get. BI tools can help organisations to act more decisively, make better decisions and find more effective ways of doing business.”
There are other ways BI tools can help an organisation improve its operations, she says. “Firstly, it lowers the barriers to data access within the business. In the days of old, a data scientist was needed to give the team the analytics they needed from the information. These skills don’t come cheap, and getting results was often very time-consuming, as there was only one person who was up to the task. However, BI enables self-services, by enabling users to access the data they need, and giving them the tools they need to get the desired insights from it.”
Similarly, Mace says raw data is hard to understand for anyone who isn’t an expert in this field, particularly when it’s coming from multiple sources and is unstructured. "Connecting the data streams and gleaning the necessary insights from them isn’t something most users have the ability to do, but good BI tools offer a range of features that simplify the processing of data, and offer dynamic visualisations, reports that are 100% customisable and dashboards. In addition, these solutions are intuitive and are able to thin each user’s data down to only the data that is relevant, making it more simple to use and understand.”
She says these are just two of the ways BI tools can benefit organisations of every type. “At ITWeb’s Business Intelligence Summit 2020, themed: ‘Enabling actionable insights through data, analytics and AI’, which will be held from 3 to 5 March at the Sandton Convention Centre, expert speakers will unpack a range of other topics, which will help delegates navigate best practices, as well as the tools and solutions available today.
“During the event, local and international speakers will discuss a range of topics, from data preparation and management, to analytics and visualisation, and even further ahead to artificial intelligence and machine learning, to give delegates a thorough understanding of the entire BI, analytics and AI landscape, to help them successfully translate their data into actionable insights.”