Some SMB managers and entrepreneurs still think that business intelligence solutions are sophisticated and expensive tools needed only by large enterprises managing enormous amounts of data. But is it true? These are six reasons why I think it’s not.
1. Business Intelligence Is for Everyone
Business Intelligence, despite its sophisticated aura, is a very straightforward practice. It is all about collecting relevant data about your company performance and taking actionable conclusions from it so you can make informed decisions on how to improve different aspects of the business.
I am sure you are already gathering data, analyzing it, looking for trends and valuable insights but probably using multiple spreadsheets, going over lengthy manual and inefficient processes to make calculations, identify patterns, come to conclusions and generate reports to share with your colleagues.
A business intelligence solution could help you to automate and simplify all these processes, offering you insightful dashboards, visualization tools and rich reports to easily attain better insights and make more informed decisions. So why are you not using one of them?
If you still think that BI solutions are expensive, complicated and difficult to implement, you are wrong. I contacted three developers of popular business intelligence solutions for SMBs – BIME, SiSense and Zoho Reports – to get their feedback on this topic. They confirmed my own analysis and gave me insightful reasons to share with you.
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2. BI Solutions Are Now Simpler to Implement and Use
A few years ago, because of their complexity and specific requirements, business intelligence solutions could be installed and administered only by IT departments that only large companies could afford to have. But this has changed dramatically, with a positive impact on the price and ROI of BI software.
Now most business intelligence applications are cloud-based and ready to use, without any specific hardware or implementation requirements. Their interfaces, dashboards and reporting capabilities have improved radically, making them very user-friendly and easily manageable for any employee in a company.
3. Business Intelligence Can Level the Playing Field for SMBs
Business intelligence is not only about a company’s own data. With the rise of open data projects, SMBs can have access to data about economic and social trends that, when correlated with a company’s own data, can reveal previously unseen market trends. Thus, SMBs can level the playing field with big companies by identifying the opportunities in various areas faster.
4. Business Intelligence Allows SMBs to Be Even More Agile
Not only has business intelligence software penetrated SMBs with more affordable, scalable solutions, but using BI in small to medium size businesses is proving to be more rewarding for companies. This is mostly because SMBs have the ability to be agile and react quicker to freshly uncovered insights and make true data-driven decisions, which can be an advantage over slow-moving and larger organizations.
5. BI Turns Your Data Into an Invaluable Business Asset
Every company today collects data that customers or prospects leave behind from web, email, social media, and mobile, making it easy for even SMBs to accumulate more data than they know what to do with. Just the data from marketing and sales departments alone can be overwhelming and easily exceed Excel’s capacity. In addition, almost every business today stores all their transactional data in a CRM solution and marketing data in Google AdWords and Analytics, which adds an additional growing data source to the equation.
Large data isn’t the only reason companies need BI software, it is also about joining multiple data sets into a single version of truth to build dashboards with information that will show you a complete picture of your business. Data in every company, regardless of size and number of customers, is growing exponentially and the information this data holds is invaluable to every business.
6. Business Intelligence Offers Clear Benefits for SMBs
- Merge and track all the business metrics from different applications/sources in a single dashboard, allowing for a 360° view of the business
- Turn data into actionable information to make better decisions
- Become faster at generating data-driven insights about market and revenue opportunities
- Be prepared for continuous growth, with the capacity to process an ever growing amount of generated business data
- Better understanding of customer patterns, trends and behaviours
- Internal transparency, allowing any user to access relevant business data
- Team empowerment, giving all employees the needed tools to make data-driven decisions
- Easily create and share insightful reports, producing better business alignment within the company
Still in doubt of the advantages of implementing a business intelligence solution for your SMB? We will follow up this post with other helpful articles about the importance of BI for small and medium companies.
Ready to choose and try a business intelligence solution? You can check BIME, SiSense and Zoho Reports, as these are apps designed for SMBs needs. You can also compare these three popular solutions or explore other BI solutions.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/business-intelligence/6-reasons-smbs-use-business-intelligence-solutions-0847185#Uv3L4ewqjbFo84Dp.99