Data & Business Intelligence

Article

Data & Business Intelligence

When does data become valuable? (part II)

It has not been long since a time that data was scarce, irregular and often of poor quality. Decision making, as a consequence, has long been based on this poor quality data - if based on data at all. The good news is that this has changed. Drastically. Following his previous article, Joriël Koops will deep dive into the meaning of Business Intelligence, and its purpose in the business environment.

With the exponential rise of data, Business Intelligence (BI) has become a popular and effective method for organizations to gain an advantage over competitors. In a nutshell, Business Intelligence is a technology-based process in which raw data is converted into meaningful insights, primarily through reports, and visualizations. Despite a sizeable variety of available tools, applications, information sources and methodologies, data and visualization are always at the heart of every BI process. This process encompasses everything: from data identification through data preparation and analysis to the output of reports and dashboards. The insights generated by BI have the power to make a distinct impact on both strategic and other business decisions, from large scale transformations to small process tweaks, and everything in between. As organizations are gathering increasing amounts of data about consumers, competitors, markets, and numerous other factors, BI enables organizations to implement fact based decision-making as a substitute for assumptions and hunches.

By transforming large raw data quantities into interactive visualizations, seemingly endless data points are transformed into actionable insights. BI is, therefore, the language through which managers get a deeper understanding of their business and customers. Not only does BI enable and enhance the creation of traditional style reports, but so too it is to give users a platform to discover the exact and real-time insights they are looking for hands-on, through the use of dashboards. These dashboards provide the ease of visualizations combined with the great depth of datasets and provide drill through possibilities from the very broad to the very narrow. It gives one the possibility to start with the firm’s general revenue composition, followed by a drill down into a sales category, the geographical distributions of these sales, seasonal trends, cost of sales, and more. As the dashboards are built directly on the underlying database, BI can provide insights to managers on an ad-hoc basis, rather than having to wait for quarterly or monthly reports. As a result, trends and other relevant insights are more rapidly available to organizations, which enables firms to operate in a more agile fashion.

As long as the data is deep and specific enough, BI can bring it together and generate insights you never knew were hiding inside your organization’s data. Not only does this enable you to create more focused strategic plans, to identify cost savings and to allocate marketing budgets more effectively, but it also enables you to serve your customers better.

This was the final part in the sequence that Joriël Koop wrote on Business Intelligence. Eager to learn more? Contact Joriël Koops at JKoops@deloitte.nl or read more about the Business Intelligence service offering of Business Process Solutions here.

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