How Business Intelligence Tools Can Keep Your Business’ Spending Under Control
This is a guest post written by Lewis Robinson.
Technological advancements have brought drastic changes in the corporate world where most companies now rely on various systems to run their operations. Business intelligence (BI) that was once reserved only for large enterprises has now become more diverse and accessible to much smaller companies. The sheer amount of data created and processed every day means an impending upsurge in the use of BI tools that can analyze and properly apply this data. Companies are also using the business intelligence tools to identify the gaps, prevent fraud, and increase their effectiveness.
BI tools and minimizing the amount of spending
Traditional BI tools were expensive to purchase and required a high amount of expertise. Only large enterprises who could afford a dedicated BI staff could even think about purchasing and implementing an entire digital business platform. However, the business landscape has shifted; with the introduction of easy-to-use Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud computing technologies, companies at nearly every stage of growth can use these tools to efficiently analyze information. Below are some of the ways that businesses can use BI tools to reduce the costs in a company.
1. Integration of the data in a business
Business intelligence tools combine massive loads of information in a company and convert it into a more readable, actionable form. Rather than paying employees to pore over endless spreadsheets and graphs (or spending hours doing it yourself), BI tools allow you to quickly pinpoint inefficiencies and notice trends. For instance, a BI dashboard can give you an easy-to-use, continuously-updated visual representation of your business’s health. Imagine being able to receive real-time information about your business’s expenses, rather than having to wait until the end of the quarter to review changes. Rather than making delayed changes based off of month-long trends, you can take quick action to cut off needless expenses; such is the power of business intelligence tools.
2. Identifying the gaps in a business
Data visualizations and infographics help in data reporting by applying a graphical outlook to the information collected from different organizations. This makes it easier to understand and plan the company's activities accordingly. Visualizations assist in identifying the areas that are taking more of the company's resources, therefore helping them to distribute costs evenly; remember, good planning always helps to increase efficiency.
3. Sales and marketing
Companies use business intelligence tools to analyze their various marketing channels in order to pinpoint channels that are generating a higher ROI. If your marketing is spread across email, cold calls, Facebook ads and billboards, BI tools will help you more easily recognize how much investment is going into each channel and how much is coming out. Additionally, companies also use business tools to automate the sales process by responding to phone inquiries, faxes or any other questions on the website. This allows workers to answer to other needs and issues while cutting down on the need for hiring more support staff.
4. Formulation of actionable data
Data is one of the important factors that drive the operations in business. Too much or little data, old data, irrelevant information and over-detailed data may lead to stagnation of services. Employees spend too much time on unproductive work with little progress. Business intelligence tools come in handy in providing calculated and real-time reports, allowing the collaboration of data and providing relevance to the role-based environment.
Every business looking to cut their costs and minimize their spending should consider the implementation of business intelligent tools. Companies may initially balk at upfront purchasing fees, but I can promise that the cost savings dividends will be great.
About Lewis Robinson
Lewis Robinson is a former CEO with experience starting and running several small software companies. He currently lives in Pocatello, ID, where he consults with small/medium businesses and start-ups all around the Mountain West. You can reach him through his LinkedIn profile or via email.
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