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By adopting a streamlined Business Intelligence (BI) strategy, you can fully utilize your data to enhance numerous aspects of your business. Although the thought of collecting and processing the entirety of your company’s data might seem daunting, it can be an easy journey toward data optimization.

Simply put, BI takes data from various sources, both internal and external and helps organizations understand their data to effectively inform strategic and tactical business decisions. Making business processes more effective, BI can help your business take advantage of data analytics to increase revenue, cost savings, and enhance your customer service — in other words, it makes data about the business actionable.

“BI tools access and analyze data sets and present analytical findings and reports summaries, dashboards, graphs, charts, and maps to provide users with detailed intelligence about the state of their business,” said Don Volansky, senior business development manager at XTIVIA, in his live session, “Demystifying Business Intelligence.”

There isn’t just one way that BI makes data about the business actionable either; in fact, there’s two primary approaches to BI: traditional BI and modern BI. Typically, traditional BI is about IT professionals using reports, columns, tables and in-house transactional data to generate reports for end-users. Accuracy is the main objective and is common in regulatory or financial settings.

On the other hand, modern BI revolves around business users interacting with agile smart systems to rapidly analyze their data. It’s more of a self-service sort of role. Analysts can quickly change the dynamics via filters, variables, marketing events, and ultimately provide more value to answers. It isn’t necessarily a hundred percent accurate, but it’s awfully close.

One of the greatest features of BI is its versatility; each year, more and more companies are adopting BI to improve the efficiency of every department from sales and operations to marketing and HR (even manufacturing departments are being thrown into the mix). No matter how you integrate it, BI will help your business save time and money, boost productivity, support better business decisions, increase the efficiency of your teams, and deliver insights across your whole organization.

With BI, your business can easily recognize critical information, quickly identify and report historical analysis to predict future events, and promote quick consumption through clear visualizations. At the end of the day, you’re really providing data that means something and is relative to the company and the company’s goals.

Now, how do you know whether or not your business needs BI? There can be a lot of reasons to integrate BI into your business processes, but primarily there’s four telltale signs that your organization could use a BI platform:

  • Your business has a multitude of data, but isn’t generating any information from it and wasting its potential.
  • Integration challenges surrounding company data and uncertainty around cross-platform utilization.
  • Your IT department is generating reports instead of user access to self-service reporting.
  • Your company has trouble detecting pitfalls and identifying potential threats.

If your business is suffering from any of the aforementioned afflictions, BI could be just what you need. That being said, just as there’s telltale signs you need BI, there’s telltale challenges that your company might face in adopting a BI platform. Some common issues that come up include:

  • Disparate data and various sources can present numerous challenges; the front-runner being unable to successfully merge data.
  • A tendency to jump into BI all at once with a siloed approach. It’s important that BI is leveraged to the entire organization, not just specific business units.
  • Focusing on fine-tuning their BI initiatives instead of using more advanced analytics capabilities.
  • Trouble balancing past events and currents states with using analytics to future-cast.

All at once, implementing BI across your business might seem like a load too heavy to bare, but luckily there’s potential partners like XTIVIA to not only help you investigate your BI needs, but to also install the right technology and execute a BI platform to actualize the full potential of your company’s data. From ETL data warehousing to service reporting, XTIVIA can be your trusted technology partner for BI implementation.

With the best technology can offer and our team of experienced professionals, XTIVIA can help you pull your data from your disparate data sources, transform it, integrate it, put it into a data warehouse, and then layer a BI solution on top of that so you can do your reporting and ad hoc analysis with ease.

“BI really is threefold: it’s people, it’s the technology, and it’s the practices that are employed behind any sort of BI platform that you have,” Volansky said.

Whether popularity or necessity is driving you toward leveraging BI, XTIVIA can help you maximize the potential of your data and your business.

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