As technology rapidly marches forward, it is becoming ever more important for businesses to be able to keep up with this continually-changing digital landscape and that is why more and more companies are turning to business intelligence.
For those not completely up to speed, business intelligence is comprised of software and systems that crunch large amounts of business data and presents it into meaningful and valuable reports.
These reports provide businesses with a number of benefits, including the ability to make better decisions, garner more sales opportunities, and increase productivity. With Sage 100, you get built-in business intelligence and reporting, there are also some purchased enhancements which we will discuss below.
In this post, we address the importance of Business Intelligence and some of the features of Sage 100 Business Intelligence.
Better decision making
Very often, especially in high-pressure environments, business decisions can be made based on guesswork and hunches without any real data or analytics to back it up.
This type of decision making usually turns out to be incorrect and the mistakes costly, both financially and in terms of resources used, as well as a potential impact on a company’s reputation.
On the other hand, with business intelligence in place, you will be equipped with real-time data and analytics, allowing you to make more informed decisions based on statistical analysis and trends.
Some advantages of better decision making include:
- Decisions can be made that are more in line with your core values as a company.
- Better long-term growth and increased profitability.
- Improved customer satisfaction levels.
- Better morale within your organization.
Of course, for a business to survive, it has to make a profit. Furthermore, the ability to increase productivity, without increasing costs for production or labor, will also lead to higher profit margins.
With accurate data-driven reporting of specific aspects of a business which are underperforming, new strategies can quickly be implemented to correct this. An increase in productivity can then lead to better business growth and, hopefully, more capital for investment as well as pursuing new projects.
Reporting and KPI’s
Prior to having a solid business intelligence system in place, businesses would sometimes have to hire 3rd parties to collate and present data which may be spread across different sites, not only is this not cost effective, it is also very time-consuming.
Business Intelligence can present a range of different reporting levels from various departments based on the businesses needs at that time. These reports can also show whether you are meeting your KPI’s or perhaps even falling behind. With Sage 100 business intelligence, you don’t need IT support to read and understand meaningful reports gathered from masses of data.
Additionally, in the above-referenced article, we also show a recent webinar we did with DataSelf showcasing DataSelf Analytics, an enterprise-level analytics platform designed for every ERP business intelligence user.
Better sales opportunities
Using Excel, and other types of spreadsheets can provide you with the data you need, but in a very limited capacity. A spreadsheet can tell you that sales are going well, but it cannot go into a great detail in terms of the specifications of a particular item which may be outperforming others. Not to mention, spreadsheets can only effectively manage a limited number of accounts – if that.
In addition, a spreadsheet is unable to tell you which products may not be doing so well. In contrast, BI gives you the power to quickly and easily identify new sales opportunities in an extremely efficient manner. This information can then be distributed to relevant departments.
Increased customer satisfaction
While it can be a real balancing act keeping customer satisfaction levels high, while running a business at the same time, the secret is to use data to influence your decisions and the choices you make. Before BI, there were certain things that were just not achievable in terms of customer interaction. Now, individual customer needs can be understood in finer detail, products and services can be improved based on customer feedback, and the customer can receive information on the business in real time, all thanks to BI. Furthermore, when the data is presented in graphical form – that knowledge becomes power. Let’s dive in a bit further.
1. The customer is everywhere
Whenever a customer comments on social media, makes a purchase or clicks on an ad as part of a retargeting campaign, all of this valuable info can be collated by BI to improve customer satisfaction.
2. What’s trending
When customers are happy with your customer service, one way BI can keep you ahead of the game is by identifying future trends, so you can give your customer what they need before they even want it.
3. On the surface
You can glean a certain amount of information from your employees’ interaction with customers on the front line, but this surface information is not very detailed and will only go so far. BI will not only tell you if your customers are happy or not, but you will also get more detail on the why, or what went wrong – if anything — and potentially how you can improve. By using a deeper level of analysis, you can pinpoint customer demographics as well as customer sentiment all in real time.
4. Employee engagement
As you gather more detailed analysis of your customer and what’s making them happy or what can be improved, as well as who they are, this information can be directly communicated over to your employees. Once you provide your employees with this type of reporting, they will have better interactions with the customer, as well as a more meaningful understanding of their needs. As a result, your employees can serve clients better which will, in turn, improve customer satisfaction as well as staff morale.
It’s never too late to start using BI to improve your business. The fact is, you should really see BI as an essential and integral part of your overall growth strategy. Business intelligence only has advantages, of which there are many. Once you begin to effectively use BI, aligned with your company’s objectives, you can then start to reap the rewards it brings.