The Many Benefits of Custom Business Intelligence
Every business generates data. From transactions to client management to timesheets, everything your business does can be a point of data, and because most of these processes now happen digitally, the question is no longer if your business has valuable data, but what your business will do with its data. If the answer to that question is currently “nothing” or “very little,” you may be missing out on a competitive edge. Consider the following reasons why a custom BI solution could help bring your business operations to the next level.
Access to information benefits the entire team
Is your data stored on a server where only one or two team members with good SQL skills and intimate knowledge of the data’s structure can use it in any meaningful way? Pulling this data into a user-friendly frontend like Tableau is a great way to give concrete information about the performance of your business to anyone who needs it, without emailing around an excel sheet that is vulnerable to accidental modification. Strategy discussions are simplified when everyone is guaranteed to be working with the same standard information.
Get all your data in one place
Do you use data from multiple systems to answer your business questions? Maybe your finances are in QuickBooks, your clients are managed in Salesforce, and getting a full picture of the business requires you to bounce back and forth between them constantly. Bringing all your business’s data streams into one location reduces headaches and has the potential to deliver powerful new visualizations and insights that would not have been possible while the data was compartmentalized.
Reduce repetitive tasks
Many data warehousing solutions do not have built-in reporting. If you’re using your data to generate reports with any regularity, there’s a chance that someone in your organization is spending a lot of time on mechanical tasks every quarter, month, or week. A custom reporting solution is a great way to codify these regular analyses or visualizations and allow your team to do more valuable work.
Easy to use, powerful tools
Thanks to the popularity and widespread use of platforms like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, building a custom data solution is easier than ever. A new data integration can be spun up in just hours, allowing you to securely access disparate data sources from anywhere with an internet connection. Both companies offer solutions that are robust and fully featured, and can easily integrate with add-ons from ever-growing suites of powerful data tools. These tools provide a huge variety of options to suit any business need, and they can bring exciting new technologies like machine learning to bear on your company’s data.
Access to industry standards
If you are unsure of how to interpret the data you have, a custom data solution is a great option – by working with a partner who has worked with other businesses in your field, you get access to all their industry knowledge. An experienced BI partner will have already done legwork to determine the best ways to visualize and interpret industry-specific data and will be prepared to answer your unique questions in a useful way. If you don’t want to reinvent the wheel, just work with someone who has a blueprint!
Author: Evan Ferguson-Hull