How do you ensure your business retains its advantage and delivers better products and services to its customers than your competitor?
The answer boils down to data-driven decisions as data is the competitive edge.
In the “olden days” business owners relied on trial and error and gut feel. While some intuition still takes place today, more decisions are being made based on data and being able to connect the dots across the entire company. And this is where business intelligence tools come into play.
To do this, more and more companies are opting to adopt business intelligence tools into their organizations commonly abbreviated to BI Tools. The motivation behind this is obvious: Enterprises that base decisions on data are more effective than those that don’t.
What should managers and executives look for when determining the best BI tools for their companies? Here are five traits of top business intelligence tools.
1. Self-Service Analytics
Self-service analytics is one of the most exciting advancements in business intelligence tools because it afford the power of data to your employees, without requiring extensive training. Business users simply type their query into a search field just like they would for Google or another popular search engine, and the BI tool spits out relevant findings in seconds. This is much easier and quicker than adding ad hoc queries to an already long list of requests for your data scientist.
2. Data Governance
To be successful, your data needs to be correctly governed in order to be used in the best possible way. Data governance is defined as the way data is managed, stored, and accessed within an organization. The best BI tools will give managers and executives a wide toolbox of controls to manage their data.
In the past, data was often mitigated to silos, where it was hard to access for most people—making it largely useless to most members of the business. Great BI tools selectively breakdown data silos, allowing for unprecedented insights, while still retaining permissions and controls.
3. AI Analytics
Artificial intelligence continues a major topic of conversation across industries. There’s a good reason for this, as it will certainly change the ways companies interact with one another, with customers, and internally. This is especially true in the business world, where AI analytics empowers business users to comb through data more quickly than ever before.
Rather than waiting days or even weeks for a team of data scientists to answer a question and deliver a graphic, AI analytics can complete both functions in mere moments. Similarly, AI analytics can deliver automated insights from your data. Thus answering questions your team has yet to ask.
4. Customizable Dashboards
Your dashboard is your home base in the world of BI. What users have available to them on their dashboard will undeniably determine the quality and quantity of insights. No two businesses are alike and therefore the ability to customize dashboards lets enterprises hone in on their true priorities.
5. Data Consolidation
Tools related to data consolidation go hand-in-hand with data governance. Data silos can be an impairment to organizations trying to get the most out of their data. It makes sense that you should integrate as many points as possible in order to create a truly holistic picture.
Find BI tools that allow you to easily consolidate data from all inputs into one system. Once it’s there, you can determine levels of access to different users. Further, data consolidation reduces inefficiency because users don’t need to go searching for relevant information in different locations.
So in summary:
As business intelligence tools become more accessible, it’s important for organizations to consider the implications of choosing to adopt, or not to adopt, them. In order to stay competitive in the modern economy, most companies will need to integrate data into their decision-making processes.
These are a few of the most important traits to look for when comparing different BI tools.