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Business Intelligence (BI) is a set of tools and technologies for collecting, analyzing, processing, and visualizing business data. BI allows companies to transform the data they operate into human-readable form and use it in practice. When it comes to automation in business intelligence, it provides an intelligent approach, helping companies to make more informed decisions. We will talk in more detail about business intelligence and analytics in general and the most successful BI automation cases below.

You can also learn about enterprise business intelligence solutions we implement.

Why Use Business Intelligence and Analytics?

Business intelligence (BI) and analytics solutions are not a new business trend. However, some companies still don’t use them at all or don’t apply such software to its full potential. And they do so in vain.

Business intelligence and analytics applications derive actionable insights from raw data. At the same time, as a rule, they are universal and can be used in various industries to solve a wide range of tasks, from improving data quality to optimizing complex business processes. 

In particular, being fully autonomous solutions, they can receive data from any source—from ERP, CRM, and WMS systems to Excel spreadsheets and IoT devices. To do this, automated business intelligence software connects to software solutions that the enterprise already uses and uploads all the necessary information. Uploading of all data is performed only once, and then this data is synchronized in real time, which ensures the output of up-to-date analysis results.

Business intelligence automation tools analyze historical and current data and present the results in easy-to-understand visual formats. As a result, this data view helps companies quickly move from analytics to action, make real-time adjustments, and plan for long-term changes to existing business strategies.

Benefits of Business Intelligence and Analytics Solutions

business intelligence automation

When implemented correctly, business intelligence automation brings many benefits to business owners, both in short-term and long-term business strategies. We will highlight the next ones.

  • Business optimization. Through deep analysis of real-time and historical data, BI-based solutions help companies allocate their resources more efficiently and intelligently.
  • Effective use of business data. Instead of using stand-alone software solutions for each of the data sources, BI systems ensure their centralization, structuring, and application of this data for further analysis.
  • Predictive analysis of business risks. BI solutions can independently perform smart analysis of potential risks, processing huge amounts of up-to-date data. Unlike manually generated reports, these solutions provide more accurate and faster results.
  • Understanding and anticipating customer needs. By integrating with CRM systems, BI solutions analyze customer needs, problems, and buying behavior, identifying customer service and support weaknesses and helping enterprise owners build more viable business scenarios.
  • Increasing income and reducing expenses. And finally, automated business intelligence solutions allow companies to spend their budget more wisely, avoiding possible risks, downtime, and additional costs, as well as focusing on existing market trends. Such a rigorous approach helps to increase profits and reduce expenses in just a few months.

You can learn more about the benefits of business intelligence reporting here.

Applications of Business Intelligence and Analytics 

Business intelligence automation can be applied in any field of activity where employees have to constantly operate with large amounts of data. The most typical use cases for BI and analytics are the following business sectors.

  • Sales and marketing. BI solutions enable the building of more accurate and effective customer acquisition and retention strategies. They also help to quickly adapt the business to new market trends.
  • Business process management. For companies with complex and multi-stage business processes, such solutions offer a new way for business process automation in business analysis, reducing costs and time for their implementation, as well as minimizing downtime, and eliminating the risk of financial losses.
  • Predictive maintenance of software and hardware. Automated business intelligence solutions provide companies with constant and systematic control over their hardware and software, ensuring timely troubleshooting and maintenance.
  • Supply chain optimization. Business intelligence-based solutions use historical and real-time data to reduce backlogs or, conversely, eliminate shortages in time.
  • Fraud detection. Some companies provide BI-based analytics solutions that recognize the threat of fraudulent activity before it harms the business.
  • Effective human resource management. Manual work in human resource management takes a lot of time. In turn, business intelligence automation allows businesses to automate the tasks associated with the process of hiring new employees and managing existing ones, thereby reducing the burden on the personnel department.

What Program Elements do BI and Analytics Solutions Typically Include?

Although automated business intelligence and analytics solutions perform complex data processing, they are usually easy to use. This simplicity comes from the thoughtful tools they include. Let’s consider the main ones.

  • ETL tools. ETLs extract information from external sources, transform it, clean it, and load it into a single repository.
  • Analytical data storage. In fact, this is a database that independently structures and analyzes data.
  • Data mining tools. These tools process data and analyze it according to predefined parameters, identifying dependencies and trends. At the same time, these tools can use a variety of data processing methods: from statistical and forecasting to semantic analysis.
  • Data visualization tools. These are the reports that end users work with. Depending on the tasks, reports can be created according to the approved format or be dynamic. When building analytical reports, end users can independently set the list of displayed indicators, sort data, and apply filters. 

Why is it Crucial for Some Businesses to Implement BI and Analytics?

Thanks to automated business intelligence systems, companies can avoid hiring data scientists, since such solutions independently collect and process data, presenting it to end users in a readable format. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what tasks automated business intelligence and analytics solutions help solve:

  • Collection of data from different sources, as well as their structuring and centralized storage
  • Data analysis to form/validate hypotheses and plan effective business strategies
  • Modeling outcomes and their impact on business
  • Creation of operational and strategic reporting
  • Systematization of knowledge for transfer to new employees

And all this becomes available at the level of automation in business intelligence, without the help of live experts in the subject area you need.

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How to Understand That You Need to Implement BI and Analytics Urgently

Any company in any niche can benefit significantly from business process automation in business analysis and other activities. However, for some companies, the use of such solutions is critical. In particular, you should consider implementing business intelligence automation if you need to:

  • Regularly process large amounts of data from multiple sources
  • Provide quick access to business data
  • Optimize interaction with digital systems of users who need access to business data or analytics
  • Modernize the existing digital environment due to its inefficiency
  • Track the activities of the enterprise or some of its departments
  • Stimulate faster enterprise growth

5 Use Cases Where BI and Analytics Can Help You

business intelligence automation

In general, because business intelligence tools accelerate data analysis and business performance evaluation, they are indispensable in eliminating inefficient processes, identifying potential problems, finding new sources of income, and predicting areas for future growth.

Nonetheless, if the above business goals seem too abstract to you, and you still doubt whether it is worth introducing business intelligence automation into your existing business processes, analyze the five cases described below where this type of software has shown itself to its full potential.

Poor Data Quality

Many companies often face inadequate data quality. Because of this, forecasts and reports are inaccurate, and the quality of business models built for the further development of the company suffers.

In turn, BI can have a very positive impact on your business and prepare data for analysis so that it can be used to build viable business strategies. In particular, BI-based solutions automate the procedures for collecting, cleaning, and recovering data, regardless of the type of source they come from.

As a result, the filtered and restored data is placed in centralized storage, where they are then updated (while synchronizing with the sources) in real time. At the same time, BI systems keep a history of updating this data so that users can track the dynamics of data changes and build extremely accurate forecasts.

It’s also worth noting that this approach to data processing significantly reduces the number of manual operations, which means that the risks associated with incorrect data entries by inattentive employees are minimized.

Now think about it: how often does your company face the problem of heterogeneous, disparate data, the quality of which negatively affects the results of its analysis? If so, consider that maybe it’s time for you to implement BI.

Difficulties with Analyzing Data from Different Sources

Unfortunately, to this day, companies around the world use outdated software solutions. This approach greatly complicates the extraction of data and its processing in a single centralized system, often requiring enormous effort that employees are forced to perform manually.

With BI solutions, you can keep much of your legacy software even if it doesn’t have an API to integrate with advanced analytics software products. In particular, these solutions automate the extraction of this data, requiring only minimal intermediation from your workers.

Therefore, if for some reason you do not want to switch to newer, modern data tools, BI solutions can help you stick to this practice without much effort.

Lack of Proactivity

To turn the work of your staff into a pipeline, it’s important to minimize the downtime that they often experience due to a lack of proper knowledge of how to act in a given situation. BI-based solutions can solve this problem.

In particular, such software can do business intelligence analytics at the time and place where it will be most useful. Thus, your employees get the opportunity to act on the information received without any delay.

In general, if the transition between individual business processes in your company is accompanied by downtime, just think: perhaps business intelligence will help you eliminate them.

Errors and Delays Related to Human Factors

Sometimes the main cause of delays and errors in workflows is the human factor: some of your employees may be distracted, and some may make a mistake by simply pressing the wrong key. Sometimes, the consequences of such situations are catastrophic for the business.

To make data-driven decisions and not spend dozens of hours of your employees’ time on it by occupying them with rote, uninteresting tasks of working with databases, you can implement BI-based software. Thanks to this, all the data necessary for reporting will be loaded and processed automatically, and all your employees will have to do is just wait until the application completes its work.

Moreover, some BI systems, based on the generated reports, automatically create a reminder schedule so that you won’t forget about regular payments, fees, etc.

Thus, if you want to ease the work of your subordinates and load them with more interesting tasks than monotonous work with data, you should definitely look at BI solutions.

Lack of Understanding of How Productive Each of Your Employees Are

The automatic generation of reports on completed tasks is the starting point to increasing the productivity of your staff. Instead of requiring subordinates to report on a regular (and often daily) basis, you can implement a BI solution to offload this responsibility to the software.

In addition, such solutions very often automatically evaluate the productivity of employees according to generally accepted metrics (CPI). Thanks to this, you will be able to more objectively monitor how many tasks are completed—and by whom—in a specific time period.

Thus, if you want to identify your underperforming employees and optimize their workload, consider using BI solutions for this.

To read about other examples of business intelligence and analytics use, read this article.

Why You Shouldn’t be Afraid of Modernization with the Help of BI and Analytics

Some enterprises are wary of upgrading with business intelligence solutions because of doubts about whether their employees can cope with new, seemingly more complex software. However, this is not really a problem.

To start using an average automated business intelligence solution, your employees don’t need to be advanced PC users or, moreover, have programming skills. Typically, such software is equipped with an intuitive graphical interface that allows users to generate a new report in just a couple of clicks and access analytics through an easy-to-use dashboard.

Note that the vast majority of vendors specializing in the development of automated business intelligence products provide maximum interactivity of the visualized data. This means that, if necessary, users can enlarge and rebuild the plotted graphs, as well as change the time intervals and visualization format (for example, instead of a line graph, you can display the same data in the form of a chart).

Thus, the entry threshold for the end user in business intelligence automation is low, which means that you most likely won’t face downtime or additional costs caused by the low qualification of your staff.

Bottom Line

In the era of global digitalization and automation of business processes, companies should think about how to reduce the amount of manual work for their employees. This thesis is especially applicable to cases when they need to work with large volumes of heterogeneous data. Business intelligence automation is the key to solving this problem. 

If you want to implement these technologies in your business processes, please contact us and we will offer you the most effective approach for implementing digital interaction with your business data.

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