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How does business intelligence (BI) help entrepreneurs shape their corporate environment and achieve their goals? The idea of business intelligence is quite simple: it allows different kinds of corporate experts to process data more effectively and make better decisions about the development of their businesses. Making smart decisions helps organizations not just improve their functional activities but also determine ineffectual processes, increase revenue, and obtain substantial advantages over the competitors in the market. Exploring the values of various examples of business intelligence systems helps you objectively estimate the importance of BI software for your company’s development.

Business intelligence encompasses a set of instruments and technologies for collecting, analyzing, and processing data. For instance, agencies that perform application submitting use several channels and they need to gather generalized statistics of sales. Or you might have an advertising campaign that is conveyed on several different platforms and it’s necessary to compare the effectiveness of every platform. BI helps to configure all these processes.

By utilizing business intelligence software it’s possible to transform raw data collected from different sources into comprehensive and actionable business analytics. There are numerous examples of business intelligence software like Microsoft Power BI, SAP Business Projects, Looker, Tableau, Qlik Sense, and many others. Companies in any industry or sphere can utilize BI solutions on a corporate level as well as in particular branches and for certain products or services. 

What is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence (BI) combines methods for collecting, structuring, analyzing, and transforming raw data into data that allows you to make key business decisions. To implement these methods, BI uses special software tools that transform unstructured data sets and apply them in reports or information dashboards. The main goal of BI is to present the state of a particular business in a clear, readable format and help decision makers rely on relevant data.

Typically, business intelligence solutions subject all your data to the following fundamental operations:

  • Data collection
  • Data cleaning/standardization
  • Data analysis
  • Generating reports

We also note that business intelligence is quite often confused with another, related concept, predictive analytics. However, they have key differences: while business intelligence describes the actual state of a business (or the state over a fixed period of time in the past), predictive analytics provides the most likely outcomes describing the state of a business in the future, using events of the past and present as a basis. This actually explains why both BI and predictive analytics use the same techniques to process data.

Below, we will consider specific business intelligence applications examples to provide you with a clearer understanding of how you could use this tech concept for the benefit of your organization.

The Principles of BI Systems and Business Intelligence Examples

Business intelligence systems provide a wide range of analytical data that can be effectively used for building proper business development strategies. The user side of any BI software solution is intuitively designed and doesn’t demand any serious technical knowledge for successful usage. It’s required to connect the system with data sources—furthermore, the data moves to the warehouse for data mining, and gets converted into ready-made analytical reports.

As for the data sources, these can be cloud storage like Google BigQuery, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, and others—documents like Excel, PDF, XML, etc., and various SQL-based systems.

Behind the seemingly simple analyzing process stand complicated data mining processes and analytics preparation. Different business intelligence examples offer quite the same feature list. BI solutions include:

  • Instruments of data integration and extraction (ETL): this example of business intelligence software extracts the data from external source systems, transforms it, cleans it, and uploads it to one consolidated warehouse
  • Analytical data storage: the database, used by the most significant BI applications examples, structures and analyzes data
  • Data analysis: complete, all-encompassing data analysis is possible due to the usage of OLAP instruments that enable estimating various data points of view and determining trends and dependencies
  • Data visualization business intelligence tools: in order to present the data process results, there are informational dashboards that display the analysis results with specialized indicators

A good business intelligence application example at a company is working with data analytics in such departments as finance, marketing, sales, and operations departments. Different experts can use typical operational business intelligence examples in order to reach different goals:

Business intelligence examples
  1. Finance. With the help of BI tools, it’s possible to track the financial activity of the company; also, business intelligence in finance helps to estimate the company’s market and credit risks and find out how the chosen strategy may potentially influence profits.
  2. Marketing. Utilizing different business intelligence examples, marketers keep real-time campaign tracking, assess each performance scenario, and plan future campaigns. Moreover, thanks to business intelligence implementation, marketing specialists get an all-encompassing evaluation of the company’s overall performance and enable them to share their comprehensive vision in terms of data analysis across other company departments. You can also learn more about business intelligence for marketing here.
  3. Sales. The specialists involved in sales and operations work closely with BI dashboards and KPI stats to receive timely access to such information as customer lifetime value, customer profitability, and more.
  4. Operations. To ensure that the company doesn’t waste resources like time and money on inefficient operation performances, thanks to business intelligence automation, operation managers can use BI solutions to collect and analyze relevant data.
  5. Data analysts.Companies have specialized data analysis departments in which each BI developer and data analyst can use corporate company data together with different analytics services to determine business improvement opportunities and share their recommendations with company leadership.

Streaming LMS Platform

Benefits of Business Intelligence

Business intelligence examples

The main benefit of utilizing business intelligence is certainly its ability to generate actionable insights that result in data-driven decisions. Some other business intelligence success stories point out reconsidering the performance of particular products or services provided, which helps to save tremendous amounts of resources. However, there’s a whole list of the benefits for organizations guaranteed by deploying an average business intelligence tool:

  • Decision-making sped up. When entrepreneurs have concise and relevant data-driven analytics prepared, making decisions about the company’s performance strategy becomes easier and faster.
  • Using data for a better understanding of business performance. With the help of modern BI system examples, organizations can clearly understand what happened, why it happened, and what should happen to ensure the optimization of their operations.
  • KPI response. Thanks to this, the data is analyzed from various points of view and companies can work out actionable takeaways depending on every case.
  • Comprehensive data visualization. Organizations can visualize data on interactive dashboards with user-friendly interfaces to receive a better understanding of the demonstrated insights.
  • Connecting different company departments. Different company departments from finance and sales to support and customer care receive data-driven improvement suggestions.
  • All-size company decisions. Modern business intelligence solutions allow the spreading of particular data or whole data analysis between many users of one organization
  • Proper analytical insights. BI enables analysis of a wide range of data in order to ensure that the chosen company’s strategy is up-to-date. 
  • Competition is nailed. Business intelligence enables competitive analysis that reveals market features and competitors’ businesses advantages and disadvantages
  • Multi-platform solution. Cutting-edge business intelligence software is available in the web and mobile versions. Thus, more information is distributed faster to a bigger number of users.
  • Cost-saving insights. Business intelligence systems analyze the raw data in such a way that they can determine the optimal opportunities directed at cutting corporate costs. BI solutions help to save funds on human resources, marketing, inventory, excessive vendors, etc.
  • Profit increasing. Companies increase their profits by utilizing business intelligence insights that describe budget discrepancies or inefficiencies.
  • Employee satisfaction. BI systems help to analyze data that covers topics of team effectiveness. Using ready-made business intelligence reports, they estimate the productivity of the whole team as well as of a particular department team or particular team member.
  • Customer care improvement. BI reporting helps determine whether companies’ customers are satisfied with the available product line or range of services offered. The reports also inform entrepreneurs aboutcustomer behavior, build up images of users’ personas, and, using real-time data, estimate client feedback in order to add necessary corrections to improve customer service.

Applications of BI 

Now, we propose to consider specific business intelligence examples that will probably help you understand how you can integrate this concept into your business operations.

Business intelligence examples

KPI Measuring

While KPI analysis is an integral part of any evolving business, as the data on which they are based grows, their calculation becomes increasingly difficult over time. And this is where business intelligence can find its application. 

Specifically, such solutions allow companies to identify the most important metrics for maintaining their further existence (such as budget variances, customer sentiment, operating margin, profit margin, average order value, employee turnover rate, and so on), calculate them in real time, presenting them in a readable format, as well as involving them in other processes by data analysts and data scientists.

Advanced Decision-making 

Business intelligence is also actively used in making key business decisions, providing companies with accurate insights based on current data. To be more precise, such solutions consolidate and analyze data from multiple data sources, ensuring a comprehensive view of the current status of the specific business.

This can be very useful for organizations that have and actively use multiple data sources and do not have a clear understanding of which of them can provide the most valuable insights at a particular time and for a particular purpose. 

Employee Productivity Improvement

As the volume of data is constantly growing in organizations whose business processes are based on up-to-date data, employees may find it difficult to cope with its collection, formatting, sorting, and processing manually or using local software solutions.

At the same time, this example of BI makes it possible to comprehensively cover these processes and, thereby, reduce the workload on company employees. Moreover, by minimizing the need for manual operations, business intelligence usage eliminates the risks associated with the human factor. 

Marketing and Sales 

Another relevant use case from our business intelligence examples is the field of marketing and sales—in particular, such solutions help obtain real-time data from customer relationship management systems and use them in order to improve their satisfaction and loyalty to the brand, as well as increase the number of sales.

As a result, after the introduction of business intelligence, companies are able to reduce their marketing costs and, at the same time, boost their profit margins.

Strategic Planning 

Finally, the last use case from our list of business intelligence examples is strategic planning, which is usually carried out by C-level specialists. Using BI tools, these key business people can measure performance in real time, identify new opportunities and competitive advantages, and develop strategic roadmaps aligned with business goals and customer needs.

This way, companies are able to make more informed decisions and are less driven by subjective judgments of their executives and leaders.

Real-world Examples of Business Intelligence

Business intelligence examples

Enterprises around the globe confirm the effectiveness of leveraging BI systems in their work and increasing revenue thanks to data-based decision making. Big or small, companies have to constantly deal with growing customer demands, tough competition, and often narrow profit margins. However, there are bright BI examples that prove that a data-driven approach to building a smart strategy guarantees better results.

Real-world business intelligence examples presuppose serving the necessary business needs of the company. For quite a long time, it was a common practice only for big enterprises to utilize BI systems for managing all their processes and operations. Nowadays, big companies require smart data analysis even more, and medium and small-size companies that are data-centric tend toward rapid growth. In every case, the procedure includes collecting, storing, and analyzing the data from various enterprise operations and activities to streamline and optimize performance.

Find out specific examples of business intelligence describing how companies that use business intelligence benefited from increased revenue, longer customer lifecycles and retention, effective staff management, and many more.

Amazon

Let’s start with a giant—it’s well-known that Amazon is a retail giant with more than 100 million prime customers worldwide and over 12 million products for sale. The global marketplace is all about concentrating huge amounts of data that should be processed quickly and effectively to ensure all personalized user recommendations, targeted marketing, and pricing optimizations are up to date. All these analytic efforts result in the extended collection of various metrics about every customer and help bring the user experience to such a new, high-quality level that makes Amazon a leading e-retailer in the US. Amazon uses BI systems to optimize its logistics and streamline the workflow of the supply chain. Utilizing modern BI tools, Amazon speeds up order deliveries thanks to predictive analysis, choosing the best shipping schedules, routes, and groupings of products. 

Coca-Cola

This one of the greatest examples of companies using business intelligence used to have trouble with the preparation of lots of manual reports. The Coca-Cola data analyst team had to bring together the reports of the workflows and various metrics from more than 200 million lines of data collected from 100 different systems into the corporate data warehouse. All that work was needed to prepare a single data analysis dashboard. After they started applying cutting-edge BI technologies, they managed to streamline data analysis and report processes. The Coca-Cola leadership can get free and easy access to the earned analytical reports every morning, while the data analyst team can concentrate on different tasks. Thus, introducing modern business intelligence examples to data analysis processes helped the CCBCC team optimize their workflow and improve total team performance.

American Express

Reliable data analysis is one of the essential instruments of any financial organization. American Express has adopted a strong example of a business intelligence system to create new payment methods and market offers to users. Preventing fraudulent transactions, adhering to AML compliance, and excellent customer retention are all results of implementing efficient BI software for gathering and analyzing the data. AmEx is a business intelligence use case that managed to also benefit from using BI and greatly optimized their customer acquisition and eventually streamlined all customers’ actions online. 

Starbucks

As Starbucks has a unique success story itself, the business intelligence services the company applies also have a striking difference compared to competitors. The Starbucks Loyalty Card program, driven by advanced BI software, allows the collection of terabytes of individualized purchase data on its seven-figure client audience. Based on the received data analysis, this coffee giant easily predicts individual preferences and offers for a particular customer. Thus, Starbucks customers regularly receive information about the offers they can be potentially interested in, which helps the company maintain strong customer retention. Starbucks’ story belongs in the list of business intelligence success stories that end with consistent revenue and popularity growth. This strategy eventually leads to a dramatic increase in revenue and the growth of the trust inside the users’ community. 

REI

With huge amounts of transactions—both online and in-store—operations management, customer demographics, and many more, REI has to face the challenge of dealing with more than 90 terabytes of data. In order to ensure providing a more personalized client experience, REI applied smart and effective business intelligence solutions that enabled faster collecting and estimating of key customer insights. By constantly monitoring metrics such as customer lifetime value, outflow and retention rates, price per item, items per order, etc., this large outdoor retailer gets an all-encompassing image of every user. Based on the gathered data analysis, the company manages to build advantageous strategies without wasting its time and money on useless solutions. 

Here, you can also find out the answer to the question “How would the technology industry use business intelligence?”

Enterprise Data Warehouse Reinforcement

How to Improve Your Business Intelligence to Make Your Company Prosper

Adopting business intelligence examples can be overwhelming and take lots of time to streamline all the cycles included in the procedure. However, leveraging BI solutions for business growth will inevitably turn out to be a brilliant idea once a company starts receiving higher income and higher retention rates. Struggling with setting up a BI campaign just right to reach business goals will get easier by taking these steps:

  • Getting to know the business intelligence system. When starting to deal with any BI system, it’s necessary to take time and learn what this system can actually do in terms of planning, executing, and analyzing the data.
  • Working with the data. Before submitting tons of data to the BI system, it’s necessary to learn the data’s features and peculiarities, where it’s taken from, and what benefits can this data analysis bring to the decision-making processes.
  • Prioritizing the BI reports. Some business intelligence reports can simply not work for a particular business or particular goal-reaching. To get the most out of analyzing data, it’s important to determine the goals of the analysis itself.
  • Sharing access to information with the employees. All employees, involved in some way or another in data analysis, should have access to all the data needed for business intelligence projects.

The Best BI Examples: Conclusion

Finding the right tool for solving your BI tasks will dramatically improve your data analysis performance. Inspired by the greatest business intelligence systems examples, NIX provides companies with a robust and all-encompassing business intelligence system that helps to measure the enormous amount of data and create useful forecasts based on your discoveries and analysis. Enrich your business data processing and decision-making with the vanguard software solutions that are completely customized and aimed at helping enterprises to achieve their boldest business goals.

Eugene Rudenko
Eugene Rudenko Applied AI & Data Science Solutions Consultant

An AI Solutions Consultant with more than 10 years of experience in business consulting for the software development industry. He always follows tech trends and applies the most efficient ones in the software production process. Finding himself in the Data Science world, Evgeniy realized that this is exactly where the cutting-edge AI solutions are being adopted and optimized for business issues solving. In his work, he mostly focuses on the process of business automation and software products development, business analysis and consulting.

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