The role of data and business intelligence in the corporate world

There are an endless number of questions that need to be considered when making strategic business decisions. How are customers using the products? What need is the product fulfilling? Who are the competitors, and how does their product differ? These types of questions are difficult to answer without data, and while research on its own is incredibly time consuming, the process is considerably simpler with comprehensive business intelligence software.

The importance of data

In any industry, the gathering and understanding of data has become vital to the success of corporations around the world. Marketing, sales, corporate leadership, customer experience, and others use data to help them make decisions on how to gain new business, retain existing customers, and make changes to their services to fit the needs of their clients. The digital landscape is the prime target for data gathering, because it contains vital information on user trends. Have you ever noticed those digital ads about a specific product that seem to bombard you for days after you searched for something related? This is due to data gathering; related companies are able to target prospective clients based on their keyword searches, then set up related ads to entice you to visit their website. Data is also used to understand industry and competitive trends. By understanding how the industry is performing as a whole, how the industry is expected to either grow or decline in the coming years, and where in the world their products and services are most successful, they can tailor sales targets and business goals to fit into these trends to retain maximum efficiency and profitability.

So, what is business intelligence?

Business intelligence is a term that many have heard, but few may understand. Simply put, it is the gathering, storage, and analysis of data related to the corporation. Data in and of itself can be difficult to process and understand. After all, how can anyone make clear sense of a huge spreadsheet consisting of numbers and figures? Instead, comprehensive software programs allow users to visually see data trends through the use of graphs, charts, tables, and other visualization tools. The data can also be sorted and drilled down into specific categories. For example, you may have gathered sales data over the past five years, but the software should allow you to break this down by quarter and provide insights on how your sales have either increased or decreased on a quarterly basis. This allows for accurate trend analysis that can be used to predict future sales projections.

Data has become one of the most important tools in the business world. Proper business intelligence allows companies to make informed decisions to guide the future of their company.

Photograph by Lalmch