Understanding metrics is a skill that surpasses the tech-savvy. Business Intelligence (BI) is a term that has been used for the last several years, which ultimately means using data analytics to inform business decisions. That’s something that can – and should – be done by every employee in the company.
How, though? Dan Pepijn wrote a great article about it recently on The Next Web.
Business Intelligence is becoming accessible by everyone in an organization, and the main reason is that tools are being designed to visualize this data in a way that is easier to digest. Business Intelligence is being moves to cloud-based services with higher bandwidth and storage ability. Not only does this cut costs (versus an on-premises solution), it also includes tools like dashboards, metrics, and customized insights for end users and decision makers.
Dan points to Amazon Web Services’ QuickSight data reporting tool, specifically designed for non-technical users. Tools like QuickSight have moved analytics from the niche into the forefront of business decisions. They turn business into “live businesses” which anticipate trends and react in real time.
These tools have also done away with the need for coding and analysis skills for those using data analytics. Instead of writing filters and algorithms to analyze data, tools like QuickSight, with strong user interfaces, allow anyone to take a look at data. This allows for business intelligence at the ground level.
Of course, C-level executives should be making decisions based on data. But facility managers, marketing teams, sales executives and more can gain great insight from utilizing data. By democratizing data, and allowing everyone to see and draw insight from it, we’re allowing every employee in the company the ability to make more informed decisions. It’s called “embedded BI” and it involves integrating BI tools into business processes so that everyone can see the impact their work is having on important metrics, and try to improve based on data.
It all comes down to visualization. Offer your employees the opportunity to truly see how their work is affecting the business. Allow them to learn and draw conclusions about how they can be better employees. By allowing for easier access to data, business intelligence becomes a practice everyone in the company can utilize.
It makes sense to gather all of the information you can before making a business decision. True, actionable data is the way of the future, and if your company isn’t utilizing it you’re putting yourselves at a disadvantage. Further than that, you can gain a significant advantage by allowing every department – every employee – to draw conclusions from true data sets. Business Intelligence should be mainstream.