Data analysis helps put your company ahead of your competitors. The use of business intelligence involves taking all the information available, processing it, and analyzing it at a rapid rate a human couldn’t achieve without the help of artificial intelligence (AI).
In a recent study by 360Suite, researchers found 26 percent of all organizations are already using BI. As businesses in all industries embrace more technological advances, expect to see more and more smaller brands embracing BI and the many advantages gained from utilizing it.
BI has numerous uses for companies. Here are a few ways BI might change your business for the better in 2022 and beyond.
How Business Intelligence (BI) Can Change Your Business
1. Create an Amazing CX.
The customer experience (CX) can make or break your brand. If you want to stand out from the competition, making sure you meet the needs and expectations of your clients is your first step.
Computers can analyze data, such as past ordering history, to help you figure out the needs of your customers. If you anticipate what they want before they ask for it, you have a much better chance of engaging the user.
2. Improve Security.
Nearly every month, the news reports some big data breach where hackers gained access to sensitive data. The last thing you want is to compromise information your customers entrust to you.
You may need to store data in the cloud so your remote workers and salespeople on the road can easily access what they need. With easier access comes many security concerns.
However, cloud storage may be one of the safest ways to keep data on file. Companies such as Microsoft spend over $1 billion annually to keep their cloud storage secure and invest in other protections, too. You may have better luck protecting your info from hackers going with a third-party provider.
3. Order Smart.
Have you ever been stuck with too much inventory and had to discount it deeply to sell it off? With BI, you can track what types of products sell, get an alert when a popular product runs short, or make estimates of what new products might move fastest.
Inventory software should integrate with your other databases, such as your customer files, invoicing, your ecommerce store, and more. The more integrated your systems, the better the computer can make predictions.
4. Speed Up Shipping.
Huge online retailers such as Amazon and Walmart have made consumers accustomed to fast delivery. Smaller businesses may struggle to keep up, but one thing you can do to speed up shipping times is get orders out the door as quickly as possible.
Use BI to send orders immediately to pickers, who will pack a box and let the computer choose the best shipping method based on weight and the items inside. You may even save money if you input the right parameters into the software so it chooses the fastest but least expensive delivery method.
5. Follow Government Regulations.
According to the most recent BI & Analytics Survey, business owners felt data governance ranked as a 6.9 out of 10 in importance. However, figuring out how to keep up with all the rules and accreditations can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, BI helps you track if you’re on target for numbers and fulfilling any training needed. If you have a certification coming up, you can set automated reminders to meet certain milestones by specific dates.
Rules such as the General Data Regulation Protection (GDPR) act mean companies must have a plan in place for how they manage data. Business intelligence is the best way to keep track of all the information and ensure you only keep what’s needed.
6. Save Money.
Businesses make a profit by buying at the best price and selling for top dollar. Computers can help you track pricing for the raw materials or wholesale products you buy. You can see if a competitor sells the item cheaper and if you have room to negotiate terms with your supplier.
Use BI to build cost models and see where you’re bleeding expenses. Understanding the finer details of your business operations allows you to make instant changes that benefit your company’s financial health.
You can also source global data and figure out what impacts your supply chain. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, some companies found their typical suppliers were unavailable. Those with BI in place were better able to prepare for the disruption and order ahead or create better trade flow.
You can also utilize AI to figure out currency exchanges, tariffs, and other factors you might not have memorized. Companies doing any type of business out of their home country benefit greatly from BI.
7. Automate Invoicing.
Cash flow is one of the top issues for growing brands. As your company ages, you’ll find you sometimes have a lot of outstanding invoices. With BI, you can automate invoicing and reminders so customers who owe you money don’t fall through the cracks.
You’ll find there are less errors as everything comes from the database. You can even set up the system to let you know if someone falls behind and doesn’t catch up so you can stop shipping products without payment. Inform all departments of the delinquency by setting up system-wide alerts.
Grow Your Business With Technology in 2022 and Beyond
The capabilities of computers and data systems continue to improve every year. More businesses see how essential utilizing databases is to their bottom line.
Embrace the new technology as it comes along and figure out which aspects of BI work best for your particular industry. With a little trial and error, you’ll invest in the best BI strategy for your brand.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a prominent digital marketing agency prior to becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pup, Bear.