What is Business Intelligence and Why Your Business Needs It?

Updated 24 Apr 2024
Published 07 Apr 2023
Nancy Bhargava 3610 Views
Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence (BI) turns complex data into insights for strategic decision-making. BI for enterprises is a must-have for competitive firms in today’s data-driven environment, enabling data-driven decisions and improved performance.

In this blog, we shall delve into what is business intelligence, elucidating its indispensability for contemporary enterprises and explaining how it can foster organizational triumph amid the rapidly evolving and dynamic business milieu.

Irrespective of whether you are presiding over a small business or supervising a colossal corporation, possessing a rudimentary comprehension of BI can furnish you with the acumen necessary to arrive at well-informed decisions that propel expansion and affluence.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence (BI) is a complex process that involves collecting, analyzing, and presenting data in a way that helps organizations make smarter and better-informed decisions.

It’s like putting together a puzzle with all the pieces of information available to help businesses see the bigger picture and make more informed choices.

what is business intelligence

This BI guide is like an informative manual about corporate data to help one understand its basic elements. It involves using advanced techniques to analyze data in order to find hidden patterns, trends, and opportunities

But BI for enterprises isn’t just about tracking numbers; it’s also about understanding your customers, your market, and your competition.

By analyzing customer behavior, market trends, and competitor activity, BI features can help businesses identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions on product development, marketing, and sales strategies.

For those unacquainted with Business Intelligence (BI), an abundance of digital tutorials exist to provide comprehensive, incremental instruction for initiating one’s BI journey, encompassing the selection of optimal software and the configuration of data visualizations. Moreover, a wealth of BI tips and tricks are available to assist organizations in fully leveraging their BI tools.

BI tools for small businesses, customized to meet their specific demands, are accessible. On the other hand, large-scale tools designed for enterprise deployment are capable of processing immense data quantities and providing cutting-edge analytical capabilities.

How Does Business Intelligence work?

BI for enterprises is an advanced and technology-enabled methodology that facilitates informed decision-making by using data analysis and visualization.

How Does BI work
Source: tableau.com/

BI platforms are tools that bring together different types of information from various sources, such as financial reports, customer surveys, and market research, to help managers understand how their organization is doing overall.

By using these platforms, managers can see the big picture and get a better understanding of their organization’s performance over time.

This BI guide attempts to bring forth the numerous BI features that are proving big changemakers for businesses. Moreover, it will explain the different aspects of Business Intelligence (BI), which will make it easier to understand the topic in more detail.

BI Overview: Data Warehouses and OLAP Engines

Data warehouse VS OLAP Engines

An important aspect of the BI overview is that traditionally, BI platforms depend on data warehouses as their primary data source.

A data warehouse, which is a large, centralized repository of data that stores information from various sources in a structured format, serves as the baseline for BI analysis. This provides a consistent, reliable source of information for BI analysis.

To support complex data queries and BI features, data warehouses often incorporate an online analytical processing (OLAP) engine. OLAP technology facilitates the analytical examination of multidimensional data, providing users with the capability to probe data from multiple vantage points.

This analytical capability enables businesses to contrast sales figures across varied regions or product lines over time, revealing trends and patterns that may remain concealed when utilizing a single data source.


BI Features: Data Extraction, Transformation, and Loading (ETL)

BI for enterprises employs a diverse set of techniques to extract, transform, and load (ETL) data into their systems.

The ETL process entails acquiring raw data from multiple sources and then applying a series of procedures that cleanse, reformat, and structure the data into a consistent format suitable for analysis.

Finally, the structured data is loaded into a designated data warehouse, where it can be efficiently and effectively analyzed to generate meaningful insights.

How Businesses can use BI?

The benefits of BI are numerous. No matter the size of one’s business, implementing BI into their operations is sure to streamline their functioning.

BI can help one gain valuable operational insights that, in turn, allow one to make sharp decisions. BI can be especially useful when it comes to sales analysis and customer retention.

How Businesses Can Use BI (1)

  • Sales Analysis

By utilizing sophisticated BI software, corporations meticulously scrutinize their sales data to extract valuable insights into ever-changing market trends and consumer behavior, thereby enabling them to formulate informed growth strategies based on intricate correlations and discerned patterns.

  • Customer Retention

BI can aid customer retention by analyzing past interactions to identify behavior and preferences. This information can be used to tailor marketing strategies, create personalized offers, and prevent churn, ultimately increasing retention rates.

How to develop a Business Intelligence Strategy?

Crafting a thriving business intelligence (BI) tactic is imperative for every establishment seeking to base decisions on data. BI for enterprise necessitates meticulous preparation and contemplation of the corporation’s objectives, assets, and competencies to produce an efficacious blueprint that will propel progress and prosperity.

Below are a few critical actions you can implement while formulating your BI plan:

  • Assess the current BI ecosystem before developing a BI strategy to identify gaps and areas for improvement.
  • Utilise BI Maturity Model to assess the current BI maturity level and develop a roadmap for improvement.
  • Involve key stakeholders impacted by the strategy in the Power BI development process.
  • Build a BI and BI governance team with data analysis, data management, and business strategy expertise.
  • Define the vision and scope of BI to ensure organizational understanding of its purpose and potential.
  • Create a comprehensive BI roadmap that delineates the necessary actions to realize the BI objectives.
  • Conduct User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and provide comprehensive end-user training to ensure proficient utilization of Business Intelligence (BI) tools.
  • Conduct a yearly assessment of your BI strategy to detect avenues for refinement and guarantee its coherence with your Power BI data migration company’s fundamental goals.

Know more: Top Power BI Consulting Companies For Leading-edge Enterprise Solutions

Why Business Intelligence is Important?

These tools for small businesses are powerful Power BI consulting solutions that enable organizations to gain insights from their data and make better decisions.

They provide a range of benefits of BI for businesses, such as improved decision-making capabilities, increased efficiency in operations, and enhanced customer experience. The following points will explore these benefits in more detail.

Why Business Intelligence is Important

  • Enhanced Operational Efficiency

BI for enterprise tools facilitates expedited identification of intricate trends, intricate patterns, and interrelationships in data that would otherwise remain obscure. This expedites the decision-making process.

  • Augmented Precision

BI features streamline the data collection and analysis process, thereby mitigating errors attributed to manual input or analysis.


  • Improved Decision-making

The availability of real-time insights from data empowers businesses to make informed decisions based on accurate information rather than conjecture.

BI tools for small businesses are acknowledged for their formidable and beneficial characteristics; however, they are not immune to a few downsides. The most prevalent drawbacks are listed below:-

  • It can take a long time for businesses to set up the necessary infrastructure for using business intelligence tools effectively.
  • If the data is not properly analyzed, it could lead to incorrect decisions being made based on incorrect information.
  • There is also the risk that sensitive customer data might get exposed if proper security measures are not taken when collecting and storing this information.

Platforms for Business Intelligence

In contemporary times, data has emerged as a pivotal resource that organizations must harness to sustain their competitive edge. To achieve this, enterprises rely on BI features that enable them to convert their data into valuable insights, facilitating informed decision-making.

Platforms for Business Intelligence

A key aspect of BI use cases for businesses is the aggregation of data from pertinent sources, thus centralizing it and providing a clear visualization of business activities.

Through this comprehensive view, Power BI consulting companies can detect patterns and trends that might not be evident in fragmented data sets scattered across disparate systems.

BI tips and tricks enable the sorting, organizing, and querying of data. They offer real-time data access and interactive dashboard creation for tracking key metrics.

BI tools allow data slicing and dicing, custom report creation, and complex analysis, empowering businesses to make data-driven decisions and identify areas for improvement.

BI platforms facilitate collaboration and action on insights by enabling the easy sharing of reports, dashboards, and Data visualizations among team members. The benefits of BI create a data-driven decision-making culture, enhancing teamwork and productivity.

Multiple popular BI platforms, such as Google Data Studio and Microsoft Power BI, offer diverse benefits for businesses of different sizes.

BI use cases for businesses encompass the utilization of these tools to acquire an all-encompassing comprehension of their operations and pinpoint areas for enhancement. Larger organizations can employ advanced analytical functionalities to optimize processes and propel growth.

The Future Role of Business Intelligence

The prospective function of Business Intelligence (BI) within enterprises is promising. With the aid of data governance, self-service BI, and Natural Language Processing (NLP), businesses can attain insights and make data-driven decisions with greater ease.

As technology advances, so does the role of BI within enterprises. Now, this BI guide will expound upon the future role of BI and how it can benefit organizations.

The Future Role of Business Intelligence

1. Data Governance

In the upcoming age of business intelligence, how business intelligence development companies manage and control their data will be very important.

With modern businesses collecting and storing huge amounts of data, it’s crucial for organizations to fully understand what kind of information they need and how to manage it effectively.

Robust data governance policies are critical to ensuring the accuracy, consistency, and caliber of the data harvested. By using cutting-edge BI features, organizations can effectively scrutinize their data and learn about key insights that can enhance their decision-making processes.

2. Self-service BI

Self-service BI is another aspect of BI that will become increasingly important in the future. With self-service BI, users can access the data they need without depending on IT or data teams.

This means that users can quickly meet their analytical requests and make critical decisions at a much faster pace. Self-service BI for data analysis will also help to break down data warehouses and encourage collaboration across departments.

3. BI Through Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Processing (NLP) represents a great advancement in the realm of BI for data analysis. With the assistance of NLP, even non-technical personnel can comprehend intricate systems and digital tools.

NLP facilitates rapid and effortless connection to data, which can aid businesses in making superior decisions. NLP can also enhance communication between disparate departments by making data more accessible to all.

Business Intelligence vs. Data Analytics

Within the realm of data analysis, the terms business intelligence (BI) and business analytics (BA) are frequently employed. BI for enterprise pertains to the scrutiny of historical data to detect patterns and trends, whereas BA employs sophisticated statistical techniques to forecast the future.

Business Intelligence vs. Data Analytics

Although both seek to achieve similar objectives, there are several noteworthy distinctions between the two.

A significant disparity between BI and BA lies in the level of analysis they undertake. BI use cases for businesses are diagnostically focused, meaning that they concentrate on the past and present, assisting organizations in comprehending previous events and their underlying causes.

Conversely, BA utilizes predictive and prescriptive analytics to enable businesses to anticipate future trends and offer recommendations for action.

The scale and longevity of an enterprise constitute influential factors in determining the suitability of Business Intelligence (BI) versus Business Analytics (BA).

Small-scale businesses with limited resources and an interest in leveraging data for insights typically find BI tools for small businesses a viable solution, given their accessibility and cost-effectiveness.

Conversely, BA tends to align better with larger organizations that operate with intricate data sets and a higher demand for predictive insights.


How Business Intelligence Supports Businesses?

The benefits of BI for businesses entail utilizing data analytics, data mining, and other data-driven techniques to generate valuable insights that can facilitate informed decision-making, process optimization, and enhanced performance for businesses.

BI tools for small businesses facilitate the visualization and analysis of heterogeneous data streams, including but not limited to website traffic, sales pipelines, business metrics, marketing campaigns, and user demographics.

Here’s how BI can improve your business:

  • See how many people visit your website: BI features can monitor website traffic and user behavior, providing visualizations to aid businesses in comprehending patterns and trends.
  • Keep track of sales progress: BI tools for small businesses in monitoring lead progression through the sales funnel, identifying areas causing delays or loss, and enhancing the sales process.
  • Measure performance of business metrics against benchmarks and goals: Business Intelligence (BI) tools can monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as revenue, profit, customer satisfaction, and employee productivity, and juxtapose them against industry benchmarks and internal objectives.
  • Evaluate the performance of marketing campaigns and experiments: Business Intelligence (BI) tools can monitor the efficacy of disparate marketing channels, campaigns, and experiments, and assist businesses in allocating resources to the most efficacious strategies.
  • Segment users by demographic characteristics: BI tool for small businesses scrutinizes customer behavior data and segments demographics such as age, gender, location, and income. This empowers businesses to personalize marketing strategies and augment customer experiences.
  • Generate reports for the team and executive decision-making: BI tools facilitate the production of real-time reports on critical metrics, sales, feedback, and other data for team and executive decision-making. These reports enable departments or individuals to make informed decisions, resulting in optimized operations and a competitive edge.

Read more: Benefits of Power BI for Revolutionizing Industries

Features of Business Intelligence Software

Business Intelligence software has emerged as a crucial instrument for companies seeking to establish a competitive edge with information practices.

Features of Business Intelligence Software

Here are some benefits of BI for businesses that are indispensable:

  • Connections to Data Sources

BI software can interface with various data sources, including databases, data warehouses, and ad hoc data files, empowering businesses to analyze copious amounts of data.

  • Data Querying

With the capability to interface and amalgamate data from multiple sources, BI software furnishes insights that are unattainable in isolation.

  • Data Visualization & Dashboards

BI use cases for businesses offer an array of charts and tables that can be arranged into Power BI dashboards for easy viewing and quick analysis.

  • Data Availability

Modern BI tools for small businesses facilitate data stakeholders in conducting investigations autonomously, liberating data teams for more comprehensive analyses.

  • Data Analysis

BI software permits users to modify and supplement previous queries to obtain more profound insights into the data.

Data Analytics in PowerBI

  • Deployment Method

Traditional BI software required an on-premises deployment, but modern tools offer cloud-based options, making it easier for businesses to access BI tools.

  • Application Support

BI for enterprises should offer support resources that can help users get unstuck when they encounter problems.

Business Intelligence Use Cases for Organizations

Business Intelligence (BI) is a way of using technology to analyze data and gain useful insights. These insights can help businesses make better decisions.

The deployment of BI for data analysis can aid enterprises of varying sizes to facilitate informed judgments, enhance their operational efficiency, and achieve their overarching business objectives.

Let’s examine a range of BI use cases for businesses across diverse functional departments within an organization.

Business Intelligence Use Cases for Organizations

Human Resources

HR departments may benefit from using BI for enterprises to analyze employee productivity, manage pay, complete payroll process, and pinpoint upskilling requirements.

HR managers can identify top performers, gauge productivity, and offer incentives to increase engagement and retention by evaluating employee data.

HR managers may use BI tools to monitor trends in pay and benefits in order to ensure that workers are paid equitably and fairly.


The benefits of power BI include providing finance teams with the ability to monitor quarterly and annual budgets, proactively identify potential issues and enhance the overall financial stability and health of the organization.

By analyzing financial data in real-time, finance managers can make informed decisions about budget allocation, cash flow, and investment opportunities.

BI tools can also help finance teams identify trends and anomalies in financial data, allowing them to take corrective action quickly.


Marketing and Sales

BI features can help enterprises scrutinize consumer behavior and purchasing patterns with greater precision, resulting in the development of products and Power BI dashboards services that more effectively cater to customer needs.

This approach can engender superior levels of customer satisfaction and retention. Additionally, BI can enable businesses to discern fresh sales prospects, fine-tune pricing strategies, and monitor the efficacy of marketing campaigns.

Read more: Understanding Microsoft Power BI: A Comprehensive Guide

In Conclusion

In today’s time, BI tools for small businesses prove to be a crucial asset. BI utilizes data and helps enterprises make sound decisions that in turn lead to increased profits.

There are numerous advantages to employing BI, including increased customer satisfaction, improved marketing performance, and optimized pricing strategies, to name a few.

No matter the size of the business, a wealth of BI tutorials and tools are available online to start BI projects. Enterprises can benefit from learning about the various features, BI tips, tricks, and use cases of BI in order to optimize their operations and achieve their goals.

FAQ of Business Intelligence

  • What Advantages Can Businesses Derive from Implementing Business Intelligence (BI) Systems?

    This blog has explained how BI can improve your business through its technology-driven methodology that endows you with the ability to make data-driven decisions. By acquiring insights into customer behavior and trends, optimizing operations, augmenting efficiency and productivity, reducing costs, and identifying new opportunities for growth and innovation, BI possesses the potential to elevate your business to new heights.

  • What are the Key Features of a Business Intelligence Tool?

    BI use cases for businesses typically encompass a range of functionalities, including ad-hoc reporting, data mining capabilities, Power BI data visualization, and dashboarding. They enable organizations to derive pertinent insights from multiple data sources, thereby facilitating effective decision-making. BI tools also offer advanced analytical capabilities, such as predictive modeling and forecasting, to aid organizations in making informed decisions.

  • What are the different types of Business Intelligence Tools available and what are their features?

    The different types of BI tools available for small businesses include the following:

    • Reporting and visualization: Generate uniform reports and graphically represent data in a consistent manner.
    • Ad-hoc query: Generate bespoke queries and reports instantly based on ad-hoc requirements.
    • Data mining: Utilize statistical and predictive models to discover latent patterns and trends in data.
    • Dashboard: Observe key performance indicators (KPIs) and other metrics in real-time through a customizable and interactive display.
  • What are Some Real-life Examples of Companies Successfully Implementing Business Intelligence?

    Numerous real-world instances exist of enterprises successfully implementing Business Intelligence (BI). For example, Lotte.com leveraged BI features to augment company revenue. Cementos Argos employed BI to enhance financial efficiency. Baylis & Harding utilized BI to facilitate decision-making process support. Sabre Airline Solutions harnessed BI to expedite business insights.

Nancy Bhargava

Nancy works as an IT consulting professional with Arka Softwares. She has an in-depth knowledge of trending tech and consumer affairs. She loves to put her observations and insights of the industry to reveal interesting stories prompting the latest domain practice and trends.

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