What is a Business Intelligence Platform?

Technology 7111799 1920
15 November 2022 by Experis

The ‘intelligence‘ in business intelligence (BI) stands for the intelligent, planned, use of data. Businesses recognised early on there is knowledge in data. And knowledge, as we all know, is power. But collecting and evaluating data on a large scale was extremely time-consuming and cost-intensive for a long time. That's why business intelligence was previously considered a topic primarily for the top corporations that could muster the necessary resources for it.  

This has changed fundamentally in recent years. Thanks to new methods and technologies, such as cloud computing and BI platforms, business intelligence is now available to all companies. With intelligent data analysis and management, the status quo of the company can be determined, trends can be predicted and ultimately accurate business decisions can be made. No company should miss out on these competitive advantages.

But what does business intelligence actually mean? And why are BI platforms a good starting point if you want to get more out of your data? 

What is Business Intelligence?

Everywhere we turn, we leave data behind: on social media platforms and search engines, when we visit a website and when we pay with a cash card. Even the way we move through the supermarket allows valuable conclusions to be drawn about our needs and preferences.  

Data is available in large quantities in our digital information-driven economy. They are also stored in various databases in most cases. However, it is often stored in an unanalysable, fragmented and unstructured form. This is where Business Intelligence comes in.  

Definition of Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence (BI) is the collective term for business analytics, data mining, data visualisation, data tools and data infrastructure. All these methods and tools pursue the goal of bringing together data from heterogeneous sources, filtering out the relevant, valuable data and evaluating it in a meaningful way. In this way, BI creates a transparent overall picture of the company. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are often used in this process.  

What you can do with Business Intelligence

  • Analyse the behaviour of your customers

  • Compare your data with that of competitors to determine your position in the marketplace

  • Track products along the entire product life cycle

  • Forecast your business success

  • Discover market trends hidden in the data

  • Identify problems and weaknesses in your processes

Why does my company need Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence helps to gain key insights by providing a complete view of the business and making them available to the right people at the right time. Data analytics results lay the foundation for intelligent, data-driven business decisions. This serves the good of your business in a number of ways.

Business Intelligence increases productivity

Unlike manual data collection and analysis, BI-supported data analysis is efficient and time-saving. Business intelligence tools do not tie up personnel capacities, but instead, empower employees to complete their tasks in a more targeted manner. This benefits the productivity of the company as a whole.

Business Intelligence improves ROI  

You may be familiar with the saying: data is the new gold. With BI, this can be taken quite literally, because business intelligence has a positive effect on the ROI of a company. This is due to the following reasons:

  • Reporting becomes more accurate, faster and more meaningful

  • BI aligns your company in a more strategically advantageous way

  • Operating and overhead costs decrease

  • You make fewer financially risky decisions

  • You can be more agile in responding to market changes

Business Intelligence optimises processes

Smart decision-makers also turn to business intelligence when designing processes in the company. The consolidated data makes processes transparent and relentlessly reveals the areas in which they are not yet running optimally. Your BI tool also tells you whether the measures applied really contribute to achieving your goals. 

What are the methods for Business Intelligence?

Many different methods fall under the umbrella term Business Intelligence. You should be familiar with the following:

  • Data mining: using databases, statistics and machine learning to identify patterns in large data sets

  • Reports: Data analyses from which recommendations for action can be derived

  • KPIs and benchmarks: comparing current performance data with historical data to track performance

  • Descriptive analytics: statistical method to search and compile data

  • Database queries: entering data-specific questions, with BI then providing the answers from the data sets

  • Statistical analysis: analysing data using statistics

  • Data visualisation: translating the results of data analysis into visual representations such as charts, graphs and dashboards.  

What is a business intelligence platform?

A study by the Business Application Research Center (BARC)1 shows that the use of BI and analytic tools has increased recently, but acceptance among employees has stagnated. You can counteract this trend with user-friendly business intelligence tools such as a BI platform.  

A BI platform is a system that allows companies to make all their data accessible and visible in a single place. Often, different tools and databases flow into each other in the BI platform, which optimises the analysis process.  

BI platform: The easy way to data analysis

BI platforms have the great advantage of being easy to use even for employees with less technical affinity. They do not have to get into data analysis themselves but can have results displayed in charts, reports and custom dashboards.  

BI platforms make data usable in a simple, practical and time-saving way. Instead of painstakingly consulting individual tools, you can put together a meaningful report on the BI platform with just a few clicks. Moving from the research on a BI platform to giving the recommendation to the CEO only takes a few minutes.  

BI platforms:

  • Bring together real-time data from all tools

  • Simplify access to high-quality data

  • Provide visualisations that make it easier to understand data

  • Work in self-service mode: everyone is in control of their dashboards

  • Are dynamic and adapt to your BI strategy

  • Allow automated reporting

  • Connect to third-party cloud platforms

Interested in Business Intelligence platforms and specialist advice on Business Transformation, Cyber Security, Digital Workspace, Cloud and Infrastructure, and Enterprise Applications? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch! Experis take pride in providing pragmatic approaches to complex business challenges from sustainability to process optimisation.