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How Business Intelligence Can Maximize ROI

By: Andrew Deen

 

Dude Wheres My ROI

Business intelligence. It sounds good. It also sounds expensive. In business, it doesn’t matter how good something is. If the ROI isn’t there, it’s not worth the purchase. Business intelligence is no exception.

While gaining intelligence comes at a cost, it’s well worth the price of admission. In this article, we take a look at several of the many ways business intelligence pays for itself. We also take a look at what it takes to get business intelligence working for you.

Better Reporting

Traditionally, reporting has required a large financial team to sift through enormous quantities of information and generate their own reports by hand. Not only is this process time-consuming and expensive—employee time is an invaluable asset at any business—but it also contains a much wider margin of error. People make mistakes. Algorithms don’t.

With business intelligence, you can condense information into accurate reports that are ready in real-time. How does this provide a large ROI?

For one thing, it lets your financial team have more time to spend on other tasks that can add extra value to your business. This is particularly critical for growing companies that are in the throes of scalability troubles. You can still use solutions like PowerBI paginated reports to share printed or PDF copies of the report if needed.

It also provides the opportunity to reconsider your staffing needs. As you grow, it’s easy to see departments swell significantly out of proportion. A deluge of new hires can quickly erase the revenue generated by growth while simultaneously making your business harder to manage.

With business intelligence, you can do the same amount of work with fewer people, making your company leaner and more efficient.

Better Data Implementation

Business intelligence-driven data is also, well, more intelligent. By hand, it is impossible to take into account all of the metrics that might be relevant to making a well-informed business decision. There’s simply too much of it out there.

Instead, information processed by hand is little more than a highlight reel. Helpful, perhaps, but hardly conclusive or comprehensive.

Business intelligence changes this by allowing for comprehensive reporting on massive swaths of data. This produces a significant ROI by equipping companies with the ability to make a much more educated decision. For example, a business intelligence interface could help a store that wishes to expand find an ideal location by processing reports on median income, local competitors, etc.

Businesses get better information, and as a result, they can make better decisions.

Operational Efficiency

Business intelligence can also be used on an internal basis to measure operational efficiency. Is there a department that has five people doing the work of three? What about your infrastructure overhead? Is your office bigger than it needs to be? Are your utilities being handled efficiently?
Depending on how efficiently you were operating before, intelligence can help save enormous amounts of money—especially when you use it to calibrate other cooperative technologies.

For example, you can use intelligence to set smart office technology to maintain supplies and utilities that are both optimal financially and efficiently.

Better Customer Management

Business intelligence can also help companies on a customer-facing front. Simply by understanding your customers better you can make targeted advertising and more streamlined customer service interfaces.

Some businesses have already been able to use intelligence to reconfigure how their customers access information. By reconfiguring what information customers can access online, versus, what they need to contact customer support for, they have been able to save money on personnel while also making life easier for their customers.

Getting Business Intelligence

Business intelligence requires an upfront investment of digital infrastructure. It also requires talent.

People interested in specializing in business intelligence may consider pursuing a doctorate in business administration. The DBA is the highest degree professionals can get in business. Not only is it prestigious—and useful for finding jobs or even lobbying for salary increases, but it also equips you with the skills you need to thrive professionally.

By getting a DBA online you can pursue your studies in a flexible program that allows you to simultaneously work at your career. A DBA is the best way to improve your skills while also making yourself more professionally marketable.

Published: March 28, 2022
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Andrew Deen

Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups in almost every industry from retail to medical devices and everything in between. He implements lean methodology and is currently writing a book about scaling up business. Twitter @AndrewDeen14.

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