Business analytics, also called business intelligence or BI, involves gathering and interpreting data for businesses. Business intelligence has many players, the titans being Oracle, SAP, and IBM, the established specialists being SAS, MicroStrategy, and Information Builders, and notable emerging players are Tableau, TIBCO, QlikTech, Birst, and Logi Analytics. There has been an increase in the uptake of business analytics over the past few years among start-ups because of the many benefits these tools give. These include
1. Smart Decision-Making
Business analytics gives you important data that will help you in decision making. You will also be able to make decisions faster. Sales and marketing departments, particularly, stand to benefit from business analytics. You will be able to spot trends, see rise and fall in demand for products/services, note changes by comparing past and current records, return on investment reports for product lines and individual products, quantify customer buying patterns, and use metrics to measure loss and growth.
- Data Visualization
Data visualization, which is at the core of business analytics, will give you clear insight. You can use comprehensive graphs and charts to make the decision-making process more interesting. A virtual representation of the data extracted allows you to extract relevant and useful insight in a much clearer way.
- Keeping up to date
Fads come and go and the modern customer changes his mind too easily since he is easily swayed by the “latest” or “better” offer. Business analytics gives you insight into how your target market acts and thinks. Your business will only survive with today’s ever-changing consumer if you are dynamic. It is not uncommon to see a start-up devouring a larger competitor by simply being sensitive to customer needs and you should, therefore, take advantage of this.
Business analytics greatly improves business efficiency. The quick gathering and analysis of huge amounts of data and its presentation in an appealing way encourages a culture of teamwork and efficiency since employees are able to express their insights and participate in decision making. You also get efficiency since the analysis will guide you on what you need to do to achieve your goals.
- Self-service business analysis
Business analytics allows you to do ad hoc data analysis. This could be recurring analysis or on a one-time-only basis. The data gathered will then be shared with others. On Oracle, this is done through the Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.
- Proactive intelligence delivery
Business analytics can be very proactive. It can provide you with alerts whenever there is a change that matches your filter. This allows you to make decisions in good time.
- Online business analysis
Good BI tools such as Oracle allow for online business analysis and presentation. This is called OLAP on Oracle (online analytical processing analysis and presentation). It allows an Oracle DBA consulting company to connect, which gives you professionalism (if you do not have the necessary knowhow), it saves you money since you do not need to hire a full-time in-house team, and it allows you to concentrate on running your business.
- Anticipative intelligence
Good business analytics tools have anticipative intelligence functionality. Actual and real-time anticipation is important for future planning purposes.
- Improved usability
The relevant insights can be produced for all the different users (such as management, technical staff, and even partners) and not just the analyst. It is possible to optimize information on each step, meaning all levels are able to identify their own roles.
2. Analysis of big data
If you have an online presence, your website is search-engine-optimized, and you have a good product or service, it is only a matter of time before you start getting high traffic on your site and through doors. Handling all this data can be time-consuming and costly, even for a start-up. Failure to have accurate data is not an option because you not only risk being out of touch with your customers, but you may jeopardize regulatory compliance and corporate security.
- Score-carding capabilities
Although most start-ups do not use BI for score-carding, this is still an important functionality. In contrast to dashboards and reports, which usually display analytics results, scorecards are used to compare results to metrics.
- Improved operations management
BI gives operation managers information that will help them make smart operational decisions. Operation managers, HR, and management will understand the group and individual worker productivity better. This will lead to better headcount management and effective budget allocation.
- Improved negotiations
The data you get from business intelligence will help you when negotiating with suppliers and other vendors, investors, and other business partners. As an example, if you want to delay paying your supplier because of cash flow problems, the supplier is more likely to accept the delay if you have facts proving that you will be in a better cash position shortly.
- Eliminating waste
A good business analytics system will point out waste or loss that you may not have noticed before. This is particularly important for larger organizations that have more leaks. The business analytics system will be deployed company-wide and it will work as a single, unified entity, meaning it will analyze transactions between departments and subsidiaries to identify areas of inefficiency and overlap. According to the CIO website, thanks to BI tools, Toyota was able to realize it was double-paying shippers in the tune of $812,000 in 2000.
All your data will be in a database. Even as you do business analytics, ensure that all the data is protected by deploying proven DB security techniques. You can hire a remote DBA to handle your data. A good DBA will also help you in business analytics and even in search engine optimization.
Avoid the common temptation of using spreadsheets to keep track of your data. This not only wastes your time and energy, but you will also miss such things as trends in the data. You should hire a professional for business analytics because a pro will have the experience necessary. Buy your business analytics tools from renowned vendors such as Oracle because you will get the most functionalities and the best support.