According to Gartner, business intelligence and analytics will remain the top focus for CIOs through 2018. The benefits of fact-based decision-making through BI are clear to business managers in a broad range of disciplines, including marketing, sales, supply chain management, manufacturing, risk management, finance, etc. A recent survey revealed that reporting, dashboards, advanced visualization, and end-user self-service are given the highest priority initiatives in enterprises focused on making BI a strategic foundation for growth.
Business intelligence (BI) leverages software and services to transform data into actionable intelligence that informs an organization’s strategic and tactical business decisions. BI tools access and analyze data sets and present analytical findings in reports, summaries, dashboards, graphs, charts, and maps to provide users with detailed intelligence about the state of the business.
Business Intelligence tools are not only about generating reports, rather it offers a way to examine data to understand the trends and derive insights from it. BI helps in doing the job better as it streamlines the effort people need to search for, merge, and query data to obtain the information they need to make good business decisions. The potential use cases for BI extend beyond the typical business performance metrics of improved sales and reduced costs, says Cindi Howson, research vice president at Gartner, an IT research and advisory firm. She points to the Columbus, Ohio, school system and its success using BI tools to examine numerous data points — from attendance rates to student performance — to improve student learning and high school graduation rates.
Reaping benefits from BI requires more than implementing the technology that enables it. CXO’s should implement some essential steps to realize the full advantage of BI.
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