5+ ways BI tools help you make intelligent decisions

Jason Catwright

Dec 03 2018

In layman terms, business intelligence or BI can be defined as the technology that transforms raw, unprocessed data into tangible, insightful information for businesses to base their future decisions and strategies on. In the past few years, the global spending on BI tools has been increasing and A.T. Kearney predicts that by the end of 2018, the market could grow further to be worth as much as $114 billion. The reason for the never-ending growth is that more and more companies are realizing the need for a modern BI tool in the current market, to keep up with the customer expectations and the competition.

The reason why business intelligence is becoming more relevant with every passing year is that the volume of available data is increasing exponentially. According to the 10 key marketing trends for 2017 report released by IBM in 2016, around 90%of the data present at that time was created during the last two years (2014-2016); which means that around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data was produced every day. One of the main suppliers of this data are the social media networks and the speed with which the number of their users are increasing, we can only expect the numbers to keep getting bigger. However big the opportunity to gain insights from the humongous amount of available data might be, businesses are unable to process it simply because of its sheer size. This is where business intelligence comes into play and makes the unthinkable, possible.

The primary purpose of business intelligence is to aid in prudent enterprise decision making. With a state-of-the-art tool like Anodot at hand, managers and policymakers can analyze insights from historical data, visualize real-time contemporary trends and decide what path to take in the days to come. By making sound strategic decisions, a business maximizes its potential to increase its efficiency, levels of customer satisfaction and eventually, revenue. With a top BI tool, you can go through many GBs of customer data including phone calls, emails, and online chats etc. and generate important insights regarding customer preferences, their reactions to certain products or services, their overall experience (dealing with the company) and any problems faced by them.

A typical business intelligence application contains a variety of helpful features like data visualization, data processing, predictive analytics, ad-hoc reporting and dashboard customization, which can help any small business in making informed decisions. Let’s take a deeper look at how exactly this happens:

Marketing strategies

With a state-of-the-art tool like   Dundas BI, you can monitor the most important business metrics and trends to determine the most common customer preferences, which can help a marketing team devise its strategies. Some tools can also help you in forecasting campaign outcomes and identifying returns for any promotional schemes. By identifying the hottest (most interested) prospects, you can devise targeted marketing campaigns that can help in increasing company revenue. By prioritizing campaigns, engaging on social media and customizing promotional schemes based on the insights produced by a BI tool, a company can increase levels of efficiency, productivity and customer satisfaction.

Answers to important sales questions

Depending on the customer preferences, their answers to certain surveys, their reactions to new promos and discounts, their overall buying experiences and their shopping trends and patterns, a BI tool can help a company get important sales answers. The gained insight allows a company to take the required actions to retain its most valuable patrons.

By looking at statistics like, “Which product got the most sales for a specific demographic?” or “Which customers made the most purchases during the last promotional campaign?” or “Which product strategy needs to be either revamped or redefined?” a company can identify areas of concern and improve on them and also put fingers on the stuff that just needs to be repeated. By knowing the best group/type of customers for a particular product and where they are located, a sales manager can formulate the best attainment and conversion strategy.

Financial insights

Almost every business intelligence tool comes with a configurable dashboard that displays a holistic financial picture of a business. By viewing the general ledger, important balance sheet figures, losses, and profits, a manager can know exactly where the company stands and whether any immediate actions are necessary. By analyzing the incoming and outgoing cash flows of the present and the past, a manager can also predict possible financial data of the future.


By using business intelligence for the identification of possible opportunities and historically problematic areas, a company can revitalize its inventory management. For instance, a manager can identify a certain raw material which always ends up being surplus in the production of a single batch of a product X; by reducing the intake of the pertinent raw material, the overall maintenance cost can be reduced. The increased transparency provided by a BI software like Tableau, a business can know the exact amount of materials to order and when.

Administrative decision making

By using business intelligence, administrators can use statistics and make decisions based on them. They can develop an enduring view of the market and the counterparts using the statistical facts and help in ensuring company growth. Using the visualization features of a BI tool, administrators and executives can identify the levels of productivity in the different departments of a company and decide how exactly the business processes need to be streamlined. By analyzing the actionable insights and key performance indicators, managers can devise efficient and effective policies that can help in the improvement of workforce productivity and satisfaction.

Recommended BI tools

An investment made on the right BI tool can help you get your return on investment within an astonishingly short amount of time. Here are two such options:


Sisense is a powerful business intelligence tool that comes with a rich set of analytical features coupled in a beautiful user interface. It’s perfect for companies of all sizes. Read the full review.


Cluvio is a cloud-based business intelligence solution that comes with intuitive dashboard and reporting features and 4 different pricing plans to choose from. Read the full review.


Final Word:

A business intelligence tool is becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity in the competitive world of today. Only when a business is able to understand where it lacked and where it excelled in the past, can it make informed decisions going forward.

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