Harness the Power of Business Intelligence for Your Small Business

Jason Catwright

Feb 22 2018

Harness the Power of Business Intelligence For Your Small Business

In the past, Business Intelligence (BI) was consigned to the domain of large enterprises partly because they were too costly or too complex for small and medium size businesses. Fast forward to today, now every business, regardless of size, can access and effectively use BI to improve various aspects of their operations.

But, in order to make good use of BI, you need to understand what it exactly is and the benefits that you can enjoy from using it.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence is a process that assists companies to improve their decision-making processes by gathering data and putting it to good use. It involves the application of data analytics tools in processing and evaluating the data collected to transform it into useful insights. These insights are, in turn, applied in making decisions resulting in reduced costs, access to more business opportunities and improved organizational performance.

How Can the Proper Use of BI Tools Help Small Businesses?

In today’s data-laden world, business organizations are in a position to collect and store larger amounts of data than ever before. The next logical step would be to apply the appropriate data analytics tools to draw out insights from this treasure trove of information and assist your small business to grow.

Let us look at a number of practical ways in which your small business can benefit from the proper use of BI tools:

1.      Predict the Future

One key aspect of business growth is the ability to retain customers. In order to create and maintain a loyal customer base, you need to anticipate their needs and plan appropriately to satisfy them. This is where the predictive analytics feature offered by data analysis software comes in handy.

This feature aids you to study your customers’ purchasing habits and establish patterns that can help you forecast demand and devise personalized marketing approaches.

2.      Communicate Effectively

Most businesses today conduct almost all their operations online. This calls for proper communication channels that secure sensitive information and make it easy to share data with team members.

Business intelligence software makes this so much easier and more efficient. Employees have access to work-related data instantly allowing for remote working or working on the go. Such software also enhances collaboration on the part of team members.

3.      Increase Productivity

Traditional methods of gathering information require extensive efforts in compiling collected data and generating reports. Such processes could be time-consuming and might require a dedicated employee to ensure consistency.

BI reporting tools simplify such processes as they only require a single click to generate any given report. This frees up your employees and allows them to focus on their respective assignments thus increasing their productivity.

At the same time, it could also increase the frequency of report generation and this makes it easier to keep track of developing trends and take advantage of them.

4.      Prioritize Your Focus

Without the right set of tools, many small business owners have to rely on instinct or company history to make decisions. While this may at times work, there are no guarantees and this, at times, leads to costly errors.

BI tools, on the other hand, will give you accurate insight every time and assist you to base decisions on solid reason. Some aspects of the business might have been successful in the past but are no longer relevant today. These tools bring such crucial insights to your attention and help you adjust your approach accordingly.

5.      Expand Your Business Strategically

Strategic dashboards, also referred to as executive dashboards are a part of many business intelligence tools. They are graphical interfaces that use real-time data to present an overview of performance.

Getting a visual representation of your organization’s metrics using data dashboards makes it easier to absorb information and act on it. They use charts and graphs as opposed to text alone, thus allowing for comparisons and the establishment of connections and patterns.

KPI dashboards are an example of such tools that can help you identify expansion opportunities and areas of business that need improvement. This helps you get a competitive edge and remain relevant in the current rapidly evolving business scene.

6.      Motivating Employees

Such data visualization tools are no longer used solely by executives but also other employees in different positions. Operational dashboards, for instance, allow people in their relative departments such as sales or marketing to assess their individual performance and this makes them more efficient.

When employees can track their own progress and that of other team members, they are more likely to feel a sense of ownership and responsibility and strive harder to reach their objectives.

Some Brands with Packages for Small Businesses

The above are just some of the practical benefits that you can enjoy from using the appropriate business intelligence tools for your business. The truth is that there are as many tools in the market as there are company needs to be met. The key is to identify your organization’s needs and choose the right solution.

Consider a few examples of the best BI brands that have packages designed specifically for small businesses.


This is an all-inclusive tool with end-to-end BI tools for businesses of all sizes. It does not require an extensive mastery of IT or big data analysis as it is designed with ease of use in mind.


The main highlight of this system is its visual representation tools. It allows business owners to get an overview of their performance at a glance and share the data using a variety of dashboards.


This cloud-based BI software is specifically designed for data analysis. It’s recommended for small and medium-size businesses. It makes use of SQL and R coding language, further increasing the capacity of analysts to make sense out of mountains of data.


This is one of the most versatile BI tools, offering resources for businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Its major highlight is its reporting system and the integration possibilities with a host of other business software.

The market is full of BI options designed to address every aspect of business operations. These are characterized according to features, pricing, complexity and capabilities. The best way to get started is to assess your organizational needs thoroughly. Then check the various offerings and their suitability to your requirements. Take your time to ensure that the solution you choose will adequately aid you in improving your business performance.


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