Data is, unquestionably, one of the most critical assets a modern global organization can have. In today’s intensely competitive business landscape, quality data can mean the difference between becoming a thriving industry leader or languishing in the lower market rankings. But, simply collecting and storing data for occasional analysis is not enough: successfully managing that data and continually deriving insights from it brings the true value of business intelligence (BI).
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Today, more business enterprises than ever are employing the power of BI to give their organizations a competitive edge. In fact, in 2021, the percentage of businesses citing BI as instrumental was at an all-time high. More than 55% of organizations noted that cloud BI was either “critical” or “very important” to their business, according to a study by Dresner Advisory Services.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the basics of BI modernization: what is it, why it’s helpful, and who uses it — as well as specific use cases that demonstrate why and how industry leaders are putting BI into action every day.
What Is Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence refers to the tools, techniques, and applications businesses use to collect, analyze, and integrate data into their business processes. These tools compile and make sense of unstructured data — turning it into valuable insights that can help companies make better decisions, boost productivity, and drive competitive advantages.
In the retail industry, for example, businesses can use BI to track customer shopping habits, such as what they buy, when they buy, and what channels they use. Using this info, retailers can do customer segmentation, grouping consumers with similar buying patterns into specific segments and then targeting them with marketing campaigns geared to their product interests, likes, and characteristics.
The Value of BI According to the Numbers
Statistics show the positive impact of this approach. According to a 2017 study by Monetate, a personalization software provider for consumer-facing brands, 79% of organizations that exceeded revenue goals have a documented personalization strategy. Another study by Accenture found that 51% of customers are loyal to brands that interact with them through their preferred channels of communication, while 81% of consumers feel loyal to brands that are there when they need them but otherwise respect their time and leave them alone.
An Impactful Discipline Across Industries
Retail is just one of a myriad of business sectors that use BI to boost revenue, customer relations, decision-making, and operational success. Other examples include the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry where, for example, Moderna used the power of BI to integrate internal and external data sets for a more complete view of clinical trials, according to a recent Google Cloud case study.
Meanwhile, the finance and banking sector use BI to better understand trends and to gain actionable insights, such as identifying and presenting timely offers to customers. At the same time, the food manufacturing sector taps BI for tracking product inventory levels per storage location or warehouse on a real-time basis. This alerts managers to request additional supplies when inventory levels are approaching critical levels.
Why Is BI Modernization Important?
Most businesses realize the importance of BI, particularly the need to compile and analyze data. According to a study by Forbes., more than 95% of businesses face some kind of need to manage unstructured data, with over 40% of businesses saying they must do so on a frequent basis.
As further evidence of BI’s growing importance, the market for big data analytics is expected to reach $103 billion in 2023, according to Techjury.
Out With the Old; In With the New.
While recognizing the value of data analysis, many businesses are still using old BI platforms that lack the advanced capabilities of today’s tools. Why is it important to modernize your BI tools? Simply put, BI modernization helps organizations get the most use out of their data, especially as the need for easy access to curated, valuable insights continues to grow.
Today’s tools are faster, with new capabilities that weren’t available 10 or 15 years ago. Chief among these is the ease of use. BI tools today enable the average business user to capture important data insights without the need for expert technical knowledge. With minimal training, users can analyze, model, manage and share data.
This brings the power of making data-informed decisions and recommendations into the hands of managers and other workers across the company — thereby increasing the speed and reliability of decision-making. These capabilities contrast with older BI legacy tools with slow processes that require skilled IT staff to manage.
Harnessing the Power of AI / ML
Another advantage of BI modernization is the greater use of artificial intelligence (AI), which uses machine learning (ML) and algorithms to automatically generate insights for end users. AI’s predictive abilities have proven to be extremely valuable, particularly in industries where forecasting outcomes is very beneficial, such as logistics, healthcare, cybersecurity, financial services, and R&D.
BI modernization also helps an organization future-proof its BI strategy and set it up for success with scalable, 100% cloud-native solutions. In other words, these solutions can easily integrate with the business’ existing systems for smoother updates whenever changes need to be made.
Moving Forward With BI Modernization
If your organization decides to take the plunge into BI modernization, the first step is determining where you are in your journey and identifying the unique business goals you need to accomplish. To make the process as manageable as possible, putting together a plan is a must. To start, try building a plan that includes both short-term and long-term goals as well as determining whether you want to do a full or partial replacement of BI solutions.
At Atos OneCloud, we assist companies in the design and implementation of effective BI modernization strategies. If you’d like to discuss how you can unlock new insights, empower employees, overcome challenges, and drive success, contact us to learn more about our BI modernization and analytics services.
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