Despite a slight decline in sales due to the economic slowdown, the popularity of business intelligence software continues to expand as an increasing number of companies are discovering the value of investing in it. In fact, some companies have turned to BI software to help them make the most of their resources at a time when budgets may be tight. Listed below are key benefits firms may realize when as a result of using BI software.
Instant Access to Metrics Reports
Many BI software vendors are giving businesses easier access to important metrics reports than ever. These reports are made available via dashboards on mobile devices that are supported by Blackberry, Apple, and Android. This means sales and marketing reps are able to have access to important statistics whenever they need it.
Learn About Customer Behavior
Business intelligence software enables companies to monitor their customers’ purchasing patterns. Therefore, the company is able to determine which products customers are and are not buying. Having access to this information enables businesses to realize the potential for product expansion and also decide whether certain product offerings should be scaled back or discontinued. Being able to track customer behavior can also help companies identify opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell.
Using BI software can reduce the amount of time and resources companies invest in employing their own methods for tracking down necessary information and analyzing it. After analyzing the information, companies must then utilize time and resources to determine the most effective way to communicate the information to the appropriate audience within the company. In contrast, business intelligence software tracks important data and allows it to be conveniently communicated through a dashboard and implemented into a report if desired.
Implementing BI software can enable company leaders to be better informed when making decisions. In years past, running a business required a great deal of guesswork. With the expansion of business intelligence software, companies are able to quickly access more accurate historical data as well as generate forecasts and observe trends.
Choosing a BI Software
When searching for a business intelligence software, companies should focus on the immediate problem they would like to solve. BI experts suggest that many software implementations fail because companies seek to find one product that will solve all the business’ problems while overlooking the most pressing need. Prior to making a selecting a software, companies should also ensure they will have buy-in from the employees who will ultimately need to use the business intelligence product.
Competition Among the Top BI Software Vendors
For the past several years, Oracle has been the business intelligence software industry leader, followed by SAS. Recently, the market has seen young, innovative vendors entering the field as well. However, BI experts predict that due to an increased focus on cloud and consumerization trends on behalf of Charles Phillips of Infor, Oracle and Sas’ dominance may be challenged by Infor as the dark horse in the competition for market share. Nevertheless, whether purchasing a software product from SAS, Oracle, Infor, or an industry newcomer, each business should assess its unique set of needs and gauge the level of employee buy-in before ultimately making the investment into a BI software solution.