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Can a business intelligence strategy add value to your company?

23 June 2022

Many companies are not getting the most value from their data; it is often difficult to locate, extract, manipulate and represent visually. However, being able to use data effectively is crucial for businesses to stay competitive in today’s data-driven world.

Figures from an Accenture report and from other research projects show that between 60% and 75% of data available to enterprises goes unleveraged.

The Accenture report, published in 2019, went on further to say that “ninety percent of the data in the world has been created in just the past 10 years; 175 zettabytes (or 175 trillion gigabytes) of data will be created by 2025, more than 10 times the amount in 2017.

A McKinsey report from 2017 stated that companies that “leverage customer behavioural insights outperform peers by 85 percent in sales growth and more than 25 percent in gross margin”

A Business Intelligence (“BI”) strategy, consisting of two main strands: Data Management and Business Intelligence, enables firms to overcome potential data hurdles and thrive.

Data Management is the process of extracting, combining and converting data from multiple sources into one reporting dataset. Businesses can then employ BI tools to build an interactive platform of reports and dashboards in order to gain insights from this data.

In this blog Apex’s BI experts show how such a strategy can help companies to add value to their businesses.

What are the benefits of Business Intelligence?

A BI strategy can add significant and quantifiable value in three key ways: by “turbocharging” business performance through improved and informed decision-making, and by empowering employees to derive actionable insights from the data.

Turbocharging your business performance

A BI project may start with some straightforward reports and dashboards, from which management can quickly gain new insights into the performance of the business. These insights, in turn, can give rise to new business processes being implemented, enabling greater management understanding and control of various factors, for example, cost drivers.

These new business processes will often lead to management identifying completely new strategic opportunities offering substantial and material gains which were totally unforeseen at the start of the project.

For example, in one multinational in the transportation sector implementing a BI strategy enabled the management team to consolidate in-house and outsourced activities which led to a substantial and material reduction in annual administration fees. At the time the strategy was introduced, the goals for the project were much more modest, and the expectations for success were only greatly expanded when management began to understand the implications of the new business process controls.

Improved decision-making

By using BI tools to build a reporting platform, businesses can move past outdated assumptions to make informed decisions based on real insights and facts.

Instead of poring over reams of manual spreadsheet data, a dynamic reporting and dashboard platform allows management teams to identify key trends and insights. The ability to understand the data quickly will lead to faster decision-making.

The latest generation of data management tools available today now have Artificial Intelligence capabilities, empowering users to unlock even more insights at an even faster pace. These capabilities not only enhance reactive decision-making but help management teams to proactively identify new opportunities or highlight and solve problems before they become major issues.

Empowering your employees

By implementing a flexible and scalable BI strategy, employees are empowered to manipulate, filter and drill down into the data, reports and dashboards themselves. At every level in the company, employees will be able to extract valuable insights and identify new trends from the data.

For example, at a board meeting of one company in the real estate sector, Apex presented a dashboard which graphically displayed projects, weighted by size of turnover. This led to a discussion on the types of projects that the company should focus on and led to a change in strategy which improved overall profitability and efficiency.

Why do you need a data management policy?

Once a BI strategy is in place, a data management policy is essential to ensure ongoing data hygiene and consistency in dataset use and access.

Data may be stored in a number of disparate locations or could be of different data types and difficult to access. The data may be of very poor quality and require extensive manual cleaning. For example, one key database source may be a standard Microsoft SQL database, and a second may be a manually updated Excel spreadsheet.

By implementing a data management policy, companies can combine all data sources into one trustworthy and universal dataset, which can be a very powerful asset to the company, enabling users to gain new insights previously not available – and transforming their understanding of the business.

For example, by combining data from four different in-house and third-party sources, Apex was able to create a powerful universal dataset for a major global manufacturing OEM, providing them with new and valuable insights into their business.

How can Apex Business Services help?

Apex Group’s dedicated Business Services experts can offer you a single-source solution for your BI strategy. We can transform your data into a universal single data set and from that build a dynamic dashboard reporting platform supporting your business to get ahead in today’s data-driven world.

Want to learn more?

If you would like to find out more, sign up for our lunchtime learning webinar “How do you unlock the value in your data?” on Tuesday 12 July at 12:30pm. Register here (available on demand after the event)

Quick start service

In addition, why not sign up for our Quick Start service? This turnkey solution allows for the initial development of a simple model for your data. With a fast implementation time, you could be gaining new insights into your data sooner than you think.

For further information please contact us.

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