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A lot is being made about running smarter businesses. Many businesses are looking to their data to try and work out how to build a better business. Two terms you typically hear during this conversation are business intelligence and business analysis.
Today, we will take a look at the two terms, decipher their meaning, how they are different from one another, and how they can help you determine the resources a business needs to improve itself.
In order to get the most out of your data, you have to have data collection platforms in place that will allow you to analyze data that is relevant. You see, your organization has a lot of data that, if it’s not stored properly, could be useful but isn’t helping at all. The data warehouse is basically a repository used to allow data from disparate storage systems to be analyzed properly.
For example, if you have marketing information you want to analyze with relevant sales information, you need to have a place where all the data can be read from.
BI vs. BA
The easiest way to explain the difference between business intelligence and business analysis is: business intelligence is a noun. It is a system of congregating and analyzing data. Business analysis on the other hand is more of a verb that represents the act of analyzing data to identify business problems and finding solutions for those problems. Both require significant data sets to be effective, but they hold two completely separate functions.
A business intelligence strategy is one that seeks to analyze the business as it stands. Learning more about your business can have a lot of benefits, but for the business intelligence professional, their sole job is to analyze the data to find out answers about how the business has been functioning over certain periods of time to identify where alterations can be made to improve the business. BI’s value is in the process of delivering the information needed for administrators to make data-driven decisions.
Business analysts are tasked with actively enabling the change that needs to be made within an organization by defining gaps in production and by presenting solutions. They take the data that has been provided by the BI system and try to find solutions to the business’ problems. Sometimes they utilize other strategies using the collected data to try and predict the market for a product or service and the effect decisions would have on operations.
The increase in organizational use of BI and BA suggests that more companies than ever are looking to their data to take the guesswork out of how their business is performing.
Using BI strategies, they can compare data from multiple departments to get a clear picture of just how their business is working. Then with BA they can plan a corrective course, bring in new solutions, or stay on the same trajectory if the data says so.
If you are interested in getting started using your data to your organization’s benefit, call the IT professionals at WheelHouse IT today to discuss how they can help you warehouse your data and get you the analysis software you need to start running a smarter business.
Call us today at (877) 771-2384 to learn more.
If you know more about your organization and its customers, you’ll be able to make better decisions about the future of your business. Thanks to an increased focus on business intelligence, even small and medium-sized businesses can take advantage of these analytical tools to improve operations and customer relations. What is business intelligence? How does it work, and why does your business need it?
Defining Business Intelligence
Business intelligence is an approach to organizational management utilizing software solutions and other services to convert your data into actionable intelligence. Some have even compared business intelligence to descriptive analytics. Basically, it allows your business to see what has worked in the past, as well as what could happen in the future and where your business is currently standing. This is often confused with business analytics, but the aim of BI is a bit different. Instead of guessing what is going to happen, it looks at what has already happened to help you make better decisions in the future.
How Can You Get Started with It?
If you’re like most businesses, chances are that information is stored across your organization in multiple databases. You’ll have to get them in order if you want to take advantage of solutions that depend on it. In most cases, this includes rounding up your data and placing it in one location for easy access. You can then link together tables to create a data cube. Data warehouses can also use dynamic links to databases to make changes to data and change the way that it’s represented at a glance. Some databases can’t do this so, they rely on importing databases in other ways.
How Does It Work?
Now that your data warehouse is set up, you can start analyzing the data with multi-layer queries. Since all of your databases are now connected, you can easily enter in search queries for any information needed. For example, you can search your inventory, as well as create a list of what’s most popular from your business. It can then cross-reference these two lists to determine how much products sell, and when.
Reports Are Important
Every time you run a query, you will wind up running a report as well. Basically, the report ensures that you actually have information to utilize. Reports are helpful because they help you make educated decisions about where and where not to place products. The interesting idea that BI introduces is that older methods of doing business may not necessarily be viable any longer. While the upfront costs of creating a data warehouse may be considerable, BI can provide such a huge return on investment that the expenses accrued aren’t as damaging.
WheelHouse IT can help your business implement business intelligence technology. To learn more, reach out to us at (877) 771-2384.