Enterprises deal with terabytes of data. And this volume will continue to grow. The information will become not only larger but more important for efficient and profitable organization functioning and keeping a competitive advantage. So organizations need to determine possible ways to manage its flow and take the maximum insights.
Fortunately, there is such a set of technologies and practices, like financial business intelligence (BI), which helps to manage, structure data, and extract valuable knowledge from it for better decision-making and organizational growth.
The value that BI brings to finance
For CFOs, business intelligence application means gaining insights from and taking control over the big flow of data, arriving from various areas of business activities.
Talking about BI we always mean highly accurate, relevant, and qualitative information. But the main goal of a BI strategy is to ensure that all the science-based, factual data, that can bring real value, is carefully collected, clearly structured, and prepared for analysis. BI tools also should ensure that all the new relevant information is timely detected, and added to the old one. And there are multiple reasons for it:
- optimizing and streamlining repeatable processes;
- discovering smart business decisions;
- monitoring market trends and capitalizing on them;
- improving products or services through innovative technologies;
- mitigating risks;
- keeping market competitiveness;
- improving internal companies environments and interactions.
BI applies automation and Artificial Intelligence approaches to gather data from internal and external sources, thus helping to figure out and destroy barriers to healthy employees’ communication and collaboration for achieving common goals.
BI tools optimize the work of companies finance teams, greatly reducing the time they spend on data collection. Now, specialists can focus their efforts on analysis, gaining useful insights or new opportunities, and finding weak sides of business processes to improve them.
Business intelligence helps to detect rogue spending and fraud in invoices in real-time. That allows the company and its clients to feel safer.
When combining BI with machine learning it is possible for businesses to look into the future by developing predictive models on the basis of previous experience.
How to succeed with business intelligence?
There are several simple pieces of advice on how to successfully start implementing BI in your work:
- Be prepared to invest time and resources for a deeper understanding of BI.
- Build an implementation strategy, and time frameworks and allocate roles.
- Create a dedicated BI team, which has large tech knowledge and experience in business processes and goals.
- Be ready for additional expenses on innovations.
Often, managers don’t have enough skillful employees on the executive level. But it doesn’t mean you should put aside BI implementation for an undefined period. Professional development teams, can help to cope with your business data and make them work on you. Experts in the BI field will dive deep into companies operations and determine ways to solve complex issues with data management, visualization, and analytics.
Financial BI on practice
Let’s see real examples of how business intelligence works within institutions.
Managing cash flow
BI facilitates financial regulation within an organization. Corporate expenses are tracked in real-time automatically. All the overspending and shortages can be easily identified and fixed. Moreover, if the company requires additional waste, it is easy to calculate how much time the business needs to reimburse purchases.
Business intelligence assists entrepreneurs at the stage of planning a sale. BI tools can notify about the possible dangers in company operations, check whether the outcomes will be compatible with business objectives, and forecast revenue volume. BI not only streamlines and speeds up these transactions but helps to form prices depending on competitors’ analysis, the number of purchases abandoned, etc.
Better customer understanding
BI helps to gather clients’ data to learn more about their desires, behavior, and expectations. With this useful information, entrepreneurs can modernize services and build long-term loyalty with their customers. Using predictive analytics businesses can count on discovering new markets and evaluating new sources for customer base expansion. Having a clear understanding of what a consumer needs, organizations can apply personalized approaches to every client and contribute to the increased retention level.
Making business more flexible and productive
With the BI help companies can detect malfunctions and apply improvements on time. As any business can lose lots of money even from tiny delays, BI tools provide an opportunity to monitor processes and receive alerts if something will go wrong. Such measures help to achieve better productivity and avoid workflow shutdowns.
A good report can say a lot about the efficiency of the company’s work. With business intelligence, you can receive accurate, analyzed, and structured reports in the form of graphs, or diagrams, that are visually understandable and can describe business productivity. Precise reports allow companies management to make decisions based on facts, not hypotheses.