If in the past you were accustomed to take decisions based on intuition and experience, now such a method, besides the fact that it is highly risky, it can damage your business. Based on known information, the Business Intelligence system allows you to learn how your business will evolve and how it might be influenced by the decisions you make.
- Analyze past data and discover how your business will evolve
- Test the decisions you want to take and put into practice the best ones
The forecasting function of the Business Intelligence system allows you to estimate the future values of your indicators based on data that you already know. Moreover, the statistical models included in the system are set to consider aspects such as seasonality or trends specific to your business.
In the example from the left is a graph with the sales registered by a company in each quarter for the last four years. The visual data representation lets you see in just a few seconds the upward evolution. The last column on the right was obtained by applying the BI forecasting function. Here is an estimate of the sales value, calculated on the data from previous years. Continuing the upward trend, for the next year it predicts an increase in sales.
You have all your data in one place
For the forecasting accuracy to be higher, you first need a solid informational base. The Business Intelligence system brings disparate information, introduced by employees in various systems and modules, in a unitary shape, actionable and accessible.
- Without a database, the BI system cannot function, so it is often integrated with ERP business management systems. But according to the company’s profile and the business needs, a BI system can be integrated with CRM – for the analysis of marketing, sales and service data or SFA – for interactive reports about the field teams’ activity etc.
- Because it brings you all the data from all departments in the same place, it is easier to get more realistic predictions of the indicators you follow.
You rely on up to date information at any time
The recent the analyzed data is, the better your forecasting process will reflect the reality and you can be more confident in the obtained figures. The Business Intelligence system brings you the information you need, when you need it and in an accessible, interactive, visual form, standing out through its very high productivity.
- It is connected to the business management systems, and the information is updated in real time.
- Due to the system’s capacity to process increased data volumes, you have access to information in the shortest time.
- It can be accessed from anywhere, both on desktop and on mobile devices, which allows you to make decisions wherever you are.
You obtain benefits regardless of the field in which you work
The forecasting function of the Business Intelligence system is extremely useful, because it helps you take the most appropriate decisions for your company day by day, and it brings you benefits regardless of your activity field. For example:
- If you are a Distributor you can quickly find out the profitability of the used distribution channels and which of these will bring higher income in the future.
- If you are a Manufacturer you will be able to find out what are the real requirements of raw materials or the stock you will have to produce on the basis of sales data from the past.
- If you are a Sales Manager you will be able to create more profitable sales plans, analyze the past evolution of your team and how it might evolve.
- If you are a Service Provider you can improve the relationship with your clients so that you will be able to identify and anticipate the evolution of the best loyalty programs.
By using the BI system, your company’s future will no longer be unpredictable. It can provide you with a function for analyzing the impact that your decisions can have on the business. With the support of past information, you can quickly find out what happens when you modify certain indicators.
In the example below is an interactive dashboard where you can see what is the inventory level for different items and what happens when you modify the prices of certain products.
Find out what influence the decisions you make might have on your business
With the help of the Business Intelligence system you can find out in just a few seconds how your activity is influenced when you modify certain variables, by using the “What-If” analyses. These are useful to any decision maker because:
- They help alleviate the risks. Because it lets you preview the results of the decisions that you want to make, the risk that accompanies them is considerably diminished. For example, before increasing the prices by a certain percentage, by using the what-if analysis of the BI system, you can quickly find out what implications it could have on your business.
- Reduce the decisions making time. The information provided by the BI system is extracted in real time, and you’re no longer forced to run reports or to get data from different systems and databases. You have everything in one place and thanks to the system’s interactivity you can rapidly test a large number of scenarios.
- Improve the decision-making process. You can see almost instantly what decisions bring benefits and which are harmful to your company. Moreover, such an analysis can highlight certain choices that functioned in the past and you can put in practice again.
Compare the results and choose the best solution
When you have to make a decision you think about the alternatives that you have and try to visualize the effects they might have. The Business Intelligence system takes over this task: it considers all the variables and gives you just the final results, and what you need to do is to compare them and choose the best option. Below is an example, where you can see what happens when you raise the price of a product with 10% or when you drop it by 5%.
Make sure that the decisions you take bring benefits for the entire organization
Your company works as a whole, which means that when you take a decision it will affect not only the department that you are part of, but the entire organization. That’s why it is important to take into account each component of your business and to see if the choice you make is good or not. The Business Intelligence system provides you with the opportunity to create complex dashboards, with information from all departments and to measure the impact of your decisions.
Let’s suppose you are a sales manager and because you noticed an increase in sales for a particular product, you decide to send agents in the field to promote the product. But for this you need to analyze the impact that your decision might have on production: what costs will generate, the actual production capacity and how many employees are required and so on. If you do not consider these variables, it is very likely to be faced with a request larger than your current production capacity or additional costs to be higher than the income which could return as a result of higher sales. By noticing these aspects on time with Business Intelligence, you will be able to foresee the losses generated by a wrong choice.