4 Applications for Business Intelligence Tools Across Industries

Companies across industries have tried to leverage business intelligence tools for decades with varying success rates. However, that’s apt to change with new waves of modern BI tools that make data instantly accessible to employees across an organization.

Let’s delve into how these tools improve operations and create better business outcomes.

Historical Tracking and Predictive Forecasts Helps Retailers Offer Better Experiences, Drive More Sales

We’re in a golden age of consumer experiences. Retailers have to be on their A-games constantly. While the burden is indeed on brick-and-mortar stores to succeed in a variety of business areas, inefficient inventory management costs all types of retailers through lost sales, negative customer interaction, and possibly the lifetime loss of customer value.

Correctly optimizing inventory to maximize sales and offer the best shopping experience possible isn’t easy, though. Modern business intelligence platforms can weigh historical outcomes and expected volume with production schedules to forecast overstock, understock, and deadstock to make the most of warehouse and/or in-store shelf space.

Self-Service Reports Frees Up Data and IT Team Bandwidth

Business intelligence software has been a staple of large enterprises for decades. However, instead of the entire organization connected to and feeding off one brain, insights were limited to a select team of IT and data professionals. If a marketing employee needed a custom report built out, they had to submit a request and wait for it. This delayed the initiative and allowed other things to take its place. It also put quite a strain on the people building the reports.

For some operations, it reaches the point where everyone skilled in information technology and data science is spending their time on tedious tasks. The advent of self-service analytics tools has modernized organizations by freeing up their valuable talent, allowing them to focus on initiatives that drive long-term business growth. Even for the IT and data science teams, it is easier to use tools that help them run analytics such as Loggly, for example.

Granular Production Data Gives Production Supervisors Real-Time Visibility into Machine Health and More

Manufacturing intelligence has seen significant improvements in recent years with sensors and trackers logging every detail of machine performance and the overall production lifecycle.

Understanding optimal throughput gives production supervisors clearer lead times. Being able to drill down into data visualizations to gauge machine-by-machine performance makes it easier to troubleshoot inefficiencies and predict machine failures before they impact the supply chain. After the product has shipped, BI return data helps clarify why products get returned to iterate the production process. These things contribute to better-constructed products, more satisfied customers and a leaner bottom line.

Sales and Marketing Managers Deliver More Personal Messaging with Consolidated View of Customer Information

Not so long ago, tailored messaging used to mean breaking an audience base into different broad segments. These days, it’s about narrowing audiences into every individual who comprises it. And whether or not you think this is a good or bad thing, there’s no denying that advertisements and promotional tactics are more entwined in our daily lives.

On the positive end, it’s because more brands are using creative and personal ways to interact with consumers. This is caused in no small part by more robust, nuanced and consolidated customer data. Marketing and sales teams have more of these data points than they know what to do with. However, business intelligence tools that consolidate every data source into one convenient search bar bring an overwhelming and disparate amount of data to life via actionable insights.

Business intelligence has progressed a lot since its inception. Modern business intelligence tools improve every aspect of a company’s operation. From aiding moment-to-moment decision-making and cross-team collaboration to freeing up internal resources and identifying production bottlenecks. Simply put, there’s no shortage of ways BI software can generate significant returns on investment and position companies well long-term.

Carolyn Coley is a blockchain reporter. She joined Smartereum after graduating from UC Berkeley in 2018.


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