We posed the question “What are the most valuable benefits of business intelligence systems?” on a number of LinkedIn groups recently and the response was overwhelming.
This article will group the results from these findings and lists the top 4 benefits in no particular order from the responses generated.
Benefit #1. Better insights
One of the main cited benefits of business intelligence systems was improved insight. This is because users of a BI tool can easily analyse and view business information that would not be so easy to access without one. Two responses to the question asked that back this up include “value generating insights” and “actionable insight for decision makers.”
Additionally, one bold response exclaimed “the ability to predict the future” which we can imagine comes from the ability to generate better insight from past and current data and information in order to visualise and predict the future.
Benefit #2. Faster and better decision making
This is commonly stated as a benefit of business intelligence systems and is a result of Benefit #1 as one LinkedIn group member says his top benefit is the ability to “close the loop between business insights and remedy actions.”
With improved insights the decisions and actions that follow will be better. In addition to that, when data is easier to analyse in business intelligence systems the speed of the decision making process will be faster. As Ad Stam points out “improved understanding and cooperation between members of different organizational units and levels” can lead to better and faster decision making.
One member, Olivia Moore stated her main benefit was “the ability to make smarter decisions concerning the lifeline of your business, such as less cost, more revenue, better service and market relevance,” which leads us to our 3rd benefit.
Benefit #3: ROI
The return on investment on business intelligence systems can be massive. Nucleus Research published that from different stages of implementation the average ROI ranged from 188% to 1209%. Several responses we got back stated their main benefit was simply ‘High ROI’ and other answers we got that firmed this belief included “economical profit” and “the increase in market share, revenue and profit”.
Benefit #4: Consistent and quality data from one place
Data quality can always be an issue and when spreadsheets are shared across a business there are no surprises when two different people bring up differing sets of results for an answer. With business intelligence systems this issue can be eradicated.
One reply was the “ability to make better strategic or operational decisions based on accurate, reliable and timely information.” Another included “getting all relevant reports from one place, no redundant duplication of data and stopping business users using excel and access.”
If the information was not accurate, reliable and wrongly duplicated then the decisions made would be poor and with successfully implemented business intelligence systems this should not be the case.
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