Return on investment, gross margin, and labor costs are business metrics that every small business owner and C-suite executive understands. Though the phrase big data has officially entered the business lexicon, some small and medium-sized business leaders may believe using advanced business intelligence (BI) metrics that track shopper preferences and employee productivity is an unachievable task. If you’re interested in what these BI solutions have to offer, there’s plenty to learn about new BI gathering and methods. Organizations with no BI solution face the problem of choosing the correct collection of data, or data set to craft a visual display that presents the information accurately and is easily digestible. A BI solution should parse information, organizing that data into graphics that are easily understood. The organization was saddled with a network that constantly ran slow and would be overwhelmed and crash with every software update. This type of up-to-the-minute data and actionable insight is available on a wide range of devices, including mobile.
In the past, data analytics was the realm of the enterprise and its teams of experts were able to uncover the specific insights. Organizations of all sizes should be examining the business metrics and data that reveal the impact of their daily operations.


But new technologies have opened access to an exponentially larger number of data points, and business leaders are using this new information to grow sales and attract new customers. However, new business intelligence programs can help businesses of all sizes sort through collected data, and identify customer trends and the ebbs and flows of their business. Here are four pieces of advice for every organization interested in adopting a BI solution. While enterprise organizations may have in-house data analysts that can pull out the important data sets from larger collections, a small business likely lacks the resources to hire or contract out a data expert. By using a BI solution, small- or medium-sized organizations can visualize and process important data without hiring a costly number-crunching analyst. Measure the important metrics, and more: A men’s clothing outfitter may keep plenty of metrics on its in-store customers — average sizes, popular colors, what pant cuts aren’t selling.
For example, a baker may consider the price of flour as the most important data point for the business, but it should also examine daily traffic and conduct surveys about customer preferences. The best BI solutions transform numbers into relevant data that pops off the page, and can configure data sets that show the connection between business goals and customer needs. Organizations should consider a BI application that can strip away excess or unrelated data points, because examining too much data can be blinding as you search for the right solution to a problem or plan future strategy.


Track actionable data on your devices: One of the advances made through BI solutions is real-time data tracking.
When IT began tracking its network data, they were able to come up with an inexpensive caching solution that minimized Internet traffic while leveraging its more-than-capable internal infrastructure.
The ability to track data on a phone or tablet can shift priorities and allow business leaders to make adjustments, which can boost worker productivity and sales. But a marketplace of multiple BI solutions has democratized the process of data collection and analysis. By collecting data, and making sense of it, businesses can shine a light on their customers, partners, and own inner workings to build a more efficient, effective, and profitable business. While a CEO needs high-level data on short- and long-term goals, as well as day-to-day performance, an IT manager needs much more specific data sets, such as metrics showing the state of the company’s network. The best BI solutions will give organizations full data sets and produce insights in an easy-to-digest manner, like charts or graphics.



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