At its core, business intelligence enables organisations of all sizes to use data to make better decisions.

When we talk about business intelligence technology, we’re generally referring to the platforms, hardware, and software that allows businesses to retrieve, report, and analyse data.

The concept of business intelligence was first introduced back in 1958 by an IBM employee. And yet, no one could have predicted that business intelligence would be having such a huge impact on the way companies around the world are competing in 2017.

Before business intelligence became ‘mainstream’, smaller businesses were excluded from being able to reap the benefits associated with data analysis.

Larger corporations could afford to hire a ‘chief data officer’ who would be in charge of business intelligence. But this was out of reach for most smaller companies. These companies didn’t have the resources or means to collect and interpret data, let alone use it as business intelligence in a meaningful way.

Business intelligence and the future

Now, we’re officially in the era of big data. That means that companies can capture and analyse data in volumes and ways that were unthinkable just a few years ago. Smaller businesses can now also enjoy the insights of business intelligence, without expensive hardware or a large IT staff.

No longer do small and medium businesses owners need to rely on observation or a finely honed gut instinct. As the playing field becomes more level, businesses of all sizes are becoming more competitive. And they all need to bring their A game, as startups reach for their market share.

Business intelligence was traditionally seen as a highly complicated process. That’s why it was the responsibility and domain of highly qualified IT teams. These days, while business intelligence can be complicated, it no longer needs to be. There are many different solutions that can give you your data in easy-to-understand, straightforward formats.

The challenges of big data

Business intelligence has the power to transform your business. But there are a number of key challenges that you’ll need to overcome while implementing business intelligence strategies:

Business intelligence in the modern age of big data

Storage

Many companies are growing their data by 40-60% every year. This means that they’re trying to deal with huge amounts of unstructured data, and simply storing that data can be challenging.

Time

Business intelligence and big data analytics can be hugely time-consuming. And it can be difficult to justify the amount of time and effort needed to make the most of all that data. In order to deliver a powerful ROI on big data, businesses need to invest in systems, analytical tools, talent, and infrastructure that can provide crucial insights based on the data coming in.

Overwhelm

You may believe that a successful business intelligence strategy can only happen when you’re analysing every last detail. But this isn’t the case. Over-analysing can drain your resources and result in overwhelm or information-overload. This means that you’ll have too much information to focus on the most important or relevant insights when making decisions.

Many of these challenges can be solved with a custom business reporting solution. This will give you the insights you need to see what your customers truly want, and opportunities to grow your business.

We’d love to help you make the most of big data by using business intelligence, get in touch today to learn more.