The benefits of business intelligence are often debated. Many
organizations like to stick to their old ways before implementing an
extensive BI system.
The main benefits often boil down to the following:
Increased speed of data access - This is often the biggest benefit. After all, what good is an impressive store of data and statistics if you can’t access it. One of the biggest pain points for many companies is simply that getting information, reports, and data just takes too long.
Improved data accuracy – The single version of the truth is something that is often preached by BI vendors and consultants. While this is important, its also just as important as the “truth” itself being correct. A good end-to-end business intelligence design can pull together disparate data sources and help provide accurate data. Like most systems though, its GIGO…Garbage In, Garbage Out. If your source data or collection methods are not good on the back end, a good front end won’t help you.
Improved data design and consumption – Proper database design, collection and maintenance can help put business terminology and process around technical terms. A good BI system will be intuitive and easy to use using familiar business terms. If the users don’t “get it”, it’s not going to help.
Improved accessability of data – This is growing more popular. Before, the access to data might be limited to IT and some power users. Now, pervasive BI is pushing for everyone in an organization to have data access. Not only that, but the growth of the internet and especially mobile is making it so that people are doing business from everywhere on the globe. A good BI system can deliver where needed.
The business impact of all of these things can be any number of improvements. It may be a simple time saving in producing reports. It may be improved reaction times for executives on critical decisions. It may be improved record keeping and control due to improved data. It may be new business insights and opportunities discovered as a result of the new system.