Business intelligence—the idea seems complicated and perhaps not something YOUR business needs to think about—after all isn’t that something that is only the biggest companies use, right? Actually, the idea of business intelligence is simpler than you may think, and every company from the smallest to largest can benefit from gathering and utilizing intelligence data. Learn a bit more about what type of data is the most useful, and then discover some easy ways to gather and organize this intelligence, so you can put it to work for your company.
What is Business Intelligence?
At its most simple, business intelligence is simply taking note of the performance of a business and associating the performance with variables. For instance, a lemonade stand may note that they sell more product on days when the weather is hot rather than days the weather is cold. Of course most businesses have a number of variables in place. Business intelligence means understanding which variables are in play and how they affect your performance.
Business Intelligence Changes
In days past, business intelligence may have meant collecting some basic observational data and making decisions mostly based on gut feeling. However, as technology has advanced, companies have found new ways to gather and utilize this information. The biggest corporate players use complex and expensive systems that pull this data together. However, it is becoming possible for even smaller businesses to take advantage of the concept and improve future performance. More and more programs are available that put business intelligence collection and analysis tools in the hands of smaller companies.
Microsoft Dynamics GP and Business Intelligence
One of the most intuitive tools for business intelligence is not a stand-alone product. It is the Microsoft Dynamics GP package. This is a productivity suite, specifically tailored for businesses. Those companies who use it, generally use it to keep track of payroll, human resources tasks and other parts of day-to-day operation. However, this system is also an excellent way to gather and sort business intelligence.
The package can accurately track business activity, compare it to activity from the past and help you build future plans. Like most aspects of this program, it is simple—once you understand the basics. Because of this, working with an expert to customize and set up the program for you is often the best way to get started.
Whether or not you already use Microsoft Dynamics GP for other aspects of your business, you may find that switching to the system for your business intelligence tasks just makes sense. Spend some time learning more about what the system can do for you, then decide exactly how you want to proceed with implementing or using business intelligence within your company.