When you are literally swimming through an ocean of data (mistakenly referred to as a data lake), your priority is to stay afloat and not drown in with the weight of all that information that is pulling you down.

Unless you are able to navigate through these treacherous waters, it will be well-nigh impossible for you to predict the direction of a storm,  or make an educated guess about where to steer your business to take advantage of shifting currents or drop anchor to wait for a favorable tide. 

In order to get historical, current, and predictive views of company data, you will need the assistance of business intelligence software as well as a strong data strategy to mine business data and derive actionable insights from it. 

At the heart of this intelligent decision-making is a centralized repository that pulls together data from all your business activities, and from all your customer touchpoints. 

This helps you have a single window (dashboard) view of data from all your functions such as finance, sales, inventory, and marketing (offline and online). With this holistic view of the business, your customers, and their interactions with the business, you will be able to make decisions based on facts rather than on assumptions or conjectures. 

Customer insights – such as where they interacted with your business, at what time, what they spent, on what and what did they look at but not buy, and their history with your organization –  helps you improve segmentation and re-targeting of customer groups.

Resources can now be applied to appropriate areas to attract the right set of customers to grow your business. 

Today’s customers demand quick order fulfillment and retailers (includes e-tailers online) must stock optimum inventory to understand where stock is located and how quickly it is moving. Understanding how consumer tastes and demand is changing with time or season will help you have better control over the inventory and prevent stock-out, over-stocking, or wrong stocking.

 In addition to keeping your customers engaged and provide them a better experience with your brand, business intelligence also reduces implementation costs and encourages better communication between departments. 

Today’s BI tools come integrated with the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that makes predictive modeling highly accurate and includes recommendations for customers who are undecided about a purchase. 

With availability 24/7, across devices, BI provides real-time information on the go for managers to take decisive action in the moment. 

Along with strong (easy to understand) visualization of data, newer tools are using the power of storytelling to present data in a hitherto unheard-of way and respond to voice queries. With the coming of age of data privacy laws and regulations, data governance is also an important aspect of BI that is almost at the center stage. 

Today’s business intelligence tools are on the cloud, on-demand, with custom data visualization functions that don’t need an IT team to modify. Marketing, sales, logistics, and finance have a single view to operational and sales metrics and that is good for business.