If you’re a business owner, chances are you’ve heard a lot about business intelligence (BI) — and likely considered its potential impact on your company. Data is becoming the way of the enterprise — not just a byproduct of doing business, but a valuable resource in and of itself.

It helps to understand how modern BI is creating opportunities for business owners, especially compared to clunky legacy systems of years past. Here’s more on how today’s BI and analytics tech is capable of bringing benefits to workplaces of today.

Tapping into New Ideas — Sometimes in Unexpected Places

There’s an oft-told tale of a Facebook intern who took it upon himself to use data analysis to map out how Facebook users around the world were interacting. By querying interactions by relationship and location, this intern had created “a reaffirmation of the impact we have in connecting people, even across oceans and borders.”

As ZDNet reports, this insight set lots of activity in motion: The company devised connectivity metrics, conducted experiments and adopted the idea as a key marketing and design feature. The “People You May Know” feature even came about as a result. 

But this never could have happened if data within Facebook was siloed — if employees still needed to formally request reports from the data team every time they wanted to analyze data and produce a visualization model based on their findings. In other words, this discovery would not have been able to come to light in this way within an organization that lacked modern self-service BI tools.

Modern BI allows employees across departments, teams and locations to discover insights that are potentially game-changing. Today’s data analytics platforms remove information gatekeepers, which can be a boon for businesses open to uncovering positively disruptive insights at all levels. Yes, even interns.

Bringing Data into Every Decision

When you hand an employee a static report, they only have the information in front of them. Have follow-up questions? You’ll need to run the report again or ask the data team to do it for you. This approach is very “what you see is what you get.” This limits the level of exploration possible.

But the best embedded BI today provides interactive data visualizations — charts and graphs employees can continue exploring, drilling down from the general to the more specific. These data visualizations integrate with existing workflows, like business apps and company portals, so insights and dashboards are available where employees already spend time.

When decision-makers have improved access to BI tools and insights, they’re able to make data-driven decisions in a timely manner. Modern BI “eliminates that natural bias and subjectivity” to help employees make decisions backed by performance data — with the goal of reducing inefficiency, maximizing revenue and getting it right the first time around.

Of course, instinct can still play a role in making savvy decisions, especially when it comes to understanding human psychology. But diving into data gives decision-makers the foundation they need to make the most informed choices possible based on the numbers. This has the added benefit of eliminating costly trial-and-error that can occur when people rely on their gut feelings alone.

The Opportunity to Grow Faster Than Peers

According to  Forrester report, insight-driven businesses are growing eight times faster than the global GDP. Modern BI puts actionable insights into the hands of employees across an organization, which they can then use to fuel better decision-making. These decisions help reduce errors while ramping up efficiency and profitability; a recipe for faster and better growth.

Modern BI is creating opportunities for businesses to drive decision-making that improves operations and enables growth.

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