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The value of business intelligence for SMBs

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Today’s businesses – small and large – compete on data. Whether boosting marketing ROI or improving customer satisfaction, business intelligence (BI) can give smaller businesses a distinct advantage over their competitors. It can provide them with actionable insights from their data – all presented in an easily digestible and insightful way, meaning implementation for staff is easy.

BI is right for SMBs, and the top five advantages of them are:

  1. Single, real-time view of data: SMBs operate various databases that capture information for various functions including sales, marketing and finance. BI is therefore critical for gaining an instant, real-time view of operations to map performance, identify trends and predict future opportunities or the need to change priorities.
  2. Enables customisation: BI provides a holistic view of current performance with the ability to drill down into any chosen area of the business and the flexibility for customisation. This means the MD of a small company, or team leaders in a medium firm, can decide on the KPIs most relevant to their specific areas of work rather than being overloaded with irrelevant data.
  3. The ability to highlight workload priorities: BI can clearly show bottom line revenue for SMBs in a digestible format. This gives staff an objective method to improve their performance and work smarter as it provides the ability to drill down into specific stages in the job pipeline and prioritise workload based on how close activities are to completion.
  4. Providing insight into an organisation’s talent pipeline: People are an organisation’s most valuable asset and BI enables the staff to work smarter. For example, the HR Manager can quickly and easily understand the candidate pipeline, monitor candidate throughput, conversion and fill rates and identify the proportion of active to inactive candidates to uncover additional revenue opportunities fast.
  5. Analysing performance to increase motivation: Employee motivation is critical to sustaining revenue growth – especially in a small organisation as high staff turnover can make a negative impact quickly. By delivering an instant and complete picture of team performance, managers can investigate an individual’s performance by dynamically evaluating their activities and drilling down into the detail to identify where to focus attention for improved results. When a best performer has a good quarter, BI enable colleagues to see what activity lies behind the win, creating a competitive environment.

More organisations are using BI software to help them make sense of their data but many SMEs are opting for free or open source solutions – but is it a wrong move?

The decision to take this route will likely have been based on the cost, or lack of it, compared to other custom BI options. However, this can often prove to be a false economy as much of the open source software available fails to meet expectations. Chances are that, without custom business intelligence tools, organisations will miss out on the advanced functionality that could boost their business operations, employee productivity and profitability.

The bottom line? Business intelligence – when harnessed effectively – can drive change, boost workforce engagement and enable strategic decision making. Amass the big data available and, crucially, look at how it can truly help the business grow. Successful businesses are good at aligning their work with strategic goals, and making sure this drives change and long-term success.


Robert Dagge

Robert Dagge

Robert Dagge is Managing Director at Dynistics and drives the business intelligence company’s significant growth strategy. He spearheads and manages both technology and commercial growth in new markets and new geographies, forging relationships with customers and partners and recruiting and developing its people. He joined Dynistics in June 2016 following a successful period of transformation where the company made significant investments with new hires and product developments.

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Tags: Big Data, Business, Business Management