Kathryn Shankland

Member Article

Why is business intelligence so important?

Sage’s Kathryn Shankland explores Business Intelligence.

During challenging economic conditions, the efficiency of your business’ processes is everything and firms must be in a position to quickly react to new opportunities and threats that arise. And with companies today having to grapple with huge amounts of data, having business critical information

at your fingertips is essential to ensure your organisation keeps running smoothly. After all, what’s the point in having vast volumes of data across your organisation if you can’t access or interrogate it to get the information you need to make those key business decisions? Business Intelligence tools
that are designed to transform data into actionable information that help to drive new decisions and changes are fast becoming business-critical as organisations look for ways to become leaner and more efficient.

How important should business intelligence be to your business?

In today’s business environment, where data is king, good Business Intelligence should be at the heart of every company. As an enabling technology, Business Intelligence is all about providing the right information in the right context to the right person at the right time, which in turn, gives
organisations the insight they need to achieve real business agility. Through increased visibility of your financial prospects, you can not only better understand the implications of an investment, but can better make and analyse connections between different areas of your business, improving
efficiency within your organisation and ultimately increasing productivity.

How can business intelligence help me?

Business Intelligence helps you to embrace strategic planning for business growth, by identifying key trends and patterns in your data that have the potential to unlock new growth opportunities, streamline processes or even reduce costs. Business Intelligence software provides a full 360 degree
view of your business, empowering individuals to easily share data across the business and give immediate access to vital customer and financial information. Sage provides powerful Business Intelligence software across all ERP solutions such as Sage 200 to ensure that customers have the
information they need at their fingertips. In addition, CRM tools form part of this software to enable different departments to easily share data. Find out how Sage 200 Business Intelligence has worked for some of our customers.

Is business intelligence just for those in a management position?

While historically, business intelligence may have provided information at a management level only, extending the reach of business intelligence is becoming more important than ever. Simple, easy to use tools can be used by anyone across the business, helping you to share information across different departments and therefore save time on reporting and analytics. This is particularly essential if you have regular reports you need to run e.g. monthly executive reports where you need the same information each month. Sharing information reduces duplication of data and means that
not only will all your figures match up but that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.

As a business, how does Sage value business intelligence for its customers?

Here at Sage we believe that having good business intelligence tools is one of the most important things for our customers to get right, as far too many businesses fail to make insightful and impactful business decisions due to inaccuracy of their data. For small or growing businesses it tends to be
very easy to get data into their systems, but far too difficult to get valuable information back out again. Yet if businesses invest their time in inputting data, they want and need to be able to use it to deliver tangible benefits that can impact the bottom line. It should be far more than just a data
store, and that is why business intelligence is so valuable.

The value of Sage 200 Business Intelligence, which uniquely integrates with key financial and project information, it that it uses what we call ‘cubes’ to easily shape the data. We have done lots of customer testing to make sure that users don’t have to work hard to get the data out of the system, that the data it is easy to interrogate and provides meaningful, timely insights. We know we’ve succeeded when we see people get genuinely excited about the patterns they can see in their own data.

Sage 200 Business Intelligence was recently awarded the Software Satisfaction Award 2011 for Business Intelligence and Analytics.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Sage (UK) Ltd .

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