How Small Businesses Can Use Business Intelligence
In the past, business intelligence was only available to large corporations who could afford to employ teams of IT experts and data analysts. However, in the past decade, since technology has evolved quickly, software has not only become lighter and more powerful, but also more affordable. Smaller businesses can benefit from the same tools that are used by major market players and face their competitors. New self-service tools prove that business intelligence services aren’t rocket science but instead an essential tool in the transformation of data into informed decisions. Today, every business can benefit from the capabilities of modern BI software to improve their revenue since small-scale business intelligence is accessible and affordable. But what is it exactly that makes BI business intelligence essential?
In order to begin this process, it’s important to understand that business intelligence solutions can be customized to any business model or industry. The need for a large department that is able to collect and analyze all data, circling the data in different departments and then displaying it to the stakeholders in the various departments, is a system of the past. In the digital age where data is accessible in near-real-time, it is of vital importance if you wish to remain on top of your competition. This being said, the majority of the reports and data that are required to make quick, informed, and dependable decisions using business intelligence solutions can be accessed in a few clicks, shared using an easy link, and then analyzed using simple charts that make the business decisions and the time to act significantly faster.
In this article, we’re aiming to help you gain from business analytics, especially for small businesses. In order to do this, we have compiled the top reasons why business intelligence for small businesses is a wise choice and also how to implement a big-data strategy for small companies. If you are a small-scale business owner, all of the data necessary for a successful operation is available through a simple, real-time dashboard. This means that you’ll be able to access your operational data and the most important elements required for running a successful business. It doesn’t matter if you have a small-sized business or restaurant, small business analytics is essential at every step of the process to understand how to adapt to your customers and operate in the most effective way possible, which is the most important factor for the success of your business. We’ll start with some simple guidelines on how to begin and what you should avoid in this process.
What Is Small Business Analytics?
Small business analytics are methods and techniques used to evaluate the performance of a small-sized business, whether at the strategic or operational level. It’s used to analyze small data sets to gain insight about a specific business process or project.
There is no doubt that smaller data sets are more easily accessible than large ones, but that does not mean that using them effectively does not require any effort. If you’d like to see your business be more successful, it is essential to have the mindset that is right for you and transform into a data-driven business. This will require you to change how your business manages its daily operations, from the top-level executives down to the floor level. It’s not a difficult process if you have clearly defined goals, determine the reporting tools you would like to use, and then begin to create your first BI for small-scale business operations. To look deeper into analytics for small businesses, let’s see how small data correlates with the more wide-ranging business term “big data.”
There are a variety of definitions for small data that are trending on the internet, and in many instances, they are based on its opposition to big data. Some definitions emphasize the human aspect of small data since it is typically created and incorporated into the system by a person rather than an automated system. Furthermore, this kind of data is usually stored inside an operational database, so your ERP or CRM isn’t large enough to qualify as big data. Furthermore, it can be handled within the MySQL database and the crunching power will suffice. Small Data Analytics is built on the idea that businesses should effectively utilize the resources they have and should not overspend on new technologies or other infrastructure.
In his Forbes article, Mike Kavis takes a slightly different view of small data, highlighting the fact that it only contains specific attributes. It’s used to determine the current state and conditions and can be generated, for instance, by sensors placed on wind turbines, small packages or connected to drones that provide precise details regarding temperature, location, etc. These small data sets, taken in real time, form an entire image in the form of big data sets that provide us with a comprehensive, historical perspective. (Forbes)
How to Utilize Your Small Business Analytics
Small data could give you insights that could be key factors in the process of making decisions. However, because of the way organizations tackle small data, it can be prone to being neglected in the overall management of data. There are many reasons why you should be taking small data in a serious manner. Here are some of them below:
Focus on Target: While big data sees the performance of the entire organization, small data provides a deeper dive to discover specific actions that result in better outcomes. The only thing you need to do is begin by identifying your KPIs and the people responsible for each status, and assigning each person the responsibility to monitor the development of a specific indicator.
Practical: Big data reports give information about every department and every metric that can be very useful. If you’re hoping to extract true value from data, it must motivate you to make swift and tactical changes; it should be focused on problem-solving and not overly general and overwhelming.
All about what is happening right now: Small data offers precise, live information that allows users to identify trends quickly and take action according to the trends. However, big data offers a trick up its sleeve – historical insights. If you’re looking for past data or want to compare the present with the past, you can’t make do without big data.
Delivered, ready to be served: Small data sets are delivered directly to you in the form of digestible data chunks. The smaller data set is focused and strategically designed and can be distributed to the key decision makers or those who are responsible for a specific task. Your colleagues are more likely to use reports that provide them with precise and relevant information immediately.
The Top Business Intelligence Tools for Small Businesses
You should make use of BI in every aspect of your business in which you’d like to have more clarity and transparency. But how can you make it happen without making it complicated?
Like every tool you use to help your business, focus your research on tools specifically designed with small businesses in mind. They will likely be the best fit for your specific needs and budget, while not forcing you to purchase features that you don’t need.
Furthermore, according to Accenture research, 74% of employees are at a loss or dissatisfied when dealing with data, and more than three-quarters of those polled prefer not to use data to complete tasks. We need tools that aren’t only powerful but can also make data analysis accessible and allow us to make crucial insights faster.
This is a brief review of BI tools designed for small businesses to help kickstart your research. Most of them will be scaled as your business grows, and you’ll be able to add additional features.
Being one of the top providers of BI and analytics in the industry, Tableau makes a great choice for businesses of all sizes, both large and small. The user-friendly software allows users to create charts and graphs of data, making it easy to access all the data that you need in a single place and make quick choices.
Advantages: Tableau can be powerful as well as adaptable yet simple, which makes it perfect for small-scale businesses that need to adapt to BI as they grow. The data visualization tools are extremely popular and well-loved.
It is another excellent option for small businesses. Looker is a simple-to-use BI application and platform to analyze data that can help companies analyze, study, and share real-time data analytics. It lets you create customized dashboards to facilitate data visualization and ensure that all the appropriate stakeholders have access to relevant information in real-time.
Advantages: Its user interface and features are extremely customizable and designed to deliver useful results in the format you need. The information you view and the way it’s presented is mostly up to you.
Cluvio is a BI tool designed for small and start-up companies. It lets users easily examine data and design interactive dashboards, which are shared by the team in a few minutes. With Cluvio, you can monitor important KPIs and receive alerts in response to the conditions you define, customize reports and much more.
Advantages: Cluvio is tailored for small businesses and startups. It has highly customizable dashboards that function as a single point of contact for data queries, visualizations and other things.
Domo is a flexible analytics and BI platform that lets you combine data from different sources and present it in one place, allowing your employees to have instant access to the data and draw data-driven insights from various business processes.
Advantages: Domo excels in aggregating data from many sources and displaying it quickly. It is able to handle massive databases without issue, making data analysis accessible for novices.
- Google Data Studio
Google Data Studio offers a simple and free platform that allows organizations to design customized dashboards and reports that allow for speedy data visualization as well as streamlined reporting. It is able to connect with over 300 data sources, bringing together your data and providing an easy overview of your business.
Advantages: Google Data Studio is an excellent alternative to the expensive choices we’ve mentioned.
Impressico has a trained team of BI experts who have worked on several projects similar to yours already. So, you can outsource your BI needs to us and concentrate on other important business tasks. Call now to discuss your Business Intelligence Services requirements now.