Business intelligence (BI) includes the applications, tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance.
For small businesses (those with less than 100 employees) this means cutting costs, identifying new opportunities and improving workforce productivity. Bottom line: Small businesses can now make quantifiable, data driven decisions at a price point within their reach.
Today, we will explore the stats surrounding BI, five different tools and the benefits this technology can bring to your business.
Business Intelligence (BI) Stats
According to the Dresner Advisory Services 2017 Small and Mid-Sized Enterprise Business Intelligence Market Study, small businesses are:
- The most aggressive in their plans to adopt BI in the next 12-36 months
- 3x more likely to adopt BI as compared to enterprise organizations
- Using it mostly for sales and marketing purposes
Five BI Tools
Even though there are several different BI apps, the ones below are geared to the small business environment:
You can connect 20+ apps, including Shopify, MailChimp, Facebook, Google Analytics and Office 365, or you can choose from their recommended introductory selection. They group the apps into nine business areas that are streamlined into a dashboard. The initial cost is free; however, you may need to pay for future apps.
Cyfe tracks through custom widgets, such as Google Sheets, Google Analytics, Salesforce, Xero, Quickbooks, Adwords, and other prebuilt integrations. It gives you easy-to-use, real-time dashboards for marketing, clients, social media, SEO, finance, sales, and project management. Cyfe Premium gives you unlimited dashboards and widgets, historical data, exports, sharing options, and customization options for $29/month.
Zoho One provides one suite of more than 40 integrated business and productivity applications. It connects sales, marketing, accounting, CRM and HR and allows for a transparent and collaborative approach to BI. The cost is $30/month/user.
This Microsoft tool allows you to connect to hundreds of data sources. Using Power Query, you can simplify data ingestion and integration. You can create reports using built-in visuals or produce your own custom visuals. For a single user, the tool is free, but for multiple users it’s $9.99/month/user.
With 60+ pre-built integrations, Geckoboard pulls live metrics from popular business tools into it without having any technical know-how. Turn data tracked in a Google Sheet or Excel file into live visualizations from databases, in-house systems and third-party software. Pricing starts at $25/month/user.
BI Business Benefits
Many BI applications allow up to 60 apps to be integrated into the dashboard and serve it up as useful decision making. No more laborious and time-consuming spreadsheets and calculations. Set up the datasets initially and you will receive continuous real-time updates.
Because the dashboard integrates so many applications with big data assimilated into each tool, you will now have access to insights that were previously unattainable. This will ultimately lead to growth in revenues and an increased competitive edge.
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