Business intelligence is essentially timely, accurate, high-value, and actionable business insights, and the work processes and technologies used to obtain them.
The most precious resource is always time. The marketplace is in constant motion, and companies must not only move correctly, they must move rapidly or else competitors will fill any available vacuum in the market and resources will be depleted. Move too slowly and your organization will fail. Business exists to support a company at those critical points where a decision is required. Business intelligence is a flexible resource that can work at various organizational levels and various times — it it is as important to a plant manager deliberating over which innovation practices to adopt to improve plant productivity levels as it is for a food processing firm looking for new ingredients for a product development project.
There are always a few knowns with an innovation. For a manufactured item, the source materials can be priced out and packaging, transport etc. approximated. It may also be possible to calculate if the innovative product will cannibalize from existing product share. If it is a case of analytics projecting a cost increase in one ingredient, it could drive the product development team to tinker with the formulation to allow for a reduction in cost production without compromising quality.
TIP: In technology, those things are always evolving. And they are often different from company to company, and different depending on the situation.
- What factors need to be considered?
A company needs to know what data it has on hand. Data is collected at almost every point of a business’s operations and that data is stored and only a fraction used, in general. Users need to be aware of what data exists, how long it is stored and how to access it. Consider this a Business Intelligence Library and be prepared to use it all the time, not just when you are looking to get support for a product or project you are looking to launch.
Data should be delivered in easy to understand reports. There are canned software products on the market that can help do this or internal staff may be able to create the necessaries queries on databases and produce reports that can be distributed weekly or on demand.
Data quality is always of concern – are common definitions used throughout departments or divisions? Companies need to ensure that definitions and calculations are standardized throughout the organization.