Top Business Intelligence Resources
Business intelligence (BI) uses data and analytics, graphs, charts, and software to help businesses organize vast amounts of data into an easy-to-understand dashboard anyone can read. As a result, BI can help businesses make better data-driven decisions faster because they won’t get weighed down by all the information their company collects. Instead, they can look at charts and graphs to quickly understand different data sets and make impactful decisions that can help their business save money. Every business can benefit from BI which helps them track equipment performance, report on paid invoices, and manage vast amounts of data they collect on customers.
With analytics, BI can improve performance, track campaigns, and help your organization run smoothly. Ultimately, using BI can help you increase profits, better understand your customers, compare data over different periods, and track performance.
Many tools and resources are available to help you manage and understand your business data, so getting started with BI can be overwhelming. Here are the best BI resources.
Gartner Business Intelligence and Analytics Summit
The Business Intelligence and Analytics conference is a valuable opportunity for companies to learn about using BI to improve every aspect of their business. Attending the conference is expensive, especially if you have to travel, but it’s well worth it if you’re interested in learning about topics such as advanced analytics, data lakes, and more that can help your business grow. Of course, if you don’t have an analytical mind, some of the subjects discussed at the conference can be confusing, so it might be best to start investing in BI before you attend.
BI LinkedIn Groups
Tons of LinkedIn Groups exist just to talk about business analytics. Depending on your skill level, you can join any number of Groups that discuss data. You can talk to your peers through LinkedIn Groups and get professional insights on data. Groups also allow you to learn how other companies are using data and which tools they find most effective.
Business Intelligence Solutions Review
Business Intelligence Solutions Review is a BI publication that covers tons of topics surrounding BI, including the marketplace and other stories about BI software. They’re also a great place to start for basic information about getting started with BI.
Coursera and other online course providers offer tons of courses for those interested in using BI. You can choose from a variety of topics and courses depending on your knowledge and skill level, including “Intro to Big Data,” taught by Altintas and Amarnath Gupta from the San Diego Supercomputer Center. Intro classes are ideal for those who have dabbled in free or cheap BI software or those looking to learn more about how it can help their businesses.
Duke University also offers intro classes for business analytics to help you understand the basics of BI and different types of analytics.
One of the best ways to learn is by doing. You can start investing in business analytics tools and software complete with BI, predictive analysis, and performance management, depending on your needs and what you’re interested in. Popular BI tools include:
Board uses BI, predictive analytics, and performance management for businesses of all types. However, it’s primarily for financial BI with modules for financial planning, human resources skills mapping, social media analysis, customer loyalty tracking, customer retention monitoring, and more.
Domo is a cloud-based BI software that helps you build dashboards that help you easily understand your business data. Domo’s business intelligence tools are tailored for many industries, including financial services, health care, manufacturing, and more. As a result, Domo is ideal for CEOs, sales and marketing professionals, and data analytics.
Dundas BI is a dashboard and scorecard builder that can help you track performance over time. However, it also offers ad-hoc reporting that includes analysis and visualization. Dundas BI is tailored for a select 19 industries, including mining and construction, banking, and healthcare, and is only available for large enterprises.
Microsoft Power BI
Microsoft Power BI is an app for Windows computers that allows users to analyze and visualize data from local sources or the cloud. With Microsoft Power BI, you can prepare data, make visual-based discoveries, build interactive dashboards, and more. Microsoft The desktop version is completely free and is ideal for single users, but the Pro version allows for collaborative analysis for a small monthly fee.
Google Data Studio
Google data studio is ideal for marketing departments, allowing them to build dashboards, simplify data entry and organize their data to demonstrate results on campaigns. However, with various connectors available, you can connect sales and marketing data from different software and make dashboards demonstrating how sales were affected by different campaigns.
Google Data Studio is a great starting tool for small businesses or those who have never tried BI and want to experiment with their data while building dashboards that can improve decision-making throughout the marketing and sales departments.
SAS Visual Analytics
SAS Visual Analytics is a cloud-based platform that automatically highlights key data relationships without the need for an analyst to make connections. SAS has automated suggestions to help analysis and other types of users visualize and organize data.
You can run Tableau software on-premises, in a public cloud, or have it hosted by Tableau. Tableau’s take on BI software offers tailored versions for dozens of industries, including healthcare, HR, IT, and marketing. Capabilities include mapping, data analysis, and using artificial intelligence (AI) to allow users to describe the data they want to see instead of creating it themselves. Additionally, Salesforce has a ton of different tools and platforms that cater to different types of platforms as well as a great blog that discusses digital trends.
BI can help improve all aspects of your business, including enhancing employee performance, driving sales and marketing, and helping analysts build dashboards that inform important decision-making. If you’re considering investing in BI, do your research to find a solution that’s best for your business based on its size, the data you’d like to analyze, and the industry. You should also consider your budget. Many of the tools on this list are designed for enterprise customers, so you might have to find another solution until your business qualifies for more robust solutions.