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The best tips for using business intelligence ensure the methods used to capture the data accurately reflect the needs of the end user, and that key performance measures are employed. In addition, it is important to make business intelligence reports scalable and easily accessible. Business intelligence gathering can be used to increase efficiencies and respond to changes in the macro environment.
One of the best tips for using business intelligence begins with the way in which the data is gathered. The validity and usability of the research will depend upon the methods that were used to capture the data, as well as the reasons for the business intelligence gathering. If all of those who are the intended users of the research are considered prior to the design of a data capturing strategy, it’s more likely the resulting reports will accurately contain the data those end users desire.
If an end user's needs and preferences are not included, then specific questions pertinent to his or her goals may be omitted from the scope of the project. For example, a manager of a supply chain in a company may want to know if the firm's major suppliers are fiscally sound, with no unanticipated disruptions in supplies expected over the next year. If a manager is using business intelligence, and is not invited to the table at the beginning of developing the capturing methodology, then his or her need for that specific data may not be communicated to those who design the capture and storage of the data.
Another good tip for using business intelligence is for managers to choose the company's desired key performance measures before the initial design of the project. When the project designers understand exactly what those measures are, then the resulting business intelligence captured will compare those specific performance metrics historically. An additional tip for using business intelligence is to make it scalable and accessible. Choosing the best software and hardware for employing a business intelligence application is likely to be an easier task if all the needs for intelligence gathering are understood at the beginning.
Once the parameters for gathering intelligence are complete, and the reports are available, using business intelligence offers many opportunities for managers to understand how to respond to emerging threats and opportunities. Sales personnel may use business intelligence to design fact sheets based on what a customer's most frequent concerns would typically be. These may be derived from the intelligence data that was gathered by the business.
Data mining may offer insights into places where the company has inefficiencies that need correction. Slow times for sales may be anticipated and inventory can then be reduced during these periods. If data indicates that strong demand will occur at certain times, production can then be increased to meet that anticipated demand.
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