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What is Business Intelligence

by Azahara 13/Feb/2017

Business Intelligence is a concept that far from being anything new goes back to the 1950s, when Richard Devens first mentioned this term in his Cyclopaedia of Commercial and Business Anecdotes. However, the increase in the volume of data collected by companies – Big Data – and the appearance of technologies that allow such collection –ioT-, have been the prescribers of the rise of Business Intelligence as an essential tool for making business decisions.

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence. A concept that has been with us more than we think

In this post we will explain what is Business Intelligence (BI) and how it can help your business, contextualizing it in its current setting and reviewing the challenges that arise, as well as the reasons why it is a key tool for companies.

What is Business Intelligence: A Practical Definition

Very often the most easily understood definitions are those that make reference to the purpose of the term. As its name implies, Business Intelligence refers to intelligent decision-making based on the information it has.
It can be defined as:

A decisional system that helps us to know and understand better the processes and results

This knowledge helps us with decision making, help us to adopt innovative solutions and, multiply the chances of having new ideas to promote good business performance.

It is important to emphasize the importance of the collection, organization and subsequent visualization of the data in order to make the most of all the information that the company has. Business intelligence is based on decision making based on the patterns identified with the data we have from the past. If the information becomes obsolete or cannot be analyzed in a simple way, it becomes practically impossible to obtain information that helps us to make better decisions, which is the main purpose of business intelligence.

From a more technical approach, according to Gartner in its IT glossary, BI is:

Business Intelligence is a general term that includes applications, infrastructure and tools and best practices that enable access and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance

Both approaches are complementary, actually. Not surprisingly, in order to support the decision-making system and obtain answers tailored to business needs, it is necessary to have data science experts and technologies that allow us to collect, analyze and interpret the data.

An approach that currently takes on a very special dimension, immersed as we are in the era of Big Data, the Internet of Things and the globalized world. All we have to do is take a look at Google Trends, to understand the importance of these terms. Undoubtedly, an exciting context, whose progress is followed by an amazing speed, characterized by complexity and new elements that revalue Business Intelligence.

In such a competitive environment as today it is necessary to work in a smarter way, which means achieving competitive advantages to improve the revenue of the business through a successful management. An environment, definitely, more demanding every time which has made Business Intelligence essential for this.

Why you should be interested in Business Intelligence

The fact that Business Intelligence is little more than an essential to facilitate decision making within companies, regardless of their size, is demonstrated by the wide range of current solutions, focused on the simplicity and autonomy of the user, Such as those developed by Geographica, where a technical staff is not needed to visualize the data and therefore make reports and/or make decisions based on them.

Before, on the contrary, they were IT-managed solutions. The focus has shifted from a technological vision to the current search for architectures and business-oriented solutions, according to Gartner, in its report entitled “Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms”. Today, BI tools need to have a data architecture that allows them to be valued through their liberalization, integration and analysis in the required sense.

Each company, therefore, must carry out its own strategy to take advantage of the technology, both in terms of data quality policies and the very culture of the organization. Ideally, moving forward in achieving a data driven approach.
Be as it may, an ad hoc BI strategy offers innumerable advantages, and they are of such caliber that by themselves they explain why it should interest its implementation to any company that can take advantage of the data. That is, practically all, since these are the main assets of organizations.

Among other benefits, BI allows better performance of tasks at the operational level, both inside and outside the company. All services, processes or operations of the company, as well as the area of logistics, dealing with suppliers or customers are likely to improve significantly. Obtaining valuable information in the right time and place, even in real time, helps achieve better results at the personal, departmental and interdepartmental levels. All this thanks to the possibility of obtaining personalized reports, visualizations and analyzes adapted to the different needs of business users.

Its use will not depend on the IT department, as it used to be, while it was the prerogative of a few departments, such as finance or accounting, among others. The new technologies now facilitate their access and, with it, business intelligence becomes a great ally to the reach of the interested ones. The definition of strategies also benefits from this coherence between technology and business needs for obtaining valuable information in a timely manner.

A competitive decision system

“Decision-making”, another way of calling BI in the legal context, is an expression that places us at the center of its target. Its objective is none other than culminating the exploitation of the data of the company in order to facilitate the decision making.

With the use of BI, the decision-making is based on the exploitation of a decisional information system designed to the measure of each company and encouraged by diverse data, which come from internal and external sources.
Its orientation can be due to an endless number of objectives, such as the identification of trends and problems or the improvement of processes. At the same time, Business Intelligence solutions help easily and intuitively manage the company’s performance, analyze expenses, sales or, for example, customer behavior.

Regardless of the size of the company, today BI is essential to convert the data into reliable information and, in short, generate directly exploitable information for all those users who need it. That is, the intelligence of the company is not limited to the strategic decisions made by managers. BI tools have evolved towards disseminating good information where it is needed, including customers or suppliers. A qualitative leap that, in short, helps to face the challenges of the new times.

Finally, we invite you to visit some of our success stories related to Business Intelligence to see in first-hand how it works:

Case 1 Smart Cities

For the correct development of this type of projects, you need to be an expert in three different areas: Big Data, Business Intelligence and real-time visualization data.

We have created several solutions that monitor in real time the results of dispersed sensors in the cities, processing and analyzing the information and offering it to the managers in a visual and simple way facilitating the decision making. Thanks to this experience, large national and international companies count on us.
Thus our function focuses on everything that happens after the collection of the data through the sensors that are dispersed by the cities.

You can find more information on this success case in the following link: Smart City Succes

Case 2: Portico

Portico is a territorial control panel for decision-making on investment in infrastructure and equipment, designed by Geographica for the Deputation de Sevilla.
The control panel is divided into three parts: private, public and mobile. In this way, sharing certain content with the general public becomes very simple for administrators, who can do it through the web or through an app.

G16_caso_portico-02

Space intelligence for decision-making on investments in public infrastructures and facilities.

Portico allows you to obtain results Space intelligence for decision-making on investments in public infrastructures and facilities.quickly, efficiently and effective. It is one of our cases of most advanced use in the Space Intelligence field. Today the private part is our most elaborate, robust and complete development.
If you want to expand information on this case, click here: See Portico success Case

What do you think about the use of Business Intelligence? If you want to know more do not hesitate to contact us.

Until next week!

TAGSBusiness IntelligenceSmart City

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