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Business Intelligence Isn't Just for Big Companies

Big companies are no longer the only players who put business intelligence to work for them to increase revenue. Small businesses are starting to use business intelligence as well to help them achieve their goals.

In case you don’t know what business intelligence is, business intelligence is the process of gathering and analyzing data in order to make well-informed, strategic decisions to increase the overall growth of the business. Business intelligence happens when enterprises start to put big data to work for them enabling them to make strategic decisions without compromising the success of a business.  If you’re a small business and have yet to use business intelligence, this article is for you and your benefit.

Gaining the upperhand with business intelligence

According to NG Data, business intelligence is the deciding factor for businesses who want to gain a competitive advantage in their respective industries. Business intelligence helps provide critical analytical insight and predictive analysis that will enable businesses to be agile and innovate faster than ever before.

How small businesses can enter the game of business intelligence

Being a small business doesn’t mean you have some insurmountable obstacle in your way to grow exponentially. You don’t have to have the resources of Amazon or Google to experience the benefits of business intelligence. By using business intelligence, you can innovate quickly and work to meet the demands of your customers. Here are four steps to making your small business one that effectively uses business intelligence:

Invest in and train your team

Business intelligence does not matter if you don’t invest in your team’s skillsets. By taking time to train your team, you can be sure to reach your business goals. Collecting data will be worthless if your team does not have the latest training available. Small businesses cannot continue to be agile when skillsets and training are no longer up to par with the latest technological tools and skills.

Train your team in skillsets that are relevant to your industry. If you run a retail store, train your team with the latest remote video surveillance best practices. Effective use of video surveillance systems will help you collect data on loss prevention. If you run a software company, train your engineers on the latest best practices to help them develop the best software your company can develop.

Gather data

The more data you collect, the more data you have to work with and make strategic decisions. It’s difficult to be an intelligent business when you don’t have any facts to work with. There are a few different things you can do to collect data such as electronic receipts, onsite opt-ins, order forms, gated content, shipping and order update notifications, progressive profiling and incentivised campaigns. Train your team on how to recognize relevant data and  the importance of not wasting time on irrelevant data.

Share your data

Big data gathered does nothing if you keep it to yourself. Create efficient processes to share data collected with the decision makers and teams within your small business. Not sharing data with appropriate team members and decision makers shows a lack of transparency within your organization. The practice of not making data available will also result in employees operating in the dark when they could have data to help them make better decisions.

Help your partners know what is going by organizing collected data in a visually appealing way such as an infographic or a short video. Presenting data in a visually appealing way will be more effective than basic charts and spreadsheets.

Use data to make decisions

After you invest in your team, gather data and share the data with your employees, use the data you have to make strategic decisions for the benefit of your organization. Review the data you’ve collected before closing any deals or making any changes within your small business. Take time to analyze your data for trends and take time to break down any sales issues or customer service issues. Since you trained your team, the combination of increased skillsets among your employees and big data will eliminate any guesswork.

Experience the benefits of business intelligence

As you invest in and train your team, your team will be put in position to succeed. Be an intelligent business by effectively gathering data and putting it to work for you. Once you start to experience the benefits of business intelligence, you will wish you had started earlier.

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