It is arguable but generally accepted that the wisdom of every business of the 21st century is hidden in data. Embracing business intelligence (BI) tools throughout the organization should do more about employing analytics platforms, which are designed to track past performances and make decisions based on data-driven insights. For this reason, the adoption of analytics platforms by small businesses is now growing rapidly, and as cloud computing matures, even the smallest companies can now afford to deploy one of the best BI tools in the industry. This includes enabling companies of all industries to advance and analyze business matrices, performance indicators, track opportunities, and further improve the quality of decisions being made in the organizations.
In a world of growing analytics platforms, data visualization is regarded as the preferred approach to convey a message to a target audience. Today, it is more important than ever to get the real economic value from data as the most important asset for businesses. With the advancement of the modern BI tools, it is now possible to detect, monitor and evaluate the quality of data required to make well-informed decisions about the future of a company.
Similarly, it is also important to envisage what the analytics platforms can do to empower small businesses, startups and emerging entrepreneurs within the developing economies. Some of the key benefits of analytics platform combined with modern BI tools for small businesses include:
- Gathering and consolidating different data sources in a central repository, and map performance indicators with advanced business metrics to obtain an overarching picture of user experience practice.
- Empowering companies to take educated risks whilst improving productivity and focusing more on important business decisions.
- Tracking data insights on the go and further exploit business opportunities in the most unpredictable situations.
- Influencing user behavior, and help companies to ask bigger questions in line with business objectives.
- Making the connection between objectives and resources to meet the overall goal of the company.
The paradigm shift has been happening for some time in the BI space but the benefits as envisaged by businesses have not yet materialized owing to the capability for companies to use the right tools for a properly defined business problem taking into consideration the available data sets. Due to the increasing amount of complex data sets, small businesses are required to acquire a certain degree of understanding around the type of BI tools required to carry out a specific task to address and meet the business needs. This will enable small businesses to become competitive while building themselves and moving up the value chain.
As various industries continue to evolve, it is also fair to say that small businesses are facing new challenges and with the advances of modern BI tools, some of the problems may be overcome in addressing organizational challenges. This includes finding trends, patterns and relations from disparate data sets to make more informed decisions. Businesses can also use such findings to identify the most important users of their productions and thus be able to better manage their organizational productivity.
The best approach, however, is for small businesses to acquaint themselves with different forms of BI deployment strategies and thus taking full advantages of cloud computing packages and service implementations. This is in addition to analytics platforms combined with cloud computing offerings and open source software that provide consolidation, harmonization, and modernization across disparate data sources. It is possible for small businesses to build themselves towards achieving a fully integrated analytics and BI system with an aim of reaping the most important benefits around data-driven business models. These benefits can be achieved without the need to acquire very skilled and expensive IT experts or consultants.
Furthermore, BI tools can help companies to unlock new economic value, create growth opportunities and thus defining the future of innovation. The best course of action for small businesses is to adopt a disruptive approach to analytics, as noted by many other successful emerging start-ups in the developed world. Companies should adopt analytics platforms in stages, starting with very little small steps, and slowly build themselves up the value chain whilst improving their efficiencies over time.
There are so many analytics platforms available free of charge for testing or used for a defined duration with limited services, applications or features. Deploying analytics platform based on free software editions allows the organization to learn and slowly introduce light weight applications with limited features. In this case, small businesses can experiment with their data while learning and gaining experience without spending huge sums of money on expensive premium IT platforms. The objective is to get comfortable with the tools being offered without breaking the bank. This includes taking full advantages of open source software combined with cloud computing, which in most cases are also available free of charge, or at least offered close to nothing compared to the premium packages.
There is large consensus today that seems to suggest that having data-driven insights into your business is nearly mandatory for success. Large corporations use BI tools to track and monitor a variety of data points within their organizations and become relevant to the modern way of doing business. Small businesses too, need to be efficient to stay competitive in the markets. The adoption of cloud based BI tools can help small businesses to track business activities, predict user behavior and streamlined processes. This includes enabling small businesses to make smarter decisions a bit faster than using traditional IT tools.