What is BI?

Business Intelligence (BI) is a set of software tools and technologies that are used to allow people at all levels of a business or organisation to access and analyse data in a timely and consistent manner. Done properly, this analysis can start to uncover facts about a business that would otherwise be hidden. The real benefit from BI is the decisions that this analysis can help you make for the benefit of the business.

What if I don’t already collect data electronically?

i-Decisions can help either through the recommendation of existing off the shelf software, or with the use of our bespoke software developments. These will ensure you capture all the relevant data needed to make your business a success.

What is a data warehouse?

Most BI solutions are dependent upon a centralised store of business data. A data warehouse is effectively one or more centralised databases, holding relevant data from all the necessary areas and systems of a business.

Isn’t this kind of thing expensive?

At i-Decisions we utilise a waterfall approach to our BI solutions, which speeds up the development process and helps to make BI more affordable than you may think.

We believe that all of our solutions offer an excellent Return on Investment (ROI) – it’s not unusual for us to identify areas in your business where we can streamline existing processes, help you to negotiate better deals from your suppliers or exploit particularly strong customer areas.

Whilst we charge a one-off cost for development and deployment into your business, the savings it can generate will continue year on year.

Will we be able to use BI with our existing systems?

Almost certainly the answer will be yes, however, depending upon your existing IT infrastructure there may be some additional costs required to get our solution up and running. Alternatively, in some instances we offer a fully hosted package for those companies who would rather not invest in the required infrastructure. Please get in touch for more details.

Can this type of thing be done in any business?

So far, we haven’t found any business sector where we don’t feel our products and solutions can add value. We also work across a variety of business sizes, from sole traders to multi-national companies employing tens of thousands of staff.

Are there any examples of how this could help?

Many larger business and organisations have been using BI for several years to help them make key business decisions such as:

Scenario 1
Sales volumes for each product in different regions show one particular product selling much more strongly in one region.

Outcome 1
Firstly, production and distribution can be quickly and accurately increased to that region to ensure adequate supply based on a calculated sales forecast. Secondly, using in-depth analysis provided by the BI solution, the profile of customers buying the product in that region can be investigated to understand why it is so successful. The sales information could also be mapped to understand if a geographical factor is responsible for the sales – if so this information could be utilised in future marketing campaigns. Finally, a suitable reward program could be implemented for the sales manager responsible for the successful region, who may also be asked to work with other sales managers to help increase the sales in other areas.

Scenario 2
Customer retention is suffering a downturn, making an impact on company profits.

Outcome 2
Using a BI solution, analysis can be performed on the customers leaving to understand the reasons for this. If price is the key factor, then the BI solution could be used to calculate an optimal price for the customer. The BI solution will also capture information about the customer's value to your organisation for future pricing.

Scenario 3
Customer complaint levels have been increasing over the past few weeks.

Outcome 3
Analysis of complaints data quickly pinpoints a certain product line as the root cause for the majority of complaints. The BI solution allows the products responsible to be traced back to one batch produced in a specific factory, allowing a speedy investigation into the fault. All affected customers can also be identified in seconds for further action.

In any scenario, the maximum value is only gained through a combination of the data provided by the BI solution and the skill and knowledge of your people.

Still can’t see how it can work for you?

Give us a call and we’ll arrange to come and see you to briefly discuss your business and how BI could help to make it better. Of course, this service is completely free of charge.

If we can’t see a way to help then we’ll tell you so there and then – we measure our success on the success of businesses and organisations we have worked with, so we don’t believe in wasting your time.