Despite the fact that a lot of businesses talk about the importance of data-driven decision making, a recent study found that 69% of C-level executives still do not consider their organisation to be data-driven. This is a surprisingly high figure, especially in an age when so many tools for collecting, analysing and acting on data are available. But even more surprising is the fact that 77% of companies say that they struggle to incorporate AI and big data to gain useful performance insights and make predictions.
So if your business has found it a challenge to make use of all of its data in a way that increases efficiency and boosts company performance, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem which has been growing in popularity in recent years: the use of intelligence reporting and interactive business dashboards.
Business intelligence (BI) dashboards are a way of simplifying the use of data and increasing adoption rates, helping companies actually become data-driven at every stage of their process.
What are the actual benefits of using BI dashboards to achieve a holistic understanding of your business’s performance? Let’s look at just a few ways these powerful tools can help companies adapt and improve in the information age:
- Facilitate Data-Driven Decision Making
Business intelligence reporting involves aggregating information from all of a company’s available sources of data, in order to gain insights into every aspect of the business’s performance, and therefore make better strategy decisions. However, the sheer amount of data involved can often be overwhelming, and this is the reason why most companies still aren’t using this information to its full potential.BI dashboards allow you to view these data sets alongside one another in a highly visual and easy-to-digest format, which makes business intelligence reporting much more accessible to all team members within an organisation. Decision makers can quickly see and understand what the root of a problem is, and gain actionable insights to inform strategy development in the future. Some dashboards even come with predictive analysis tools, which use AI to make strategy suggestions based on patterns in your company’s data.
- Optimise Spending
Seeing key data points side-by-side can help you determine which areas of the company’s strategy require more support, and which are inefficient and/or redundant. This helps businesses reduce costs, allocate funds efficiently and increase ROI.
Using predictive analysis tools, companies can even see future projections for costs and profits based on changing external factors, like the cost of materials and expected market conditions. This means they can plan ahead and optimise spending based on their predicted needs, helping them remain agile in constantly-evolving business environments.
- Real-Time Analysis
Rather than waiting for data to be inputted to a spreadsheet or shared internally, BI dashboards give all chosen members of a team instant access to up-to-date company performance metrics. This kind of responsiveness is particularly important in today’s digital landscape, wherein companies have to simultaneously manage multiple marketing channels, each of which requires constant monitoring to optimise a campaign’s performance.The real-time analysis facilitated by business dashboards is ideal for seeing how a change in one area of the company’s operations affects the others. For example, you can integrate data from marketing, sales and web analytics to see the impact of a particular marketing campaign on your revenues, allowing you to quickly adjust your marketing spend in response to emerging patterns, without wasting time or money on strategies that aren’t working.
- Customised Data Snapshots
Managing all of your data across a variety of tools and platforms and trying to interpret it in a holistic way can be overwhelming for most businesses. This is why many BI dashboards are fully customisable, letting companies choose the metrics which are most important for them to see to gauge their performance.The point of a business dashboard is that it saves time, by compiling data from different sources and presenting it in an easily-digestible, visual manner. But if a dashboard becomes too cluttered with data, it can lose its usefulness as an information management tool – so only select the most relevant KPIs to be displayed.
- Internal Data Sharing
Just managing your online presence involves coordinating the efforts of several different departments within a company, from the executives to the sales, marketing and IT teams. A common set of objectives need to be agreed between all of them, and then a system has to be set in place for ensuring these objectives are being achieved. However, this can be challenging, especially when each department operates independently of one another, uses different data sources and is tracking a different set of KPIs and metrics.BI dashboards can help simplify this process, by integrating both internal and external data sets in a way that all team members can easily access and understand them. This makes it easier to align teams around common goals, and give each person involved a full picture of the company’s progress and performance – no more data tunnel-vision!
- Universal Accessibility
Business dashboards can be accessed from anywhere using a company login, so they allow you to stay updated about the performance of your company, wherever you are.This is particularly beneficial in the current climate. Right now, teams all around the world are operating remotely, so having company data integrated in a single, universally-accessible platform is an ideal way to facilitate instant information sharing in this decentralised work environment.
Creating a business dashboard may seem challenging initially. But the benefits they provide are crucial for managing a modern business, especially in the era of multichannel marketing and complex sales funnels, which all have to be managed as an integrated whole, and viewed alongside internal company performance data. Thus business dashboards can contribute to better decision making and increased efficiency, which will ultimately lead to higher profits.