Business planning

4 signs your business could benefit from a business intelligence solution

Business intelligence (BI) is a vital tool in the CFO’s toolkit. Accurate and easily-accessible financial data allows you to understand what’s happening with business-critical metrics such as profit margin and cash flow. For those businesses that have already incorporated BI into their operations, it allows them to continue to make data-driven decisions, but it’s a different story for the many small and medium-sized businesses that maintain the mindset that they’re too small to incorporate a BI solution into their operation.

Here are four signs that indicate that your business could benefit from a business intelligence solution.

You desperately need a single version of the truth

Perhaps the following sounds familiar: You’re presenting in a meeting and multiple departments are updating company decision-makers on company performance, then somebody interrupts you and says “those aren’t the numbers I have here”. It’s a common occurrence that shows different aspects of the business are not aligned when it comes to reporting and could indicate that manual data entry is leaving room for error when taking the pulse of your business’s financial performance. A cohesive organization requires all stakeholders to be singing off the same hymn sheet.

Added value of BI: Unified company vision, more accurate forecasting.

You’re having difficulty measuring and contrasting data from multiple locations

While it’s highly probable that centralized data sharing and reporting would have been part of a planned expansion, if your organization was to acquire a new company and merge two finance departments together it can be difficult to make the two data sets fit cohesively. This would be the ideal time to implement a business intelligence strategy that would allow you to have accurate data across multi-location entities.

Added value of BI: Ability to identify inefficiencies in the supply chain, identify areas of weakness by directly contrasting performances of different business locations.

Your competition is making big strides every year

One of the big advantages of implementing a business intelligence solution is the ability to see the big picture of your business and to understand the trends of the market it operates in. If you’re noticing that you’re being routinely leapfrogged by your competition, and blown away by their strategic moves and ability to be agile in the market, chances are they have a good grasp of their business intelligence and data strategies.

Added value of BI: Become truly agile and remain competitive.

No time to analyze big data

The main benefit of incorporating Business Intelligence solutions into your organization’s finance function is that it reduces manual admin tasks and gives you the chance to apply your time where your business needs you most. Simply put, if your finance team is weighed down by day-to-day tasks, it’s unrealistic to think they will have the capacity to make innovative decisions driven by in-depth financial data analysis. By implementing a business Intelligence solution in your organization you can understand and use data (which you may have lying idle) to gain actionable insights to ensure regulatory compliance and improve business performance. You can also access large, unwieldy databases and transform them into information you can understand, helping you make informed decisions.

Learn more about what a business intelligence solution can offer for your business and request more info about Sage 300 Cloud.