To find the origins of Business Intelligence (BI), we have to go back to 1958 to a German computer scientist working at IBM named Hans Peter Luhn. He was the first to propose the theory of an automated system allowing “(…) to disseminate information to the different sections of any industrial, scientific or governmental organization. This system of intelligence will use data management machines for automatic self-fetching and encoding of documents and for creating profiles of interest for each of the ‘action points’ of an organization.”

Today, the fundamentals of Business Intelligence remain much the same: to collect, model, and render the diverse and varied data of an organization in order to facilitate decision making within said organization.

For any Business Intelligence system, there is a common data management structure that must be respected:

  • Data collection : A company’s data (customers, sales, history, etc.) is collected and stored in a central data warehouse, called a Data Warehouse. We talk about this on this article.
  • Data analysis and modeling: In order to make the data usable, it is processed and modeled according to various parameters to make it more accessible (for example, through summaries or reports specifically pre-designed for one purpose).
  • Data Restitution: The data, made usable by BI, is sent back to the concerned users (management, HR, accountant, etc.)through datamarts (mini data warehouses annexed to the data warehouse), in the form of said reports or summaries. The value of Data in the industry is more than you would expect, we are deepening the subject in this other paper.

Business Intelligence has evolved a lot since its theoretical beginnings in the 50s, and you need to understand that Business Intelligence is not only for large companies. We are now in an era that is much more inclined to small structures such as start-ups and most BI vendors have understood this changing dynamic, and are adapting their software to the needs of users. This is particularly true of SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service, vendors.

An another thing is that it’s not as complex a tool as it used to be. Sure, it’s still an expert tool; data mangement is not an easy task even with the best system in the world. That said, with the advent of the Cloud and SaaS in the early 21st century, BI has evolved into something more accessible than local software that used to require installation on every computer in the enterprise; an installation that could represent a significant budget. With the evolution of the SaaS and Cloud world, BI tools and data management have become more ergonomic and accessible to the end user.

Data management is a real benefit for Business Intelligence. With the exponential growth of data circulating in the digital world today, BI tools are becoming more and more powerful, and can more easily model data that provides a significant competitive advantage to companies.

business intelligence

Data Management : getting the most out of your company

As we’ve already told you, Business Intelligence is used to help a company make decisions.  Here are a few examples of how business intelligence can help a company:

In-depth analysis of business goals: Without perspective on the health of their business, an employer cannot make informed decisions. The data management that BI can provide is there to facilitate this. For example, it can provide an in-depth analysis of product purchase history over a specific period of time, identifying peaks, most purchased products, etc.

Customer loyalty: It is a recognized fact today that loyalty is essential in any business strategy, especially in B2B. With Business Intelligence and the data your customers have provided you with (directly or indirectly), you will be able to depict the typical profiles of your most profitable customers, and ensure that your strategy is focused on them.

Accounting and finance: a gap in your finances between what you had set for your goals and the year-end results? BI can also be used to find the gap with your company’s internal data management.

With Picomto, our ambition is to bring an innovative solution to help workers to have a clear and precise instruction without ambiguity. This application equally permits to create checklists for preventive maintenance. Your work instructions  generate a lot of data that we can exploit. If you want to know more about how to how to exploit your data in a BI software (Google Data Studio, Power BI etc.) and the different uses we can make of it, contact us. We will happily discuss ways to optimize your data management.