As a small business, you probably wouldn’t be blamed for completely ignoring many of the analytics tools that are out there. For years these have been almost exclusive to large businesses with big budgets and extensive IT departments, geared up to generate their own business insights using the extensive knowledge of their data scientists.
This is all set to change. In 2019, many predict that self-service Business Insight (BI) technology will help to close the gap and make data analytics available to small business owners, without the need for extensive IT expertise.
How Does Self-Service BI Benefit Small Companies?
But how can this technology benefit a small business, and is it worth the investment? Business app specialists GetApp recently looked at some of the reasons self-service BI could revolutionize your business.
Stay on Top of Statistics
There was a time when an end-of-month Excel spreadsheet report was enough to keep any business owner updated. These days, data moves at an incredibly fast speed and it’s more important than ever to keep up with data trends in real time. Using self-service BI, your small business will have access to business intelligence and insights at the click of a button. This allows you to make decisions quickly and with much more accuracy than before.
All this insight means you can keep a close watch on any areas of the business that might be at risk of underperforming, allowing you to make appropriate changes in strategy before it’s too late. Instead of stumbling around in the dark and making decisions after the event, your business can ensure every decision is based on performance data.
Make Collaboration Possible
Sitting and waiting for insight to arrive from a member of your team can slow down any process and make it hard for teams to collaborate. With self-service BI, each stakeholder in your business will have the tools they need to gain insight and make judgments without having to wait for complicated reports to be built. Using shared dashboards, data science will be accessible to all users, allowing teams to use analytics to find solutions.
What’s more, you can communicate updates with your whole team, allowing them to act as soon as possible on new information. This means each department in your business will have the ability to work independently and make decisions by utilizing a more collaborative environment. All you need to do is ensure your team is educated on data fluency before rolling out the software.
Think Like Your Customers
The greatest gift of any BI software is the ability it gives you to spot trends and ultimately think like your customers. By analyzing customer behaviors and trends, your business can make decisions that are tailored to your target market. By illuminating historical data, your business can create accurate portraits of customers and avoid any time wasting when it comes to marketing.
Not only will you benefit when marketing to customers, you’ll also gain a better understanding of your position in the market and can accurately analyze how you stand against competitors. This will help you gain a competitive advantage in your market through the use of accurate data analytics.
Bring Your Business into the Future
Modern day small businesses are no longer kept at arm’s length from the tools that help make large corporations so successful. Self-service BI is an important step into the future for your business, giving you all the benefits of agile and flexible cloud-based software. In the past, such technology would have been way beyond the budget of a small business. Today, modern, cloud-based BI is easily affordable and accessible.
There was a time when in-house BI would have meant the implementation of a difficult and expensive on-premise system. Now, with the use of cloud technology and smartphones, you and your team harness real-time data analytics, informing you to make smarter decisions.
For small business owners, self-service BI signals a big change in the way we consume data analytics and implement it into the day-to-day running of our businesses. It’s an important component in how we strategically manage and grow our businesses. These are just some of the benefits that come from this technology – but they’re certainly not all of them. There are more reasons in the business insight infographic below.
Not taking action and investing in modern BI could lead to big problems for your business. With access as simple as it is, the likelihood is your rivals will be getting more data-savvy by the day. It’s up to you to keep up.
Mark Wiggins is based in Leeds, England and writes about a wide range of subjects. He specializes in business and technology – with a keen interest in exploring how the implementation of technology can benefit small businesses.