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Business Intelligence Tools For Small Companies: How Big Data Can Help SMBs

bi2When your business is small, but you still have an analytic need to feed, the question simply imposes itself: how can you make this step without jumping way out of your budget limitations? That’s where most businesses lose the will to make risky solutions, and miss the vital benefits business intelligence software can deliver to them.

It’s true and therefore completely justified: when you’re a small fish diving in the ocean of giant enterprises, business intelligence sounds like the virtue of few, because you have neither the data center nor the specialist to afford it. Thinking about it, many companies make the same mistake of quitting right when data analytics is most imperative to their performance: their red hot moment.

Businesses are still the same, but the setting is somehow different. Business intelligence software is growing rapidly, and as SaaS competition is becoming harsher, analytic solutions are squeezing to fit even the tiniest pockets. The way things are now, even the smallest and least perspective startup can deploy one of the best business intelligence software systems to analyze performance, track opportunities, and improve the quality of decisions. To be completely honest, what the market’s bells and whistles are signalizing now is not analytic solutions proliferation, but an endless pool of variants of what those solutions can do for small businesses. Let’s have a look at the most important benefits of business intelligence tools for small businesses.

It gathers data under one roof

Isn’t that what every business needs? Small businesses definitely need less time to export and import data between systems, but if time is an important factor for big businesses, it is a survival matter for the small ones. Therefore, we dare to believe we’ve partially dissolved the myth of ‘small businesses shouldn’t spend on big data analytics’. Instead of logging into dozens of applications, and importing data under the threat of serious human error, small businesses can now gather everything in a central hub, and use the advanced metrics and expected performance indicators to obtain a realistic picture of their performance.

It simplifies complex business processes

When you are asked to slice data and submit reports based on endless dropdown menus and historical overviews, nobody will ask you whether you’re a small company or accept that as a proper excuse. The smaller the team is, the more complicated it becomes to sort valuable information out, and that’s where BI tools intervene to streamline the process. What they do is automate analytics and take calculations out of your way, letting you focus on more important business decisions.

Sisense: one of the most popular BI solutions on the market.

Sisense: one of the most popular BI solutions on the market.

It promotes easy analytics

The thing that discourages many small companies from purchasing a BI tool is the coding knowledge most systems require in order to put data into action. Unlike their big counterparts, small firms have neither the team nor the resources to program them, but what they lack the most is the time needed to surpass long and clumsy learning curves.

Luckily for them, BI solutions are nowhere close to the terrifying and cumbersome graphs from the past, which employees don’t understand and don’t even want to understand. The focus right now is on function rather than robustness, and the most successful analytic tools are those that can be adopted without training and complex installations.

It makes data more accessible

It doesn’t matter how many members there are in your team – if one of the members is not at the same page with the rest of them, the mission is endangered. That’s what makes it imperative to keep data at the same place where each employee can access it, ideally optimized for mobile devices as well. Small teams are without doubt the biggest beneficiaries of tracking data on the go, as they get to exploit it in the most unpredictable situations.

It improves reaction capacity

Businesses grow thanks to the increased demand for their products/services, which means they have more and more impatient customers to serve. That’s when the response factor stops being simply desirable, and fast action turns into a priority.

As we all know firsthand, responding to unexpected requirements is quite impossible without a real-time data insight. Summarized in a single location, data reveals some vital and external factors that can influence customer behavior, and enables the companies to deal with the queries accordingly.

Bustling productivity

Putting all factors together, a business intelligence solution is more likely to push small companies towards success, than to draw them backwards. By the time BI benefits become visible, the business will already be somewhere between a mid-sized and a large one, assuming it has developed the appropriate strategy to make the most of its data. BI tools make the connection between objectives and resources, as they show you how you can use what you have in order to obtain what you want.

How do you choose the right BI tool for your business?

The success formula for every business is to analyze resources instead of simply listing them, and keeping all team members on board while decisions are being made. Business intelligence solutions are the role model of software that puts the formula into action, but businesses still need to handle the question with care, and choose a program that can genuinely fit within the frame of their capacity. Currently, one of the best BI solutions we’ve tried is Sisense. You can find more information about it in our Sisense reviews. What is really good about working with business intelligence tools for small businesses is that one doesn’t have to choose a solution that Will work, but a solution that Can work, and then make it work.

Chris Miller

By Chris Miller

Chris Miller is a senior customer service analyst at FinancesOnline. For more than 5 years now, he has witnessed and written about the tremendous impact of digital technologies that have deeply disrupted the customer service industry. The onset of chatbots and other AI/ML tech, omnichannel platforms, highly personalized service, the emerging blockchain methodologies specially created a deep impact, all of which are reflected in his writing. His reviews of customer service applications serve as invaluable resources for businesses of any size and scale.

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