Business Intelligence was once the domain of only large corporations. Today, software designed for Business Intelligence is becoming much easier for small and medium sized businesses to implement along with any business that wants the ability to analyze their own data.
Since the beginning of business, people have sought out a way to look at their data to bolster business. Going back through history to the days of the sandal-clad Roman street merchant you can see how he mastered the art of increasing his business. Back some 2,000 years ago the merchant noticed that more customers came to him to buy his wares when he used a canopy over his wagon to shield the rays and heat of the sun. The end result is increased business even though he has to put up the item on a daily basis, his business benefits.
Today that is not only considered smart, it is also considered to be Business Intelligence. At its most simplistic level, it is just reviewing data to make a better business decision tomorrow. Gone are the days when the modus operandi for standard businesses was to determine these things buy a gut feeling and intuition. Now it includes observing data, thus companies have an advantage and can guide their business moves based on the Business Intelligence.
Corporations have invested a great deal of time into harnessing Business Intelligence since the term ‘data warehousing’ was coined in the early 1990’s. It really started becoming vogue. Enterprises basically began to figure out how to retrieve the data from their operational systems and directly into the hands of management who made decisions without bogging down the system or the people behind it. Terrific progress has been made in the last couple of decades.
Companies like IBM and General Mills use complicated as well as expensive systems for Business Intelligence. These systems can pull the data together from a variety of operating systems and then generated reports that are sophisticated enough to reflect what happened in the past, but what is happening currently and to predict what is probable to happen.
Today’s corporations and small businesses use Business Intelligence tools today to accomplish things such as calculating the profit margins of their individual customers on a daily basis. They also track the path of navigation of each visitor to their website. In addition, they identify any type of fraudulent activity for a multitude of transactions in real time and offer service representatives a view of real time customer activity.
A great example of a company that uses Business Intelligence is Kelley Blue Book Company. They source, consolidate, analyze, and normalize millions of transactions in the automotive industry each week to provide the most accurate evaluations of cars in the industry.