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What Are the Main Features of Business Intelligence?

No matter the industry your business operates in, there's a high probability that you'll need to invest in a business intelligence tool (BI). Businesses engage with BI software for different reasons, so it's vital to understand all the features needed to make your BI solution highly beneficial.

Business Intelligence Definition

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Every organization wants to make the most informed decisions for its growth. With timely, well-informed decision-making comes the need for a mix of platforms and applications, which need to be scalable, modular, and based on standards. Business intelligence solutions use all the vital tools, applications, best practices, and infrastructure that enable a business to gain access to their raw data for a thorough analysis that helps them improve and optimize their decisions and performance.

Business Intelligence Features

Regardless of your agenda as an organization, there are six major features that you should insist upon in any BI solution you choose to work with.

1. Personalized Dashboards

Also called executive dashboards, this feature is necessary for all BI platforms. Not only does it reduce the overall response time to internal and external events, but it also helps deliver all relevant and easily understood data in real time to allow for better and faster decision-making. Users have consistent access to data summary information and all KPIs with a personalized dashboard. The dashboard also alerts users when certain scenarios and unexpected events require immediate action. The more personalized a dashboard is, the less irrelevant information you'll have to wade through, and the easier it is to make informed decisions.

2. What-If Analysis

The road to making informed decisions can be tough, as it involves a lot of thinking and evaluation. The what-if analysis in your BI solution allows your organization to assess all possible effects of a particular decision before it is taken or implemented. It helps you avoid the hit-or-miss approach by using existing data to formulate possible strategies to help you achieve your business targets. The what-if analysis feature also helps with accurate strategic planning and better business decisions by management.

3. Location Intelligence

With location intelligence, your chosen business intelligence software can visualize and map out your data using geographical formats. The use of spatial elements to explore and visualize gives management a new perspective to understand business operations better. This is great, especially when your business operates in many regions across the globe.

4. Interactive Reports

With interactive reports, all data is converted into knowledge. These report features make all analyses very easy to understand, which helps support better decision-making. With interactive reports, users can conduct slice-and-dice OLAP analysis, produce drill-down and through reports, apply analysis to highlight data trends, and many more operations.

5. Ranking Reports

With the ranking reports feature, data from across multiple dimensions and from different categories is easily analyzed, and reports are made from the analysis process. The reports created are done by selecting specific criteria, allowing you to view both your best- and worst-performing aspects of your business. If you deal in products, you can utilize this feature to show your best-selling products, best-selling store locations, or high-ranking salespeople.

6. Metadata Layer

If you want to view your data reports in a simple business language without the need for code or SQL, the metadata layer feature is a must-have. This feature makes reporting very easy and allows your users and report writers to comprehend all reports without any technical background.

All in all, business intelligence involves the use of tools to make better business decisions. The above features will improve data analysis to help you understand the vital aspects of a BI solution.

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