Small and Medium Enterprises or SMEs have for long contributed to the economic growth of a nation. This is despite a severe lack of infrastructure and necessary funds. According to the World Bank, SMEs account for over 50 % of the total employment all over the world. Most SMEs are now however embracing the latest technology to have a competitive edge over their competitors. The aim is also to witness a hitherto unseen growth. Business Intelligence or BI is one such technology used by many small and medium-sized businesses for analysis of data and several other reasons. However, before digging deep into how business intelligence can help SME growth, let’s know what BI is all about.
What is business intelligence?
Business Intelligence or BI is a set of processes and technologies that can give you meaningful information by converting raw data that you have collected from various sources. Today, this technology has found its application in many sectors including healthcare and information technology.
Ways BI Can Fuel SMEs Growth
Saves Time By Automating Reports
Many business intelligence tools nowadays also do report automation that saves much time that goes into the manual entry of data. Moreover, this also eliminates the chances of errors that happen due to human fatigue. Remember, a business irrespective of its size demands a variety of reports on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. There are also some BI powered tools that take care of report scheduling and can be easily integrated with popular databases for easy import of data for quick report generation. Thus, you can make better utilization of your available resources and employ them in other business areas instead of this mundane task of report generation and scheduling. In a small business that is in most cases run by a single person or has only five to ten employees, automation of business reports prove handy in the long run.
Accelerates The Pace Of Decision Making
When you use business intelligence, you get not only a detailed analysis of your collected data but also rare business insights. Some of these are the name of the high-performance employees within a specific period, products that are sold in high volumes in a particular geographical location, customer buying pattern, and so on. All these insights vastly help in accelerating the pace of decision making. In most SMEs, decision-making is not easy because of a lack of data in hand but business intelligence does not let this happen. By embracing BI, you can take quick and accurate decisions like never before.
Helps in the visualization of data
Sometimes, a small or medium-sized business owner experiences a lot of problems in business operations. Much of this is attributed to a lack of visible information. Professionals present data or information in a maze of rows and columns. However, when tools powered with BI are used, there is better visualization of data because most of these tools feature an attractive dashboard where data is presented in charts, graphs, and gauges. This helps in easy understanding of data and often helps in reading hidden data that otherwise get lost in traditional reports. Such insights can definitely help SMEs to witness growth.
Facilitates easy detection of bottlenecks
Bottlenecks in any business are important to detect in a timely manner. These seriously hamper the overall growth of a business. For SMEs, these bottlenecks if remain undetected can spell doom. However, this is a remote possibility while using business intelligence as it does predictive analysis and offers key performance indicators.
Thus, there are innumerable ways by which business intelligence can help SME growth. It is high time that entrepreneurs must understand the need to invest in technology and embrace BI without having any apprehensions. It is worthy to mention that many of the BI power tools are now affordable and are available for a free trial.