Startups or even a small business should take advantage of business intelligence tools. Especially for entrepreneurs who are considering themselves to be struggling in making ends meet, leveraging data can be their ticket to better operations, boosted sales, and overall business success.
When we talk about business intelligence, there is no specific reference to just one piece of software but a collection of programs that exist to help people collect and assess good data.
Aside from multiple programs, BI tools also include elements that can help improve business practices, maximize infrastructural investments, optimize performance, and enhance decision-making processes.
Business intelligence tools like metrics, analytics, dashboards, and key performance indicators can help small business owners to pull together a wide variety of details not only from external sources but more importantly from the different parts of the business itself.
These tools then collate raw data and they churn out reports, charts, graphs, and assessments that are easy to understand. Basically, the tools perform all the analyzing and what startups are left with are details that they can immediately use to take action.
The time it takes to collect the data and produce usable insights is significantly reduced. This saves the struggling entrepreneur valuable time that can be used to take proactive actions towards improving the business.
The great thing about business intelligence tools like key performance indicators for example is that they can be used by startups to look at all aspects of their business.
It can provide valuable information showcasing sales performance and strategy effectiveness. Even things like staff performance and costing can be assessed in no time.
When a small business starts to experience problems, often it is because of things like excessive wastage, non-optimized inventory levels, inefficient costing, and undeveloped business protocols.
Business intelligence tools can help address all these issues, if not more, and help a company understand where they are making mistakes and where they need to invest more effort and control.
For a small business, there are several key performance indicators that should be focused on and here are some of them:
- Revenue Growth
There are different key performance indicators that can be concentrated on for growth. BI tools, for example, can help entrepreneurs assess the best demographic to target in the consumer sense.
By shifting marketing efforts to appeal to customers that generate a higher level of returns for the company, a business will be making better use of their time and resources.
Tools that offer trend analysis from charts to graphs to infographics come into play ensuring that startups have the information that they need to enact quick action whenever necessary.
- Time Management
Especially when startups regularly engage in varying projects, time management becomes a more essential point of assessment.
Projects that promote growth should be prioritized. For example, a sales-generating product launch should be chosen over an introductory expo.
During these events, organization should also be prioritized. Without order, members of the staff can easily waste time.
But if everything is in place, from processes to inventories, then active staff members can focus their attention on value drivers that can make a positive impact towards the company.
- Waste Reduction
Knowing where every dollar goes is important and maximizing all investments from manpower to infrastructure is essential.
With the use of certain BI tools, a small business owner will be able to pinpoint areas of the business where costs are unjustifiably excessive and work to correct the problem.
From reversing staff schedules to increasing or decreasing stock order levels based on demand, companies will be better able to make decisions that will lead them to higher profits over time.
- Operational Efficiency
There are tools that can be used to organize big data. In doing so, a small business can easily gain insights not only on what the competition is doing but more importantly on what is happening to the business itself.
This means gaining usable information on current sales generation, business processes, production status, and even the effectiveness of staff.
Most of the time, struggling companies lack efficiency and this is something BI tools can help address and correct.
With the help of these tools, a business owner can identify other potential sales-generating opportunities or find new ways to improve the company’s production line for example.