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How BI helps you make better company wide decisions

How BI helps you make better company wide decisions

Scott Reis

It goes without saying that business intelligence (BI) is one of the most useful tools an ecommerce business can utilise to boost their growth.

But it’s not a tool which works automatically, and you’re going to need a strategy in place to make the most of it. By familiarising yourself with the range of features and options available to you, you can effectively make decisions that have a long lasting impact on your business.

But how can you do that? And what areas does BI help with most?

Effective decision making

As with any business-related decision making, creating solutions using BI can be broken down into a few steps.

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Analysis of a situation or problem

You can’t make a decision without first identifying why you need to make a change. The market is fickle, and strategies which were relevant a year ago might not work today - so you need to make sure you properly diagnose a problem instead of immediately relying on outdated patches.

Imagine you’re in charge of the day-to-day operations of an ecommerce business selling greeting cards. Late September and early October are the most popular birth dates in the year, so you could surmise that it’ll be one of your most popular periods. But what if, for some unexpected reason, your sales are dropping over that period?

Using BI, you can effectively, accurately, and quickly analyse the problem by looking at all of your KPIs within context of each other. It could be something as simple as your website load speeds are poor due to a new update - or it could be a more deeply rooted problem with how you present your store.

Presentation of data and decision making

We don’t know the exact process for how your individual business collects and uses data, and every company needs to develop their own BI strategy. Perhaps the managers of each department view the data from the BI tool and discuss with you ways forward based on their analysis.

Let’s go back to the ecommerce card company. The head of sales and marketing can take the information gained from the BI tool - that the website seems to be poorly optimised, affecting load speeds and in turn, conversion rates - and discuss with the rest of the team how a decision can be made to change that.

The marketing team can’t do this themselves; they’re not tech experts, even if they can recognise a technical issue is causing the problem. All BI decisions, as a precaution to make sure the data is being interpreted correctly and the right solutions are put in place, should be discussed and formed as a collective.

Applying the decision, and the results

This is where all of your hard work comes to fruition. It’s also arguably where BI shines the most, and presents a great amount of value to your business.

After all, compared to other methods of empirical decision-making which rely on legacy reports, BI offers instant insights.

You’re probably sick of our card company example, but we always like to bring things back around. It’s come to the point where you’ve implemented a solution to your load speed problems, and just in time to capitalise on the baby-boom of the September and October period.

But, looking at the data again, while your decision has helped it certainly hasn’t brought you back to the profitable highs of previous years. This failure provides two lessons; the first is hindsight in that, if you hadn’t utilised a BI platform, you wouldn’t have realised the problem still wasn’t fixed until a week later when your data analysis team put together a report.

The second is the most critical. With all of the avenues BI tools offer, it’s counterproductive to identify one single problem and only design a solution for that. Make sure your teams all know how to properly use the tools available to them, and diligently analyse the numbers to ensure you’ve identified everything that’s relevant.

Differences in BI tools

It’s easy to offer advice on how to use BI to your advantage, but it’s important to remember that there’s loads of companies out there all competing for your business, and each platform has variations in how they work and how they present data.

That’s why before making decisions with BI, you need to first make the most important decision of all - which BI platform do you integrate?

With Patchworks BI, you can easily access all of your business data with ease through the dashboard, and view different aspects of your operation in context with one another. There’s also round-the-clock support if you have any questions or support requirements.

In addition to the way Patchworks BI as a platform operates, we also offer integration services. As an integration provider, Patchworks is uniquely set up to ensure all of your data silos link up reliably with the platform to show you an accurate view of your data.

For more information on Patchworks BI, or to book a free consultation and demo, get in touch today through our website.

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