“Business Intelligence” (BI), also called “computational decision-making”, is a decisive component of the new company and SME environment directed at optimisation of their strategies. A genuine tool to assist the decision-making process, BI has numerous applications that can affect the various departments at an SME, including finance, sales and marketing.
Business Intelligence: a force and added value for SMEs
Companies collect and store various data. When used in an appropriate manner, this information and data become real strategic advantages. BI enables the usage and analysis of the multitude of data that companies generate in order to improve the company’s strategy and to also optimise the overall management.
BI tools offer concrete solutions to the problems that SMEs confront every day. They enable the centralisation of information and reduce the number of versions of a document, such as Excel spreadsheets, which are used extensively by companies. In such case, they ensure a single version of the truth, which also allows for a reduction of the instability and inconsistencies that can give rise to errors in interpretation.
BI is a decision-making tool for management that allows companies to make good decisions at the right time. Reports are generated more quickly, thereby increasing the responsiveness, effectiveness and productivity of the decision-making teams.
Selecting a BI tool: a strategic challenge
In order to benefit from BI, companies and SMEs must equip themselves with tools that are highly performing, smart and easy to use. In order to select their BI solution, companies must take a number of factors into consideration.
An integrated solution allows the company to maintain and guaranty the integrity of information coming from different sources such as accounting, CRM, sales, procurement, inventory and ongoing projects. But it also makes it possible to centralise such data within a single model by domain, shared between the various employees. It must be usable from the moment of its integration in order to guaranty a return on investment. Certain providers of BI solutions and tools offer their clients and potential prospects the possibility to customise the tool by modelling it according to their needs and expectations. Finally, in order to facilitate the visualisation and access to information, as well as data analysis, it is preferable that the solution be based on standardised technologies such as SQL, Analysis Services or Integration Services.
Standardised reporting and a more powerful analysis
The significance and strategic value of BI are a function of its capability to make high quality information available to various departments, and that at the right time. BI optimises work processes by putting an end to the export and re-encoding of data, which is often a source of errors.
A single version of the truth is thus made available to the various stakeholders, who benefit from its relevance, productivity, effectiveness and responsiveness.
The latest technological developments in BI solutions and software even offer the possibility of mobile and cloud access, meaning access from anywhere, any device even without a connection to the servers or company’s database.
The verification of information processed and generated by BI tools offers new prospects in terms of the analysis of data (sales, purchases, clients, etc.), cost management, budget control and measuring long term ROI.
Synchro Financials: from the beginning aimed at BI integration
Drawing on its experience of more than a dozen years, be.wan has developed Synchro Financials and equipped it with BI tools enabling SMEs to optimise their management by making it available to them:
- The “Data Warehousing” concept
- Tools for the extraction, transformation and loading of data
- Visualisation and analysis tools
- A relevant architecture
- A proven methodology