We are living in an increasingly digitalised age, with innovations revolutionising our everyday lives. One of the most significant impacts has been felt in the business world. Companies now have access to data-driven tools and strategies that allow them to learn about their operations and customers in a tangible way that can be used to their advantage. These tools and strategies can be defined as “business intelligence”.
Business intelligence (BI) is a technology-driven process for analysing data and delivering actionable information to make informed business decisions. It combines business analytics, data mining, data visualisation, data tools and infrastructure, and best practices for operational decision-making and strategic planning. It involves organisations collecting data from internal IT systems and external sources, preparing it for analysis, running queries against the data, and creating data visualizations, BI dashboards, and reports. The ultimate goal is to enable businesses to increase revenue, improve operational efficiency, and gain competitive advantages over business rivals.
This all can sound complex and intimidating, but with Smart Technologies Ltd.’s (STL) BI systems, this process actually becomes easy and foolproof. This article reviews the BI software that we offer that can help your business step up to the next level.
How can Business Intelligence help your business?
A BI system will collect huge amounts of data for you, and organise it, no matter how diverse, or where it’s coming from. It organises your data in such a way that it is understandable and easily usable. It does so by helping you visualise it; numbers in a spreadsheet don’t mean much to you at first glance, but by viewing them as a chart or graph, a trend can be spotted much easier.
This type of software puts aside unimportant data, and highlights only the important stuff. This makes sure that you are using the most relevant information needed to keep you focusing on your target while preventing information overload. In this way, bias and misinformation don’t get in the way of your goals, and you can have more time to do what you do best – running your business.
The data can be presented in different formats, with the dashboard functionality allowing flexibility in analysing, re-formatting, and manipulating the data as needed – the software can even automatically compile the data into reports. The software also lets you know whether there are any possible issues with your data, and will single out possible opportunities related to your specific data.
Most importantly, cloud-based BI software allows access to data, anywhere – including on your phone. You can access anything you need instantly, and you can provide access to all team members and partners at a moment’s notice. This means that this sensitive business data can be accessed by your entire team even if a key person is unavailable – and it is accessed in a secure way, as it is stored with the ultimate protection to prevent data theft.
Different platforms available via STL
Here at STL, we offer two different types of business intelligence platforms: the WiSDoM BI & Reporting module, as well as WiSDoM BI F&B (made specifically for the catering industry).
WiSDoM BI & Reporting
This platform is a truly flexible and complete BI solution that includes analysis, reports, live dashboards, and data warehousing – giving you the ability to add client-specific dashboards and reports, without having to change any of the core module functionality. This means that you can tweak certain elements for the day-to-day running of your operations, as needed, without actually changing the default module. This allows you to analyse the data in real-time by using the data visualization tool, and also perform deep analysis using quick filtering.
It can be connected to your phone, so that you can review your outlet’s performance on the go – you can even set up alerts to be instantly notified of changes or updates. You can use the BI backend to analyze sales, items, discounts, clients, and employee performance, as well as compare KPIs, budgets, and performance of previous years. You can even do trends analysis, such as forecasts and projections, and create new KPIs as needed.
The software also provides automatic drill-down or ad-hoc analysis, automatically compiled reports, and allows you to export reports or charts as images or to Excel for further analysis.
The entire system is cloud-based, so you don’t have to worry about storage, installation, or losing your data.
WiSDoM BI F&B
This particular platform is crafted specifically for food and beverage operators. You will have real-time, live access to everything going on with your business, such as the revenue generated as total and split by categories, the average time of a guest spent at a table, the discounts given, the amount of guests in your establishment at any point in time, as well as information relating to tips and voids – automatically, at your fingertips, at all times.
The platform is fully customizable, and you can analyze data on the go, as needed. Analysis can be carried out daily, weekly, or monthly, and it will compare the totals with the targets and sales generated at the same time last year. This gives you a complete view of your progress in context. It can even give you information on your best performing staff.
You can set alerts for important data, by setting specific values, which also have the power to trigger certain actions. The platform also establishes a backend BI system that is useful for reporting and dashboards, so it categorizes your data and sorts it accordingly for your viewing. You can automatically generate reports, and through the collaboration feature, share them with your colleagues via email.
BI and your Managed Service Provider
We have explained how BI can help you and your business, and explained the importance of ensuring that your business data is not only easily accessible, but also secure and protected from data theft. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your managed service provider (MSP) has the proper backup and disaster recovery procedures in place – which STL does.
Opt for our one of Business Intelligence solutions to ensure data-driven decisions that allow your business to grow to its full potential. For more information about our services, feel free to contact us for a FREE consultation.