In simple terms, Business Intelligence or BI refers to the technology and strategies used by a company to analyse business information and take decisions based on them. BI is reported to be evolved as it is today from DSS (Decision Support Systems) that began in the ‘60s and developed through mid ‘80s. DSS originated as a computer aided model to assist with planning, forecasting and decision-making.
Business Intelligence has become an important aspect of an organization today due to stiff competition and wide choices for the target audience.While many companies do not invest directly into BI, they can make use of their ERP Software. Traditionally ERP software was used only to keep records and make sure that all processes are running smoothly, however, making use of the software as a BI tool will help you not only analyse data of the past but also to plan for future with ease and negligible mistakes.
How BI in ERP is good for your business:
Forecasting and comparative study – Based on the sales of the past period, you can forecast accurately along with comparing the results of your various products and regions in a period. With BI and ERP, you can get detailed data about your sales and your sales team so that you can be prepared for the coming peak period while trying to boost sales in non-performing areas. This will also help you to plan your purchases, drive campaigns and allocate resources wherever required. BI not only helps in forecasting the demand, but also making sure that the supply is at optimum while keeping all the costs in check.
Competitive Intelligence – Sales and Marketing data is important not only to understand your strengths and weakness, but also the threats that the competition poses to you. Based on the data of lost clients, you can understand the concerns of the larger requirement of the target audience. You can also use the data to expand on your product line or to divest in products or regions that are not working for you. You can use the data to boost your sales by driving offers and promotional campaigns. You can capture the results of these campaigns in the ERP itself and measure its effectiveness against the ROI.
Product positioning – While data can help you plan your quarter or year ahead, it can also help you in positioning your product to the right audience. This is very crucial for B2C companies where the product line and depth is varied and large yet with different targeting. Modern ERP software like have an in-built Marketing and Social CRM which can help you in analysing your target audience according to their preference. Companies often use surveys and feedback to know how the audience has adapted to their product, studying the same for a larger audience can help the management know how they can segment the market and how they can position their product to cater to all the markets.
Pricing – Most people today are price sensitive because of varied alternatives and substitutes available to them. While maintaining pricing in today’s world can be a real task with huge market fluctuations, a Company can manage the same with the help of an ERP system. An ERP software allows you to keep a record of your vendors along with the prices of all the raw materials and cost of goods produced. The management has a bird’s eye view on all the pricing with the help of an ERP software, hence, maintaining a check on their pricing while trying to stay ahead of the competition.
With the world shrinking and Global boundaries dissolving, BI along with an ERP software can help you achieve a lot along by keeping all the processes running smooth and data duplicity being negligible. Modern ERP software are scalable which means that as the company grows, the ERP will grow with it. Hence, managing huge data is not an issue for the software along with BI. However, with concepts like Big Data and IoT being a reality, it is not far that tomorrow’s ERP will have them incorporated too. It is advisable that as a company, you research about these so that you can be ready when the next change happens.
Author Bio: Neetu Singh is a creative and a technical writer focusing on Cloud trends, Cloud Computing, business intelligence analytics, SMAC, Industry 4.0, CRM ERP and HCM technologies. A self-made influencer, Neetu is a wannabe Industry 4.0 and Cloud evangelist with penchant for Digital Marketing. She writes for Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of robust and scalable enterprise management solutions to mid-sized businesses in India.