As a business owner or leader, you know firsthand how important it is to make informed decisions to stay competitive in today's rapidly changing and uncertain world. But with so much data available and so many different factors to consider, it can be overwhelming to try to make sense of it all. That's where data warehousing, business intelligence (BI), reporting, and planning come in. These form the core of data-driven business management.
Data Warehousing refers to the collection and storage of data whereas BI focuses on analyzing it to gain insights and do better decision-making. Data Warehouses allow businesses to gather and store data from a variety of sources, including sales data, customer data, financial data, and operational data. The data is cleansed and stored in the correct format in a single place, where it’s kept safe. By connecting a BI tool to the Data Warehouse, businesses can identify trends, forecast future performance, and identify opportunities for growth and improvement.
Reporting is a key aspect of BI, as it allows businesses to communicate their findings and insights to stakeholders clearly and consistently. Reports can be used to present data to management, shareholders, and other key decision-makers, and can be tailored to meet the needs of different audiences.
Planning is also an essential element of BI, as it allows businesses to set goals and make informed decisions about how to achieve those goals. By analyzing data and trends, businesses can develop strategies and plans, including forecasting future performance, identifying potential risks and opportunities, and developing action plans to achieve business objectives.
To recap, some different data sources that businesses should use for BI, reporting, and planning purposes:
Sales data is an obvious one and includes information on the products and/or services that a business sells, as well as information on who purchases those products or services. This data can be used to identify trends, forecast future sales, and identify opportunities for growth and improvement.
Customer data includes information on the demographics, preferences, and behaviors of a business's customers. This data can be used to understand customer needs and intentions, and to tailor marketing and sales efforts to meet those needs better and gain new leads.
Financial data is crucial and includes data on a business's financial performance, including revenue, expenses, profits, and losses. This data can be used to understand a business's financial health, identify areas for cost savings, and forecast future financial performance.
Operational data is another important source of information and includes data on the processes, systems, and resources that a business uses to produce and deliver its products or services. This data can be used to identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks in operations, and to optimize processes and resources for improved performance.
Businesses need to centralize these data sources for both historical and future purposes in a robust and flexible data warehouse. By centralizing data, businesses can ensure that all relevant information is in one place, making it easier to access and analyze. This can also help to prevent data silos, where different departments or teams may have access to different data sets that are not easily shared or integrated.
Data Warehouses can also help businesses to build a comprehensive and accurate historical record of their operations. This can be useful for a variety of purposes, including analyzing past performance, identifying trends and patterns, and benchmarking against competitors.
In addition, analyzing centralized data can help businesses to prepare for the future by allowing them to make informed decisions based on a broad and comprehensive view of their operations. By analyzing data from multiple sources, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of their customers, markets, and operations, and use that understanding to develop strategies and plans for future growth and success.
Overall, business intelligence, reporting, and planning are essential for businesses in these turbulent times. By using BI tools, centralizing data, and empowering themselves with it, businesses can gain a competitive edge and navigate the challenges of the modern business world with greater confidence and agility.
One solution that combines all these elements is Staria's cloud-based offering, which combines BI, reporting, and planning into one solution that is also a robust data warehouse. This low-code environment allows businesses to fully utilize all their different data sources and resulting in informed decision-making that drive business success. Some of the integrations available are for NetSuite, Navision, Salesforce, and tens of other data sources as well. With this comprehensive platform, businesses can access and analyze their data in one place, and use that data for better decision-making regarding their operations, customers, and markets. The tool is also leveraging AI and algorithms for added value in your decision-making process.
Hoping to see as many organizations as possible tap into the data that is already available, with tools designed to help businesses predict & grow, and drop spreadsheets & siloed information decision-making processes.
Involve your entire organization in financial planning and analysis process
Financial planning and analysis becomes more difficult in international environment or when dealing with several stakeholders. Our client PHM Group operates in 5 countries and their Group CFO Petri Pellonmaa shares in a webinar on June 8 at 13.00 (EEST) how the group has successfully involved the entire organization in financial planning and analyzing figures.
Join the webinar to give yourself food for thought while preparing for next fall. Read more and sign up!
Staria’s professional behind the text:
Dennis Laakso has previously worked for startups and nowadays he shares his knowledge and best practices to help other growth companies. Dennis focuses on creating additional value to customers who has invested into the NetSuite ecosystem, via SuiteApps and complementary solutions to enhance the user experience and efficiency. Get to know other Starians as well.