Business intelligence. A term that brings a wide range of responses from business users. Believed to be ‘jargon’ by some and ‘overhyped’ by others, we would today like to explore why neither of these two assumptions are correct—discussing the truth behind BI software.

Following our last blog discussing the exaggerations and realities of cloud computing, we would today like to turn our attention to business intelligence. As with the cloud, business intelligence, BI for short, is often explained in broad terms that may or may not properly explain what it is and what it does.

Unfortunately, the exaggerations have led a lot of small and medium business decision makers to think of BI software, either assuming it’s either “overhyped jargon” or “a fancy dashboard tool.” In reality, BI does much more than that. Does BI offer dashboards that give you better visibility? Of course. However, by assuming that’s all it does deeply discounts the real value of BI software for organizations.

Today, we would like to explore the realities of BI software for growing businesses, discussing how such a platform can improve the way your business management software processes and presents data.

More Than Hype: Why Business Intelligence is Changing the Way We Process and Analyze Data

Business intelligence (BI), as defined by Gartner, is an umbrella term that includes the applications, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance.

How BI Was Labeled as Jargon

Using this as a jumping off point, it’s safe to assume that BI software makes analysis easier by presenting data in a friendlier format for users and analysts. So how did it get labeled as jargon? In the early 2010s, enterprise BI and data science was big. Big data was a talking point. The idea of data science was a reality for Fortune 500 companies but not for the average organization.

Enterprise BI and BI were conflated as the same term and this did a disservice to the uptake of ‘regular’ BI—only 47% of American small businesses use business intelligence software. BI ended up sounding scarier than it actually is. This was perfectly summed up by Capterra author Geoff Hoppe, who described the BI buzzword barrier as comparable to the Sabermetrics movement in baseball:

“Compare the business intelligence buzzword barrier to the one surrounding a sport such as baseball. If you don’t even know what a strike is, listening to seasoned baseball fans discuss framing pitches and wins above replacement will most likely scare you away. If you learn what the buzzwords mean, however, the jock jargon becomes comprehensible.”

In essence, many thought BI software was inaccessible, when in reality it could be something as simple as tracking a trend on Google Analytics. This perceived inaccessibility made the idea of the software sound much more exclusive than it really was and led to many business users avoiding it. In tur, many thought the idea of it as jargon, something that people talk about but few understand.

However, while some think it’s overblown, there is another group of people who don’t understand its value—those who believe it to be fancy dashboard software.

More than Dashboards: Business Intelligence Drives Value at Organizations of All Sizes

Believing that a BI platform is jargon is no more right than believing it’s just a set of dashboards. BI software is built to analyze complex data sets and present them in a user-friendly format that is easy to manipulate, modify, and understand.

The Acumatica whitepaper Business Intelligence: More than a Dashboard explores the importance of BI for growing organizations, discussing more about what it is and why it matters. This whitepaper, available for download here, looks at the basics of BI, exploring more about how it works and why it matters while presenting use cases for such a software and discussing how such a platform can work with your ERP solution to unlock insights and deliver value.

Unlock Your Data—Advance with Axiology

At Axiology, we understand that the path to improving your business is rife with pitfalls. We’ve been in this business for decades and know how important it is to look past the hype and the jargon to make a decision that positions your business for growth. As a leading Acumatica VAR, we have helped companies just like yours to select, implement, and operate business management software like ERP. Learn more about the power of Acumatica BI here, read the whitepaper, Business Intelligence: More than a Dashboard, and contact us for a free consultation.

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