What is Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence or BI for short, refers to the technological process of collecting and analysing data to influence decision making. The process of sharing and storing data is an integral part of introducing BI into a company's operations.
Specialist BI tools are often used to create a specialised data warehouse, where huge quantities of data can be stored, analysed and shared. A growing number of companies are introducing business intelligence software into their central operations, as a means to capture and interpret data.
Data is gold
In the digital age, data is like gold. It provides companies with a chance to gain in depth knowledge of their market, audience and performance, and make intelligent business decisions based on facts. A recent boom in the number of grass-root companies has been largely due to the advancements in business intelligence tools.
For example, many companies who adopt the agile working method are using cloud based software to store huge amounts of data. This allows them to access huge quantities of structured data anywhere, from their office, a train or in bed.
This is just one example of how BI is shaping modern day business. For larger companies where agile working may not be as beneficial, data warehousing can be utilised in different ways. Depending on a company's operational systems, a data warehouse can pull in huge quantities of data from various different data sources and structure it into something that can be understood.
This is called structured data, this data can then be shared with different departments or individual employees. This mass sharing of data across whole networks allows departments to operate independently and agilely to implement quicker changes.
Data Warehouse Architecture
A data warehouse is a form of intelligent data integration that essentially consolidates a company's data resources, structures it and shares it. Data warehouse architecture refers to how the data warehouse interacts with the wider business operations. For example, how it shares data with different departments, or how it structures it to be understood by employees.
It is important to ensure the data warehouse architecture aligns closely with the overall digital operations of a company, as poor interaction leads to missed data and missed opportunities.
Typically, companies will employ a specialist such as a business intelligence developer, or a business intelligence consultant to develop a tailored data warehouse. With the right data warehouse in place, companies can interpret historical data and use this to implement predictive analytics to support future decision making.
Another business intelligence job that has emerged due to the growing popularity of implementing BI is data visualisation artists / technicians. Often huge amounts of structured data can be almost impossible to interpret or present to senior stakeholders and other employees. Despite the data being structured, it can be a time-consuming exercise trying to pin-point key pieces of data, and can prolong the decision making process.
A data visualisation artist often works closely with the BI developer or can work independently to interpret huge quantities of data. Then communicate with departments or stakeholders to create an easy to understand engaging info-graphic image.
This can not only speed the decision-making process up, but it can be used externally to engage audiences and clients. Key marketing messages taken from data can be used in paid or social campaigns to increase brand awareness, or in client packages / presentations to validate capabilities.
Business Intelligence Tools
There are many different types of BI tools, these can range from cloud-based date warehouses, to CRM systems to data visualisation tools. There are now programmes available that make creating a tailored data warehouse easier and more accessible. Hadoop for example is a BI system that provides a mouldable framework were BI developers can create tailored big data warehouses.
BI analytical software is also a key function of the overall BI model. Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) for example defines a set of standards and processes that provides the main method of collecting and analysing data.
There are numerous creative data visualisation tools available online that make understanding and sharing big pieces of data easy and less time consuming. The complexity of the visualisation tools out there can vary, so somebody with little experience in data visualisation could be trained to handle the tools.
Work agilely with Business Intelligence
As more companies begin to adopt the agile working method, recruitment trends are likely to change. A growing number of employers are now offering agile working contracts, where employees are entitled to work at home, or work a flexible week. Soon employers who fail to start offering similar benefits will begin to miss out on attracting talent.
Implementing BI within an organisation provides every employee with the chance to work agilely. Cloud services have made accessing data easier and much more mobile, which with the right balance can be awin winsituation for both employee and employer.
So not only can business intelligence improve performance, it can be used innovatively to improve other areas of a company, such as candidate orientation and staff retention.
The shortage of BI professionals
At Morson we have recognised this growing need for talented business intelligence professionals over the last few years. Companies are now dedicating considerable recruitment efforts to source BI and data professionals, and the ones who succeed are gaining a competitive edge within the market place.
However, currently there is a considerable shortage of BI professionals in the UK. Many choose to leave the UK to work overseas or stay put in central locations like London. This means sourcing the right professionals can be a painstakingly long process and often a poor use of time and resources for employers.
Find the right talent with Morson
Over the last decade we have focused on the digital and IT sectors and have developed a dedicated team of IT recruitment specialists. The team have worked with some of the UK's largest companies to help them implement intelligent business models. Our screening process ensures that every candidate we speak to possess the skill-set, experience and personality to make a positive difference within our clients’ organisation.
If you are undertaking a business intelligence project, or would like to find out more about the service we provide,get in touchwith a member of the team today on 0161 707 1516.
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