How Business Intelligence Can Help Making Small Businesses Attractive 2023
Analytics, data, and technology are the main things that a small business needs for long-term growth. But this raises a lot of questions, such as what kinds of data you need to look at. What kind of technology will help a business grow? What are the best business tools for you?
Small Business Owner Using Business Intelligence Tool
It can be hard to find all the right answers, especially if you don’t have the money, people, or knowledge to use complex tools. But things don’t have to be like that.
Small businesses can get business intelligence that they can use to reach their goals if they have the right tools and plan. Let’s look at how business intelligence can help small businesses get a full picture of their business and grow better.
What Is Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence (BI) is the process of turning data into useful information that can help businesses make decisions, spot trends, and grow. It means using the right tools and methods to collect, organize, visualize, and figure out what the data means. The goal is to have a full picture of the business and all of its parts.
Business Intelligence Examples
There are many ways to use BI, so your specific use case will depend mostly on the industry and needs of your company. BI is often used in the following ways by small businesses:
- Analyze financial data to track sales, profits, and other key performance indicators.
- Look at what customers want and how they act.
- Keep track of how sales and marketing are doing
- Find problems and slowdowns in operations.
- Find out which tasks need to be improved.
- Find out what the business and market trends are.
For example, an e-commerce company could use BI to find out at a glance which products are most popular with customers, if customers are having the same problems with their products or services, or if there are delays or bottlenecks in the delivery of goods.
Or, if you want to make your sales process more efficient, you could use BI to automate sales performance reporting. You can improve your sales and lead generation strategies by looking at sales data in real time. You could also make a dashboard to track customer satisfaction and find out the most common reasons why customers leave so you can stop it from happening.
Many businesses also use BI to keep track of financial metrics like MRR and ARR to make sure they’re on track to hit their goals. If not, they can quickly change their plans to bring in more money.
The best tools for small businesses to use for business intelligence
You can (and should) use BI in almost any part of your business where you want more clarity and transparency. But how can you do it without making it too hard?
Focus your search on tools that are made with small businesses in mind. These are more likely to fit your company’s needs and budget without making you pay for features you don’t really need.
Also, research by Accenture shows that 74% of employees feel overwhelmed or unhappy when working with data, and more than a third of respondents would rather not use data to finish a task. We need tools that aren’t just strong, but also make data analysis easier to do and help us quickly get to key insights.
Here’s a quick summary of BI tools for small businesses to help you get started on your search. A lot of these can grow with you, so as you grow, you can get those extra features.
Tableaus’s home page shows small businesses their Business Intelligence options and analytics.
Tableau is a great choice for many small and large businesses because it is one of the top BI and analytics providers. This easy-to-use tool lets users build dashboards and visualize data, making it easy to find all the information you need in one place and make quick decisions.
What we like about Tableau is that it is powerful and flexible while still being easy to use. This makes it perfect for small businesses that are still getting used to BI as they grow. The tools for displaying data are especially popular and well liked.
Tableau has three pricing plans for teams: Viewer, which costs $15 per user per month, Explorer, which costs $42 per user per month, and Creator, which costs $70 per user per month.
The homepage of Looker shows small businesses their Business Intelligence options and analytics.
Looker is a BI software and data analytics platform that is easy to use and is a great choice for small businesses. It helps companies explore, analyze, and share real-time analytics. It lets you make custom dashboards that make it easy to see data and make sure that the right people have access to the most important data in real time.
What we like about Looker is that its interface and features can be changed a lot to give you actionable data in the format you want. You have a lot of control over what data you see and how they are shown.
Pricing: Looker has a flexible pricing model, so customers who want a personalized quote should get in touch with their team.
The Cluvio homepage shows small businesses their Business Intelligence options and analytics.
Cluvio is a business intelligence (BI) tool made for new and small businesses. It lets users easily analyze data and make interactive dashboards that can be shared with your team in just a few minutes. With Cluvio, your team can keep track of important KPIs, get notifications based on conditions you set, customize reports, and more.
What we like is that Cluvio is made with small businesses and new businesses in mind. It has custom dashboards that are very flexible and can be used as a one-stop shop for queries, visualizations, and more.
Cluvio offers a free basic plan for accounts with only one user. Plans that cost money start at $279 a month.
The homepage of Domo shows small businesses their Business Intelligence options and analytics
Domo is a scalable business intelligence (BI) and analytics platform that lets you combine data from different sources and see it all in one place. This makes it easy for your team to access data and get insights from it for a wide range of business processes.
What we like: Domo is great at putting together data from many different sources and making it easy to see. It can easily handle large datasets, which makes data analysis easy for people who are just starting out.
Pricing: Domo has a free trial, but users who want a custom quote need to get in touch with their team.
Google Data Studio
Google Data Studio’s home page shows Business Intelligence options and analytics for small businesses.
Google Data Studio gives businesses a free, easy-to-use platform for making custom reports and dashboards. This makes it easy to see data quickly and streamlines the reporting process. It connects to more than 300 data sources to bring all of your data together so you can get a clear picture of your business.
What we like is that Google Data Studio is a great free alternative to the paid options we’ve listed.
Google Data Studio is free, even though it has more basic features than the other tools on this list.
You can use Google Data Studio and Google Analytics together to see how your website data looks. Check out the podcast episode below from Duct Tape Marketing for tips on how to use Google Analytics in your small business:
Using Business Intelligence Data to its Fullest
Choosing the right business intelligence (BI) software is only the beginning. Follow these best practices for accurate and clear data analysis when putting BI processes into place in your organization:
Make sure the data you are looking at is good and useful. Every strategy based on data starts with good data. Make sure the data you collect is accurate and useful to begin with. If you can’t trust your data, you can’t trust the insights it gives you.
Organize your data. Make sure that, in addition to collecting good data, you organize and store it correctly and safely.
Don’t use solutions that are too hard to understand or cost too much. When looking for a BI solution for your business, you might be tempted to choose a tool with a lot of features and add-ons that promises the world. But sometimes less is more. Focus on what your business needs and find a tool that fits you, not the other way around.
Find a short-term solution that works for you. Even though it’s important to think about the future, your BI solution needs to work for you now in order to work in the future. The average company uses about four different business intelligence (BI) tools, but that doesn’t mean you need to buy several at once. Try to find a tool that starts out simple and meets your needs now, but that can be expanded as your business grows.
Avoid data silos. If your data is stored in different applications, your data strategy might not work. For example, if you store some of your customer data in one application and some in another, you won’t get a full picture of the data, and your analysis will be fragmented and incomplete.
Integrating data is the building block of business intelligence.
Integrating your data is a must if you want trustworthy and reliable insights into your business. Keeping all your data in sync gives you a unified, complete, and full view that you can turn into useful information and insights that you can act on.
Using native integrations like Operations Hub or iPaaS solutions like Zapier or Automate.io is one of the easiest ways for small businesses to connect their data. These tools can do a lot of different things, like automate workflows, sync data in both directions, automate tasks, and a lot more.
By syncing your customer support software with your CRM in real time, for example, you can make sure that your CRM always has the most up-to-date information about your customers, such as their churn risk, pain points, and past purchases. With this kind of integration, you can quickly see all of the data in your dashboard and make decisions based on what you know.
Even though it’s normal for small businesses to have trouble getting clear and accurate data, the right mix of processes, people, and tools can make a big difference in your data strategy and make sure your data reports are trustworthy and reliable.