Three Tips for Small Businesses Seeking Business Intelligence Tools

Information is scattered all around us, the competitive edge is not created by having data, but by extracting business intelligence out of it. I do see a big difference in corporates and SMBs and business intelligence, mainly having to do with resources and skills.

In the article “Why Your Small Business Needs Business Intelligence” Laura Mingo provides three tips for SMBs that seek business intelligence tools:

1. Question the opportunity

Prior to investing in BI tools, small business owners should know the type of answers they’re hoping to find about their business and determine if they have the data to make it possible to find those answers.

2. Remember that BI tools are not stand-alone entities

To benefit from their use, BI solutions will have to be configured with the existing infrastructure. The technical expertise of the users and any particular business needs should be taken into consideration when selecting BI software.

3. Prepare to track and measure a broad selection of metrics

Small businesses that do not have access to a high volume of operational data will not benefit from BI software. To maximize the ROI of any BI integration, it’s appropriate to track approximately twenty indicators that best represent the health of the business. The number of indicators may vary depending on the nature and the size of the business.

I think these are great tips. Earlier in this article I made the comparison between corporates and SMBs but when we look at SMBs between them, they might all have the challenges that are described in Mingo’s article.

Here lies many opportunities for Business Intelligence technology providers, the SMB market is huge, and great longlasting relationships because of the importance of BI and the need for easy-to-understand technology to take advantage of all this data and intelligence.

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