How business intelligence tools are the future

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By Henry Brown

Business intelligence solutions, such as reporting tool software, can help your small business identify new opportunities, spot areas for cost savings, and become more efficient. These solutions give you the ability to view all of your data via one interface, where you can measure performance by implementing key business metrics. Read on to discover the reasons why intelligence solutions with reporting features are a must.

One of the main reasons why you should invest in reporting software is because you will eliminate guesswork. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses lack structure, and this leads to many executives relying on gut feelings or guesswork. By having real-time data at your fingertips, and an efficient method for creating various visual reports, you will have all of the information you need to make more informed decisions.

Aside from this, you can get key business metric reports as and when you need them. A KPI dashboard presents an exceptional way for businesses to get a true reflection of how they are currently performing; as their data will be measured against the indicators they have chosen. You could have a dashboard just for your marketing efforts, for example, with companies like Unravel SEO using analytics to help you understand where your business is at.

Your employees will also be able to work much more efficiently, as they will get faster answers to their questions. Instead of spending hours on end sifting through printed reports, software makes it easy for them to find the information they need in a matter of seconds. Finally, as you will have full visibility regarding the performance of your business, you will be able to see where to make changes to streamline operations. You will also discover where new opportunities lie and where you can make savings.

Steps for getting started with reporting dashboards

Reporting software tools are a must of any business that wants to improve efficiency levels and have a full view of how their company is performing. However, to experience these benefits you need to ensure you use the software properly. With that being said, read on to discover some of the steps to follow to get started.

The first step is always to make sure your data is clean and accurate. It does not matter how good the reporting software is, if your data is inaccurate, then your reports will be and you will not have a true reflection of your company’s performance. You also need to manage your folders effectively, which can seem trivial to some, but it creates the platform for scalable report management across your organization.

There are three common strategies for folder management that you use. The first is by location, i.e. office-level, regional, and national, the second is by your role and thus is based on the hierarchy at your business, and the final option is by function, for example, separate folders for marketing, services, sales, and operations. User permissions are something you also need to bear in mind. It is advisable to involve all of your employees, as this ensures improved visibility, better decision-making, and employee efficiency.

Finally, you need to manage the report types you use as well, as it is likely that you will not require the full scope of reports that are available via the software you have. Instead, you need to decide what is important to you.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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