Business Intelligence, The Key To Company Success

Business Intelligence (BI) is the ability to transform data into information and information into knowledge, so as to optimize the business decision-making process. A set of strategies and tools focused on knowledge creation and management through the analysis of existing data from an organization or business.

From the point of view of information technology, we can say that BI is a set of methodologies, applications and technologies that allow a business to the group and transform the data obtained from structured information systems to do analysis and information generation and improving the process decision-making of the business. It covers both current understanding of the functioning of the business as well as an anticipation of future events, in order to provide a body of knowledge to support business decisions.

Referring to business intelligence, we can differentiate the concepts of data, information and knowledge. Data is something that is vague, for example, the number 10, while the information is more accurate, such as April sales were 10. Finally, knowledge is obtained by analyzing the information.

Data are the minimum semantic unit and are the primary elements of information. These alone are irrelevant to the decision-making process. A phone number or a name of a person are examples of data.

The data can come from external or internal company sources, can be objective or subjective, qualitative or quantitative.

Moreover, the information can be defined as a set of processed data, which are relevant and have a purpose and context. The information is useful for decision-making, as it allows reducing uncertainty. The data is transformed into information to add value.

The information is capable of changing the way the receiver perceives something, impacting on their value judgments and behaviors.

Information = Data + Context (value added) + Utility (reduce uncertainty)

Knowledge can be defined as a mixture of experience, values, information and know-how, that form a framework to incorporate new experiences. The knowledge derived from the information and information from data. In order that information becomes knowledge is necessary to perform actions such as:

· Comparison with other elements.

· Prediction of consequences.

· Searching for connections.

· Talk with other carriers of information.

By gaining knowledge of the business once the information is captured from all areas in the business, you can set strategies and define what are the strengths and weaknesses of the business.

Business Intelligence is the broader concept of the use of intelligence in organizations. This has emerged from the contributions of the various areas of information such as market intelligence, competitive intelligence and business intelligence.

Market Intelligence corresponds to the strategic management discipline within companies that allow a more deeply know of the market and the company’s performance within it, through a constant flow of information.

Competitive Intelligence is defined as the process of collecting and analyzing information on the activities of competitors, so as to support the achievement of the goals of the business. Through a continuous flow of information, allows a business to know what the competitors are doing in the commercial, financial, and organizational aspects.

Finally, Business Intelligence refers to the set of tools to extract business experience. A set of systems to delineate dynamic customer base, such as sales trends, niche value, customer churn, profitability segments.

Intelligence tools are based on the use of information systems that bring together data from production processes, information relating to the business and economic data.

Using the techniques to extract, transform and load (ETL), data extracts from different sources, are purified and prepared for a load them into a data repository.

This toolkit has the following features:

• Access to information. The data are the primary source of this process. Systems have to ensure user access to data regardless of the source of these.

• Support the decision making process. Beyond the presentation of information, users need access to analysis tools, and select the data that interest them.

• Orientation to the end user. Independent expertise of users, these systems, must provide facilities that allow users to use these tools.

Business intelligence acts as a strategic factor for a business to build competitive advantage, by providing privileged information to respond to business problems: entering new markets, product promotions or offers, eliminating islands of information, control finances, cost optimization, production planning, customer profiling analysis, profitability of a particular product.

The main business intelligence products that exist in the market are:

• Balanced Scorecards (BSC) are tools to establish and monitor the objectives of the business and its different areas or units.

• Systems Decision Support (DSS) corresponds to interactive information systems that help companies make decisions, using data and models to solve unstructured or semi-structured decision. Supports decision making by generating a systematic evaluation of different alternatives or scenarios for decision.

• Executive Information Systems (EIS), are systems that provide top executives easy access to internal and external information that is relevant to their critical success factors. The Executive Information Systems support the decision making process of senior executives of an organization, presenting relevant information and using visual aids and easy to interpret, in order to keep them informed.

In reference to the origin of the data, existing components are: Datamart and Datawarehouse.

A Datamart is a departmental database, especially in storing the data that is specific to the business area. It is characterized by having an optimal data structure, to analyze information from all perspectives that affect the department.

Moreover, a data warehouse is a corporate database, characterized by integrating and debug information from one or more sources in order to allow analysis from many perspectives.

On the other hand, a Business Intelligence solution establishes a cycle from the following activities:

• Observe: what happens?

• Understand: Why is it?

• Predict: what will happen?

• Collaborate: what actions you should take the team?

• Decide: which way forward?

Why is it so important Business Intelligence?

For a business to be successful, it is very important the ability to make accurate and quick business decisions. Traditional information systems tend to be inflexible structures, making it difficult to adapt to the data capture processes of the business, and rapid generation of information for decision-making.

To overcome the limitations of these systems, business intelligence relies on a set of tools that facilitate the processes of extraction, purification, analysis and storage of data, with appropriate speed in order to support the decision making process of the business.

We cannot say that BI products are better than traditional applications, but they are developed for a different purpose, and therefore are more efficient for the decision-making process.

Business Intelligence solutions enable companies to:

• Process requirements quickly, intelligently and efficiently.

• Respond quickly and efficiently to changing conditions affecting the company.

• Establish information as the main asset of the business.

• Transform business data in intuitive graphical reports that can be analyzed quickly and easily.

Intelligence is the Key to Success. The Business Intelligence systems are now available to everyone. The well-designed BI applications can offer employees the ability to make better business decisions quickly, understand the various “information assets” in their business and how they interact.

We conclude that the key to thriving in a competitive marketplace is staying ahead of the competition. Making sound business decisions based on accurate and current information takes more than intuition. A Business Intelligence system thus becomes a determining factor for the success of the business.

Safe and Efficient Business Records Management Ideal for Every Modern Organization

Records management is regarded as both a management and discipline function that includes the secure document storage of the business records that any contemporary organization owns and keeps.

There are storage companies that also offer online document storage of essential business records at competitive rates.

Financial records are documented transactions that are needed and used by the organization in the regular course of business. They are also legally considered as evidence for every transaction entered into. Transactional records include, but not limited to, orderings, receipts, loans, contracts, notifications and schedules.

A record is defined as the business information that is created and received by a person or organization. It is also maintained as evidence pursuant to the legal obligations of the business.

A record is therefore something that can be taken into a court of law. If called upon, the record must be authentic, reliable and usable, complete and unaltered, so it can fully and accurately represent the facts that it attests to.

Records and Information Management

Records have a distinct life cycle that begins with creation or receipt, processing and distribution. The second phase includes maintenance and evaluation, and concludes with ultimate disposition.

The last phase of the cycle involves either destruction or transmittal of records for permanent housing. The company may either build its own vault, archive or another dedicated facility for the storage of the records or engage the services of an outsourcing storage company.

Recordkeeping systems include people who are directly involved in the creation and use of the organizational records, the policies related to such records and procedures that ensure optimum access to and use of said documents. They also include tools and technologies that are employed in the creation and storage of records in various formats.

An organization with a consistent recordkeeping program can conform itself to statutory requirements specifically for information retention. It has appropriate evidence of its transactions in case of audit and minimizes jeopardy at the discovery phase in case of litigation. There would be continuity of operation in the event of a disaster and costs can be controlled because of the timely disposition of financial information.

A recordkeeping system is required to have reliability, integrity, permanence, comprehensiveness and compliance. Reliability is about the consistent capture and access to organizational documents. Integrity involves no unauthorized alteration, removal and destruction of records. Permanence means that no record can be altered, tampered with or improperly deleted.

With comprehensiveness, it involves the management of all created and stored records that comprises the normal continuous activity that links all the units of the organization. Compliance is the creation and maintenance of the documents consistent with all of the applicable policies and procedures implemented in the organization.

Online Records Storage

Today, any type of financial record can be securely stored online and can be accessed via any web connected Mac or PC anywhere in the world.

As businesses now tend to go global, with employees assigned to various locations locally and internationally, online records storage becomes highly relevant and useful. Employees while travelling or telecommuting will be able to store essential documents and files online and instantly access them when needed.

There are online records storage companies that offer simplified online programs. Employees can easily drag and drop several files and folders and organize them in online libraries and folders. They can then share them with other team members.

There are also online storage systems with collaboration features such as version control, notifications, file locking, commenting and audit trails. Amazingly, there are no restrictions on the type of file to be used like MS Office, audio, images and pdfs.

Online storage programs allow only authorized users to gain access to the stored documents. Also, they save time and money, keeping IT costs low with easy to use online records storage solution that can be used with no software or hardware required.

Records management companies offer secure and efficient storage of documents in their vaults or archiving facilities. They have trained professionals who can handle the storage system, thereby keeping information in its strictest confidentiality. They are also experts in the legal aspects of secure document storage.

Online document storage is also gaining popularity as it makes team collaboration and stored documents easily accessible via the web.

Pens Are a Convenient Way to Promote Any Business

No matter who you are or where you go, people use pens. This is why they make the ideal promo item with your business details on them. You can get them for a low cost and they are easy to hand out or even to mail with documents. This is a powerful way to continue to get your business information to circulate with ease.

Type of Pen

You never want to cut corners though with the quality of a custom promotional pen. Those that don’t look nice or that don’t write well are going to go in the trash or be tossed into a drawer. You need offer something that is visually appealing, easy to grip, and writes very well. It should have long lasting ink too so they can use to for a long time.

The type of business you offer will also influence the type of pen you select. You may want one that is fun or one that looks professional. You may want one that is colorful or one that blends in well. The possibilities are unlimited so freely explore them.

What to Say

You don’t have an abundance of room when it comes to what to say on a custom promotional pen. Therefore, you need to make the most of it so you can share vital details., Your business name and contact information should be on there. Make sure the color of the pen and the lettering used for that information compliment each other well.

If the information is hard to read, no one is really going to benefit from it. When it is crisp and clear though, it makes a huge difference. You also need to make sure the lettering isn’t going to rub off easily. Otherwise, that information becomes impossible to read and it is a just another pen to them.

Working out the Details

The quality of the custom promotional pen products created for you will depend on who you hire to do the job. With that in mind, you need to do your evaluating early on. Don’t settle for the first name you find or the lowest price. You need to have a reasonable price but also quality from a proven provider of such products.

Talk to them to see what options they can extend to you. Don’t worry if you don’t have a clue yet what you want your custom promotional pen product to look like. They should be patient and willing to share several examples with you. Then you can bring it all together. Nothing will be created until you approve of it and you are very happy with it.

Avoid any provider of custom promotional pen items that tries to rush you. They should give you all the information and time you need. They should also give you personalized attention that allows your business branding to be part of the equation. If all of the products they offer seem to look the same, you need to steer clear of that cookie cutter approach.

Save with Buying Lots of Them

You can buy thousands of custom promotional pen products and save money versus buying just a few hundred of them. The savings extended will vary, depending on who you buy them from. Talk to them about discounts as your goal should be to get the best pen you can for a price that is very low.

When you have a great provider and you buy lots of them, you can get them for pennies each. If each of those pens sends you a few new customers or reminds previous customers you are out there, it is an exciting opportunity for your business to benefit from with a very low overall overhead attached to it.