5 Reasons to Invest in Business Intelligence

5 Reasons to Invest in Business Intelligence

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We all know how competitive the market place is and business intelligence (BI) is the tool that will give smaller companies the competitive advantage needed to survive.

Contrary to popular belief, BI is not just for big corporations. With systems designed specifically for the SME market, the complicated and time-consuming process that is associated with BI implementation is a thing of the past.

Loren Taljard, marketing director at Sage Pastel’s sister company Alchemex, gives five compelling reasons why SMEs should invest in an Excel-based BI solution sooner rather than later.

1: Automation: Small businesses need to get more done with fewer people! Automation will increase reliability and efficiency to improve company performance while your workforce is free to spend its time on other important matters.

An integrated BI solution introduces automated reporting by pulling information from your accounting package. This eliminates the need to prepare reports manually and removes the risk of data loss when doing so.

With the click of a button you will have spreadsheets giving you up-to-date, accurate and well-presented information for informed decision making.

2: Competitive edge: Small businesses need to be agile and responsive to gain and maintain a competitive edge. This requires insightful decision making that can only come from intelligent reporting.

As your business grows, so does the volume of information that needs to be processed, but time and resources remain limited. BI does more than just capture data, it orders it into an easily digestible format providing you with information that paints a clear picture of the financial status of the business.

This will provide the ability to gain insights into trends and forecast and plan for the future.

3: Identify market trends: Being able to understand and react to market trends will keep small businesses ahead of the pack.

For a big corporate, introducing a product in the market based on misread market interpretations will not necessarily result in an issue of survival. But if a small business makes the same mistake, it could be the beginning of the end.

Small businesses need BI as much, if not more, than larger companies to identify market trends and make decisions accordingly.

4: Make better decisions, faster: All companies face constant pressure to increase profitability, improve cash flow, reduce costs, and mitigate risk in order to improve financial performance. The ability to make good decisions and solve issues as they happen is crucial to success.

As smaller companies grow, or face stiffer competition, the need to make good decisions fast becomes imperative.  BI provides real-time automated reports that pull data directly from the company’s accounting package and delivers a single version of the truth.

This eliminates spreadsheet chaos, which often results in human error and questions about data accuracy, allowing strategic business decisions to be made on the fly.

5:  Return on investment: Typically, smaller businesses have shied away from BI because of the perceived cost and complexity. But Pastel’s integrated BI solution links directly into your Pastel accounting program and simply pulls the information you need from the database and delivers it to Microsoft Excel, so no new significant IT investments are needed.

And because Excel is familiar to most business owners there is also no need to invest in new skills. Excel also makes it easy to share and distribute the information.

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