Especially in the age of Big Data – where companies have a huge amount of data, but they don’t know how to manage it – using technology tools for processing, management, and control, seems to be the only road to success.
This is why, even for strategic planning, we are increasingly talking about business intelligence (BI) tools: tools that allow you to quickly obtain and process the most important business information offering real benefits for your business strategy.
Sometimes, however, incorrect use of business intelligence tools can weaken the effectiveness and put the company in danger , exposing it to non-marginal risks; relying too much on machine intelligence without aligning it with the human element..
For a successful business, one of the most important activities is strategic analysis, which has the objective of supplying medium and long-term forecasts on the performance of the business and of its market.
Only by creating forward-looking activities and with an accurate business plan can you anticipate with a high degree of accuracy, among other things:
- the strategic actions that the company will need to put in place to maintain/obtain a competitive advantage;
- expected results for future management: turnover, ROI, warehouse rotation, sales;
- cash flow analysis;
- changes taking place in the market;
- possible external or internal risks.
The preparation of a detailed strategic plan, therefore, is a vital activity for the company, indispensable in laying out the guidelines of the business dynamics, indicating the direction in which the company needs to go and keeping it on track. A strategic activity where the human element cannot be replaced: no business intelligence tool can replace the skills of the manager and the consultant who supports him in assessing the assumptions of the business planning and determining the robustness of strategic plans.
BI tools need to be used in the right way and at the right time.
Business Intelligence tools perform many useful functions for companies, acting in synergy with the strategic planning outlined by managers.
The usefulness of BI systems, for example, has its place at the beginning of the planning phase of the business plan, when the manager needs to translate data into information and extract powerful trends and insights on which to orient the future strategy: Data processing (and decoding large amounts of it) is, therefore, a crucial first task that a business intelligence tool can perform quickly and accurately.
The role of the Business Intelligence tool is then best expressed after strategic planning has been set up: as a monitoring and reporting tool where the use of such services allows management to keep an eye on all the projects and processes that have been activated. A formidable ally to achieve operational effectiveness of the company, working within the parameters given and obtaining real-time reliable results and reports on critical KPIs.
A note about KPIs: The information that is extrapolated and represented by KPIs is only useful if they represent the company’s specific Business Goals, Business Model and Industry. They indicate where you are lagging or performing so you know where to make improvements and gain results. Before setting up a BI system, you should identify KPIs that can represent the companies specific processes, products and unique structure to bring out trends and areas of focus.
In To sum up: for successful business management, it is essential to combine human skills with the power of technology.
To integrate and use business intelligence systems in your company, it is important to evaluate whether there are the resources available internally to go it alone or whether you require support externally; strategic planning has a very high impact on the future profitability of the company, entrusting the initial launch of the project to a consultant during the definition of KPIs and when choosing the best tool to balance precisely the human element and artificial computing power, will prove to be a successful strategic choice for achieving higher profitability.
Consulting Mix and its partner Good Numbers are on hand to guide you.