Organizations benefit when they can fully assess operations and processes, understand their customers, gauge the market, and drive improvement. They need the right tools to aggregate business information from anywhere, analyze it, discover patterns and find solutions.
The best BI software supports this decision-making process by:
- Connecting to a wide variety of different data systems and data sets including databases and spreadsheets.
- Providing deep analysis, helping users uncover hidden relationships and patterns in their data.
- Presenting answers in informative and compelling data visualizations like reports, maps, charts and graphs.
- Enabling side-by-side comparisons of data under different scenarios.
- Providing drill-down, drill-up and drill-through features, enabling users to investigate different levels of data.
Advanced BI and analytics systems may also integrate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to automate and streamline complex tasks. These capabilities further accelerate the ability of enterprises to analyze their data and gain insights at a deep level.
Consider, for example, how IBM Cognos Analytics brings together data analysis and visual tools to support map creation for reports. The system uses AI to automatically identify geographical information. It can then refine visualizations by adding geospatial mapping of the entire globe, an individual neighborhood or anything in between.
According to a report on digital reinvention by the IBM Institute for Business Value: “Companies now collect and analyze massive quantities of customer data every day. In doing so, many businesses find themselves able to solve many of the pain points that strategy teams once grappled with for months before reaching a conclusion — and with better results.
“Machine learning and AI, by automatically reading all sources of information to augment decisions, is further expanding the frontier of analytics-based decision making.”