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The importance of business intelligence

by wrich

By: Dima Kats, CEO, Clear Junction

Businesses have always fought for visibility. Visibility, whether it be understanding the market you operate or the actions your business takes, enhances clarity of decision making and planning. From the invention of the telegraph to the advent of the internet, through to today – the quest to see and understand all operations within a business is never finished. Business intelligence (BI) has come a long way since the telegraph. Today, BI means using smart technology to gain visibility over all business functions. These data sources can be anything, from customer relationship management (CRM) tools such as Salesforce, to dashboards outlining performance and long-term revenue trends.

Marketing analytics, supply chain information, sales data and larger metadata are all examples of data sources that can be brought together by business intelligence tools to give a cohesive, holistic view of business activity. These capabilities allow for analysis and understanding of disparate sectors of businesses as parts of a whole, enabling more informed decision making and long-term planning than is otherwise possible.

This data is usually represented by one or more dashboards through which employees can see breakdowns of important statistics and insights, updated in real time and generated by automatic processes built into the technology. Greater and easier means of understanding insights into business activity offered by BI tools gives leaders a competitive advantage when it comes to strategy and planning.

BI tools also increase productivity as analysis can show which areas of the business need more attention now, with predictive tools capable of highlighting those that might need it in the future. Problems are also easier to spot and fix, especially in large companies where multiple strands of activity can stop senior leaders from having a clear picture of their internal situation.

Business intelligence throughout the pandemic 
The extensive capabilities of modern BI tools meant that when the pandemic came, the public and private sector flocked to adopt these capabilities. Governments needed to know how many free hospital beds there were in the country, pharmaceutical companies had to keep track of vaccine production, and the finance industry was required to step in and loan and track record amounts of money to fund pandemic support.

Schemes like the work furlough programme in the UK would have been impossible without multiple organisations being able to visualise millions of data points and trends in easy to follow, constantly updating reports. The agility that BI unlocked for organisations across the world was critical in quickly responding to the changes the pandemic wrought.

Agility has been a key differentiator for companies adapting to the effects of Covid-19. Beingable to find, address and rectify issues quickly gives any financial institution advantage over more static competitors. Similarly, in the next phase of the pandemic – as the world seems to slowly enter a new normal – measurement and business analytic tools will be a vital
component for successful businesses both old and new.

Implementing BI tools for cross cultural markets  
For companies looking to take advantage of the substantial and growing Islamic finance market, or for those who already are, business intelligence tools are vital. With the specific requirements of doing business under Sharia law, it is important to ensure practices remainsensitive and responsive to cultural requirements.

Visibility and understanding across markets and sectors of a company provides insight into practices being followed and highlights adjustments that need to be made. In this respect, business intelligence tools can help leaders maintain consistency and transparency when adjusting certain business or finance models to Islamic principles.

We’ve seen the impact of utilising smart business tools first-hand at Clear Junction. Being able to see our business data in one place quickly is invaluable. BI has revolutionised the relationship we have with our customers as well, allowing us to respond to their business needs and adapt our service offerings to match. As business intelligence continues to develop, so too must the expectations and goals of businesses that employ these tools.

Next-gen technology and the future of the finance market  
As we cautiously emerge from the constraints of the pandemic over the last 18 months, business leaders are looking ahead at what the next generation of BI tools can offer. Over  the last few years, predictive artificial intelligence (AI) has been maturing to the point of usage in business analytics, and this looks set to continue in the future.

AI goes beyond simple rule-based automation, possessing the ability to learn and adapt based off historical data and trends. Businesses that are considering entering new markets can therefore make informed decisions and mitigate the risk of early failures due to market inexperience.

Businesses looking to capitalise on the growth opportunities of the next decade need to consider how powerful business intelligence and AI-based tools can give them a competitive edge when exploring new markets and growing their revenue.  At Clear Junction, we understand the role technology plays in entering new markets and, as payments experts, how important the right set of tools are when sending and receiving money across difficult locations. That’s why we utilise a set of tools that allow us to work with businesses across the world, ensuring money can reach people wherever they are, quickly and safely. For any organisation that wants to leverage next-generation technology, working with a business intelligence expert can help unlock the agility necessary to reap the benefits and drive business success for years to come.

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