BI leverage for small medium enterprises
In the last decade we have seen more and more big businesses taking up ‘Business Intelligence’ as a guide to navigating their respective industries, and as a vital tool to understand their own data. During that time, large vendors such as SAP and Oracle, have catered for the needs of their customer base. It is worth noting that during the financial downturn, the BI software sector remained robust as companies moved to leverage the power of business analytics and diagnostics to improve their businesses. While the benefits of BI have been acknowledged around the industry, there has been developments in the last few years in terms of software that has opened up the benefits of BI to the small to mid level enterprises.
“Today, many business intelligence software vendors are making it possible for users to access key business metrics, reports and dashboards on mobiles devices like their iPhone, iPad, Droid or BlackBerry, giving sales and marketing people access to critical business information on the fly.” – EnterpriseAppsToday, Ten Benefits of Business Intelligence Software
Part of the reason for this change has been Cloud based technologies. Use of such ‘software as a service’ methods have seen costs reduced to the point that such kinds of BI solutions have become viable for the smaller companies. No longer is the price element a barrier to the SME’s – now we are seeing quantitative data benefits across a greater section of businesses. It is arguable that in terms of being able to access BI solutions the SME’s have a natural advantage in being able to utilize the data.
“SMEs have the advantage of agility and the ability to use BI as a competitive differentiator. Because of the closeness of executives to the technology, business and customers, they have an edge against larger competitors.” – Howard Dresner, chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services.
While large companies tend to have much greater resources, they can be victims of their size and organisation, especially when it comes to the process of decision making. The smaller size of SME’s arguably provides them with greater mobility in terms of utilizing the data from BI and turning that data into a useful decision making choice in a fast turn around – which can be a vital aspect. Quickly identifying new opportunities and business trends can be a key weapon in the arsenal of any sized organisation.