Posted on: 7 July 2021
"Business Intelligence" (BI) has rapidly become a universal term across many industries. Like cloud computing and big data before it, BI represents a paradigm shift in how many companies are doing business. BI also bears another striking similarity to those technologies: it's a blanket term used to describe many varied pieces of software along with the operational strategies that utilize them.
Business intelligence is fundamentally about deriving order from chaos. Any large organization collects enormous amounts of data, but structuring and analyzing that information requires time and effort. In the past, this often meant hiring teams of developers to build highly specialized software, but is this still the case?
The Democratization of Business Intelligence
Like many types of technology, BI software is trending towards greater accessibility and ease of use. Instead of using staff developers to code bespoke software for your organization's specific data needs, many companies now provide off-the-shelf tools to connect, organize, and analyze your data. Adding structure to otherwise chaotic data allows you to leverage it for your decision-making process.
These systems typically work by allowing you to bring in data from multiple sources, such as sales information from e-commerce platforms or support tickets from your customer service software. No-code BI software usually presents this data in a more familiar spreadsheet-like format, making it easier to use for tech-savvy employees who may not have programming experience.
Providing data access and the ability to create monitoring and alert routines for more of your employees can streamline many decision-making activities. For example, your sales department can more easily monitor sales team productivity and even tie that information to customer satisfaction data. Making this level of data analysis more widely available can potentially lead to many creative and valuable uses.
Does This Mean You Don't Need Developers At All?
Much of this new wave of BI software follows the low-code/no-code paradigm. In other words, the essential elements are readily available to tech-savvy power users (no-code), while more advanced features require some minimal level of programming skill (low-code). Like working with spreadsheet software, users with more knowledge can usually do more.
In practice, this means that you need fewer users with very high levels of technical skill. Since you can utilize most aspects of modern BI software without any coding at all, most of your employees can enjoy greater access to data for making informed decisions. Your more knowledgeable employees can then utilize BI software for more in-depth analysis and reporting on an as-needed basis.
Altogether, these lowered barriers to entry mean that more organizations can now effectively utilize business intelligence for their operations. If the need for highly skilled coders has kept your company from enjoying this new technological frontier, then it's time to reconsider your options to better leverage your available data.
To learn more about BI software, check out sites like Grow.com.Share