Integration of data in Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence tools allow you to centralize, analyze and render your company’s data so that managers and executives can make decisions based on complete and accurate information.

Today’s software is powerful and the algorithms on which it is based allow for secure and efficient information processing. However, it is necessary to keep in mind that the results obtained depend entirely on the input data, which is of paramountimportance.

Which data to integrate in a BI tool?

Business Intelligence allows to control the functioning of the company and is therefore based on the internal figures of the company.

Consequently, the sources of the data integrated in your BI tool are the different departments of the company: production, logistics, sales, quality, accounting, human resources…

This allows for a global view of the processes, but also for a detailed analysis of the critical points.

However, the source of these data must be distinguished from their origin.

Where does the data centralized by a Business Intelligence software come from?

Each profession has its own specificities and each company has its own particularities that make it unique. However, all companies rely on two types of information: internal and external.

Data of internal origin

This is all information that is entirely dependent on your organization, and therefore you can control its reliability.

Examples of internally generated data include:

  • The wage bill
  • Productivity
  • The Treasury

They are essential to the good management of your company and allow an optimal operational management. Identification of blockages in internal processes, areas for improvement in the company’s profitability… All these points can be easily detected with the help of a suitable and correctly implemented business intelligence software.

Data from external sources

Although they are integrated into your BI tool by a department within your company, they depend on partners outside your organization.

These data are for example:

  • Purchase prices
  • The supply times
  • Financial costs

These data are reliable, but offer no guarantee of future visibility. Monitoring their evolution to detect trends is necessary for the long-term strategic management of your company.

Once again, Business Intelligence software is a valuable aid, particularly thanks to correlation research (data mining) or multidimensional analyses (OLAP cubes).

The introduction of data in Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence software is capable of extracting, collecting and storing data, but it depends on how the data is fed into the system.

Manual data entry

Each employee fills in the information to which he or she has access. This approach has worked for decades, but it involves many risks:

  • Seizure error: a sale of €112.24 becomes a transaction at €11,240
  • Loss of information: a product added at the last moment to the order which is not taken out of stock
  • Interpretation problem: a quality department reporting unresolved complaints as quality problems, not all customer complaints

Not only is manual data entry the cause of many inconsistencies and reliability issues, but it is also resource intensive and costly to the business.

Automatic data entry

As part of the digitalisation of company processes, it is now possible to automatically record all data relating to the functioning of the organisation. The advantages are many:

  • Productivity gains
  • Optimal use of resources
  • Data reliability

In this way, Business Intelligence has direct access to the raw data handled by the various departments of your company and the risk of error is drastically reduced. In addition, this automation frees up time for department heads, who also have direct access to information that is essential to their work.

Example of automation:

Here is an example to illustrate the benefits of automatically integrating internal data with your business intelligence tool.

In the logistics department, the day’s deliveries are made from a series of manual purchase orders sent by the sales department. The delivery notes are then issued by the store, which takes care of updating the stocks.

At the end of the day, the department manager ensures that all deliveries have been made, and that warehouse issues have been completed, before manually entering all data into the system.

There is a high risk of lost vouchers and quantity errors, while the warehouse manager has to spend several hours performing an essential but low value-added task.

The automation of these processes would allow :

  • Ensure that no documents are lost through a computerized listing
  • Automatically update stocks when the delivery order is issued
  • Provide the store manager with an up-to-date view of orders and stock.

All this data could be integrated in real time in the BI tool, and accessible to other departments. This way, the purchasing department knows if it needs to place a new order with the suppliers, the accounting department can invoice immediately, and the sales department can confirm to its customer that its product has been delivered.

How to integrate data sources into your Business Intelligence tool?

The preparation and implementation of a Business Intelligence software are decisive steps for the proper functioning of your new tool. When done properly, they allow you to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by these solutions by offering you process optimization, performance gains, and a better global vision of the company thanks to updated indicators.

The Altermès specialists can help you with your project, by informing you about the solutions available and assisting you in their implementation.

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

The Altermès team, composed of both technical profiles and business experts, is available to help you implement and/or optimize your Business Intelligence project.

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