The 5 Advantages of Using Business Intelligence Tools
The advantages of business intelligence (BI) tools in the accounting industry have expanded over time. As these tools become more innovative, finance professionals can integrate the use of BI into their workflows.
The results? Higher productivity and better service delivery. Aside from these, we enumerate below the other benefits of using BI tools in accounting.
Smarter firms, empowered employees
Organizations that empower their customer-facing employees to make analytics-based decisions are likely to outperform their competitors.
A joint report from the analytics vendor ThoughtSpot and Harvard Business Review revealed that organizations with data-driven capabilities “have seen more than 10% annual growth in revenue in recent years.”
Employees with better access to data and facts, it turns out, are more productive, engaged and satisfied with their work. These improvements create a ripple effect within and outside the organization — happier employees deliver better service quality which, in return, results in higher customer satisfaction.
However, for firms with no established data-driven practices, it takes a massive cultural shift to keep up with the early technology adopters.
More than the purchase and use of business intelligence tools, firms must establish good leadership, governance, training opportunities and a culture that’s centered around the use of data analytics to succeed.
These efforts, when implemented well, can bring significant benefits to the entire organization, as the next section covers.
5 main advantages of business intelligence tools
If your accounting firm is thinking of upgrading your business intelligence capabilities, you may be on your way to achieving these benefits:
1. Reduced labor costs, higher productivity
Seeking the help of IT professionals to create data visualizations takes a lot of time and effort. It's also quite crippling to think that you're reliant on someone else to do it.
The best BI tools empower anyone to easily create a harmony of pooled data, usually through a drag-and-drop interface.
Executives and staff do not need to seek the help of IT specialists for interactive data presentations and wait for its lengthy completion, allowing everyone to make better use of their time on more critical tasks.
2. Organized data from various data sources
A BI system automates the process of having to extract data from various sources — spreadsheets, databases and big data sources such as Salesforce, Google Analytics and Amazon Redshift.
BI software eliminates manual inputting. It seamlessly integrates selected data from every data source available to produce a comprehensive visualization of facts.
3. Valuable insights about the business
Data visualization tools rendered by BI software immediately clue you in on sales performance and customer analysis. Visualized data lets you view sales by category, region or segment. As a result, it’ll be easier to determine which offerings are most profitable and which ones can lead to losses.
It also gives you a clear understanding of your exact buyer persona, enabling you to tailor-fit all your efforts in creating a more personal experience with your target market. This results in stronger client relationships and a more loyal client base.
BI reporting tools can even do this in real time, giving you a competitive advantage to act instantaneously whenever an opportunity or an issue arises.
4. Actionable data
Massive data means nothing for a business unless it’s easy to understand.
BI software helps businesses recognize patterns that have never been discovered before, as well as establish relationships between different data sets that might otherwise be obscure if not for intelligible data visualizations.
5. Faster, better decisions
The results produced by BI tools serve as a catalyst for making the best business decisions in the quickest time possible. They say that haste makes waste, but BI tools are remarkably an exception to the rule. It automates and accelerates data integration, visualization and analytics without any risks involved for the user, only a myriad of benefits that lead to the best business outcomes.
If you want to scrutinize the past and current performance of your business and make the best use of your data that has just been sitting around, then now is the perfect time to consider using business intelligence tools for straightforward business analytics.
Empower your accountants to make data-driven decisions
Accountants who work directly with clients need better access to data. Aside from streamlining their tasks, it also helps them deliver better quality service.
If your accounting firm needs qualified talents who are experts in data analytics, contact us today. Our accountants are skilled in using modern accounting technology and making data-driven decisions.
Learn more about our services by downloading our whitepaper, The Rising Frontier: Harnessing the Power of Business Analytics.
This article was first published on 05 April 2016 and has been updated ever since for relevancy. Last edited on 28 July 2023. Edited by: Mary Milorrie Campos