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Custom BI Development – What it is and Why You Need it


Custom BI Development – What it is and Why You Need it

By: Cameron Avrigean | December 11, 2019

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What is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence, often abbreviated BI is an overarching term for all the strategies and technologies used to collect and analyze data from businesses. BI platforms allow companies to gain access to insights into all aspects of their business processes, including - marketing, sales, manufacturing, and any process that generates measurable data. Business intelligence is invaluable as everything becomes increasingly data driven. If you have access to data that can help you streamline your company's processes, you need to harness it. What does that process look like? There are analytics platforms for nearly everything data oriented today - Google Analytics has long dominated web analytics, all the major social media platforms offer their own analytics, and an entire industry has emerged around tying these platforms together. BI takes this idea and expands it to all aspects of your business, taking your own specific data and processes and allowing you to analyze and visualize them in a way that will help you continuously improve the way your organization functions.

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Why you need custom bi development.

Like most analytics solutions - the off-the-shelf version rarely satisfies all your needs. Platforms like Google Analytics have become complicated enough that there are entire positions based on understanding, using, and integrating other data points into the platform. Business Intelligence by its very nature is more complicated and incorporates more proprietary data and processes - making it a prime candidate for custom development. Business Intelligence is at its best when it has access to all the possible data points. Integrating data from the manufacturing floor, your CRM, and your financial software can provide insights into cost savings and improvements in efficiency that you simply could not have identified without these systems working in harmony.

business man with analytics

What advantages does custom bi development have?

You handle customer data in SalesForce, your support team uses ZenDesk and your financials are all managed in QuickBooks. How do you confidently make business decisions considering data points from all three platforms? Have a singular reporting engine that shows you what’s happening across all of aspects of business - at once. Not only that, it allows you to confidently analyze this data and draw conclusions that you were previously unable to see - a direct correlation between cost per acquisition and number of hours spent on support for example. Many popular BI platforms offer integrations with many of the most popular data collection tools, but there are plenty of lapses in coverage or complicated processes that cannot easily be completed without technical expertise. This is where a custom solution comes in. By bringing in experts to help you integrate and visualize all the data you need in one place, you can guarantee the longevity and usefulness of your business intelligence.

neon sign saying "Data has a better idea"

The benefits don’t stop there. Within reason - we are better informed when we have access to more data. However, there are certainly diminishing returns when it comes to your capacity to analyze this data. That is another reason that custom BI can provide invaluable benefit to the organizations that use it, many BI platforms are increasingly offering included AI to help you sift through billions of data points to draw meaningful conclusions.

What are the keys to success for successful business intelligence implementation?

1. Identify your goals

What are you trying to achieve? Be clear about what benefits you are trying to gain from your business intelligence. Increased efficiencies? Reduced administrative costs? Ensure you:

2. Capture the right data

Ensure this data supports your goals, if there is any chance you’re missing data - ensure you have a plan to capture before implementation.

3. Analyze

Make sure the solution you choose - custom or off-the-shelf - is prepared to help you perform the analysis you need to achieve the goals you had previously set.

In Conclusion

If you approach your business intelligence with clear goals, the data you need, and the means to analyze that data, you will unlock insights into your processes that were previously unavailable. You can make faster decisions, have a clear picture of everything going on within your organization, and improve your bottom line. As more data becomes available to you, make sure you are prepared to harness it.

Interested in working with fivestar*?

If you decide that it is valuable and profitable for your business to have custom software, fivestar* can develop solutions that centralize workflows, optimize processes, and enable decision-making through real-time data and business intelligence.


About the Author: Cameron Avrigean

Cameron Avrigean is a Marketing Coordinator at fivestar*. Cameron is an analytics fanatic with a penchant for copywriting and social media. He works with the marketing team to create engaging content, and is looking for the next big thing. Cameron holds a B.S. in Business Management from Point Park University.

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