Business Intelligence. BI for short. You may hear this term being bandied around in software circles. Basically, it’s a computer-aided methodology that businesses use to turn raw data into intelligent decisions. The level of involvement can vary between computer-aided decision-making for your analysts and planners, and full automation.
With the continuing abundance of data that we all seem to accumulate, BI is becoming an essential part of harnessing all of the potentials within this data, and systems that can support this will ultimately help businesses to transform. Agribusinesses are no exception to the rule and indeed, why should they be? All companies can utilise software to help them to take advantage of their data, effectively analyse it, and support them to dramatically improve the decision making process.
BI software helps to interpret data with insight based on fact, not ideas. It also enables you to extract data from multiple different systems and tools, bring it together, run various queries, and from here create relevant reports including visuals of the intelligence produced. This information can then be made readily available to executive leaders and management teams, as well as the wider team, to support business changes and transformations.
The different stages of BI
This is basically how the BI system allows your staff to measure, benchmark and evaluate the performance of the business. This is the foundation level on which data collection can be built upon.
This is the meat of the BI system, and where most of the automated stuff occurs. It will carry out extensive data mining (that would take a human a long time to do), modelling and statistical analysis. This is also when your analysts will go through the processed data to see how it could help with decision making. Data is visualised by turning it into easy to digest reports and graphs for other staff.
After the data has been mined and processed by the system and your analysts, it is then shared with senior staff members who handle the decision making. The reports and graphs that contain the information allow it to be easily digested. Comparison between different data sets from every department ensures that decision-makers are receiving the bigger picture.
This is when, after digesting and evaluating the data, conclusions are drawn by the decision-makers and action can be taken. Decisions are made based on the data that has been collected and collated, ensuring that they have a solid basis in relevant facts.
What does this all mean for your agribusiness?
With all of that in mind, here is how this intelligent collection and use of data can benefit your agribusiness.
Like any other form of business, agribusinesses rely on data to make informed decisions and forecast accurately. Agriculture is heavily dependent on the seasons – animals produce young at certain times and crops grow and are harvested at certain times – so making sure that you know the right times to do particular tasks is essential to optimising your production.
Having all the relevant data about company expenditure from all of your various departments means that you can make decisions based on identified inefficiencies to reduce wastage and unnecessary costs. All of this helps your business get ahead of the competition and increase your profits.
Everything you do, as an agribusiness, is going to have some impact on the environment, but BI will ensure that you know exactly what the impact has been so far and what it will be in the future. This will allow you to adapt your processes and methods to reduce the impact and meet regulations. This is especially important to be able to adapt to new regulatory changes.
Your senior staff need all of the relevant information to hand in order to make informed decisions about departments and the overall direction of the company. BI ensures that data from every department and system is fed to them in an easily digestible form.
Agribusinesses can be transformed with the utilisation of BI, and it is recommended that all businesses consider how they go about incorporating it into their business systems. As technology evolves and tools become more sophisticated, being able to easily and effectively analyse the multitude of data which business store, no matter how big or small they are, will be even more pivotal. It will enable agribusinesses to move with the times, as well as to support their varying goals and targets.
If you’re reviewing BI software, keep in mind that it should be web-based, enable integration across your multiple systems and software tools to allow you to pull data from multiple sources. It should also be able to interpret your data in a number of formats, with some of those being more visual i.e. charts, graphs, etc. Also, ensure that it is optimised for mobile and can be utilised across different devices throughout your office or out on the road.