Can SMEs afford to ignore business intelligence?
Published 31/01/2018 by Mark Dewell, MD of Commercial and Third Sector
Many small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) have long presumed business intelligence (BI) software to be very much the preserve of large organisations. Many mistakenly believe that only those with a multi-million-pound budget can afford a business intelligence solution and the benefits it delivers. However, with a wide range of affordable and self-service BI tools now available, business intelligence has enormous potential for smaller firms to make better, informed decisions.
As a result, SMEs are increasingly aware of the extent to which growth and profitability can be aided with the deployment of a business intelligence dashboard, which is easier to use and more affordable than many believe.
How SMEs can leverage agility and flexibility
In many ways, SMEs are actually in a better position to benefit from the deployment of a business intelligence solution than larger businesses.
Although SMEs customarily lack the budget and resources of larger enterprises, they do not tend to suffer from the same restrictions in terms of a complicated IT infrastructure and access to data for business analytics. SMEs also tend to make the most of their investments by deploying their BI to a wider audience, making it available to all decision-makers in the business. This agility and lack of bureaucracy makes it easier for SMEs to adapt to changes more quickly than larger organisations.
What BI tools bring to the SME party
A business intelligence dashboard can be used to find answers to a wide range of questions, such as determining who are the most valuable customers, which is the most profitable product or service, or calculating the company’s current performance compared to the past.
A business that does not obtain such valuable information, regardless of its size, can easily fall behind the competition.
Ten years ago even the most ambitious SMEs would not have been able to purchase a business intelligence application, but now these solutions are far more affordable, making them a cost-effective means of acquiring vital knowledge.