how to use business intelligence tools

To get a better idea of how to use business intelligence tools in your company, think about all the information you get from the dashboard instruments in your car.

As you drive, you get at-a-glance, real-time info on the following critical systems, often with a visual representation of the information through gauges and graphic representations:

  • How fast you are moving (speedometer)
  • How hard the engine’s working (tachometer)
  • How much fuel you have on hand to keep you moving
  • Details that might affect performance, including low tire pressure and oil levels
  • Warnings of issues, like the need to ‘check engine soon’
  • Where you are along the path between your starting point and your destination (GPS)

Without your dashboard and the gauges that feed information to it, you might have to use a dipstick to find out if you have enough fuel, a tire pressure gauge to make sure you have proper inflation, and you might have to stop along the way to find out where you are in your progress.

In other words, your car’s dashboard gives you detailed data, all in one place, that lets you quickly make informed decisions about how to get to your destination safely, quickly and efficiently.

What if You Had A Business Intelligence Dashboard for Your Company?

Data is everywhere in business today. Inventory Management systems give you detailed data about how much stock you have and where it is. Customer Relationship Management tools give you information specific to each client and prospect. Accounting systems give you information on your sales volume.

But, unlike your car, you don’t have a dashboard, or a tool that brings all the business intelligence (BI) data together in one place and helps you visualize it so you can make faster, more informed business decisions.

How Business Intelligence Tools Can be Used in Your Company

Business intelligence tools, like AP Intel from AdvancePro, gather all the business data you have in different places and brings them together into one online dashboard. The dashboard gives you the ability to visualize the data, interact with it, share it with relevant stakeholders and make decisions based on factual, relevant information.   

An Example of How to Use Business Intelligence Tools

Let’s you have a number of employees working on sales tasks in an effort to boost revenue. You need to know the revenue or leads they are generating versus the cost of their time.

Without a BI dashboard, you might have the labour costs recorded in your payroll system or a time-tracking app, and your revenue and/or leads numbers might be in your CRM, inventory or accounting system.

It might take hours to do all the data exports and imports to and from the various systems to get comparative data and find the answers you need. And you might not have the visualization tools to understand the implications of the information.

With a BI dashboard, relevant, real-time information from different sources is always available online so you can quickly understand where you are and make the right decisions to get where you want to be.

Other Ways to Use Business Intelligence Tools

There are any number of ways for you to practically incorporate real-time BI dashboards into your daily processes. Here are some other examples.

Real-Time Manufacturing Performance

A smooth flow for your work-in-progress is essential for minimizing production delays and costs. a business intelligence dashboard gives you at-a-glance tracking information about how many products are in different stages of the production process.

Sales Channel Performance

See up-to-the-second sales volume information for individual sales reps, and/or different sales channels and compare it to inventory levels to make sure you have the right stock on hand, in the right geographic locations, to meet demand.

Goal Alignment & Performance Management

Set goals, track your progress and confidently make decisions mid-stream to help you reach your goals more efficiently.

To learn more about AP Intel and how your company can use business intelligence tools to boost productivity, cut costs and increase sales, get in touch with us here at AdvancePro.


In this post, you’ll learn:

  • What Business Intelligence tools can do
  • How you can use Business Intelligence to more effectively manage you business

Read Time: 6 minutes

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