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Businesses are readily adopting Enterprise Resource Planning software across industries. They have become the backbone of each company because of their ability to perform round-the-clock functions relating to sales & marketing, finance & accounting, customer service operations, supply chain, and vendor management. ERP software is a well-known business management suite globally, but little is known about Business Intelligence (BI).
The main difference between the two is that ERP software collects critical business information from multiple sources and provides access to all business stakeholders, including frontline executives, C-suite managers, vendors, suppliers, distributors, and customers. On the other hand, BI is a collection of tools that analyze the information collected by ERP software and reveals hidden insights about changing customer preferences, transforming marketing trends, and provides a comprehensive understanding of the business ecosystem.
While choosing an ERP system for your business, you must evaluate the business intelligence tools because they play a significant role in increasing your ability to gain a comprehensive understanding of your business, customers, and the market in general.
This article will shed light on business intelligence, ERP systems, the connection between the two, and how BI makes ERP systems more relevant.
As explained before, business intelligence is a set of tools that critically analyze information to provide insights regarding the changing market trends and customer preferences and how that data can be used to:
a. Minimize inefficiencies.
b. Reduce operational expenses.
c. Increase profits and revenues.
d. Build robust and evergreen customer relationships.
e. Improve market competency.
f. Brainstorm attractive offers and discounts that increase market share.
g. Adhere strictly to government norms and policies.
Modern business intelligence software uses AI and machine learning algorithms to process tons of information in seconds and provide hidden insights. It has prescriptive analytics and predictive analytics features that help visualize data allowing businesses to make strategic decisions.
Before the advent of ERP systems, business departments used to function as separate silos. They didn’t care about other departments’ functioning, which caused significant losses to the company as a whole. Information/data silos, were a big menace for businesses because they restricted the free flow of information from one department to another. But with the emergence of ERP systems, operations became super fast and companies began saving a lot of time and expenses.
The most significant advantage of Enterprise Resource Planning software is that it collects, organizes, and stores information in a centralized repository. All business stakeholders can access this repository to receive real-time updates.
The following list provides the benefits of ERP systems:
a. They help communicate important data at superfast speed with different business stakeholders and customers alike.
b. Field executives can store, update, and delete customer-specific information from outside the office.
c. In this pandemic-affected world, remote work has become a reality only because of ERP systems.
d. Accountants can create finance reports instantly.
e. Sales professionals can sort customers across the sales pipeline conveniently.
f. Marketers can brainstorm effective marketing campaigns through the information processed by the ERP software.
g. Employees can schedule meetings, set reminders, and send automatic emails to clients.
BI is a built-in capability that exists inside ERP systems. But in most cases, it’s not enough to handle the substantial flow of information that big businesses receive every day. They require a specialized BI tool that allows them to upgrade their data analysis and number-crunching abilities.
Whether the BI capability is native to your ERP system or you require a third-party integration, BI will help you make meaning out of the data you collect daily. Without BI functionality, it will be highly challenging to do so.
ERP software allows collecting crucial data, but the story doesn’t stop here. It would be best if you had something to make sense of the data you collect, quickly and conveniently. BI plays a significant role in drawing insights from the information that the ERP software captures and converting it into user-friendly and customizable reports.
Businesses implement different software applications for each department that often fail to sync, import, and export data. This leads to a considerable loss of operation speed. On the other hand, BI allows you to use the same software across various business departments with multiple benefits. Firstly, you can view numerous data points pouring in from different business departments through a standard dashboard. Having a single source of truth is one of the most significant advantages of the ERP system. Secondly, you can get real-time updates on your industry’s most pressing issues, such as customer’s needs, wants, desires, and ambitions. Moreover, you will also understand how your competitors are performing and what you can learn from them. And most importantly, you can make accurate predictions about the changing market trends from the data you have collected.
Companies that haven’t yet implemented an ERP system face two significant challenges. Firstly, employees don’t have access to a single source-of-truth meaning that different departments have disparate reports. These reports aren’t updated and create confusion because there is no way to determine the correct report. Secondly, if you employ your workforce to collect and analyze data, there is a very high probability of finding errors. On the other hand, BI allows ERP systems to create the best-quality reports that are easy-to-read, accurate and eliminate all errors. Moreover, these reports are generated instantly and are automatically sent to all the concerned departments.
Companies often use data scientists to generate reports based on business metrics. Data analysis and number crunching become full-time jobs for such employees, which hinders them from focusing on more strategic tasks that require data analysis skills. BI-enabled ERP systems finish up trivial tasks that provide more time to your data scientists and allow them to focus on mission-critical operations.
The best part is that BI-enabled ERP systems have a drag and drop feature that allows users to generate interactive reports without learning complex programming languages.
Apart from analyzing real-time information, BI-enabled ERP systems also examine historical data stored inside the central data repository that provides crucial insights.
For example, you can examine the sales data of the last five years to monitor the changing customer buying trends and use this data to brainstorm marketing campaigns.
BI-enabled ERP systems allow companies to predict future trends based on historical performance. For example, you can determine your year-end sales figures by examining the past six months’ sales data.
Moreover, they also provide prescriptive analytics that suggests tips, tricks, and measures for obtaining your set goals within the predetermined time. Experts recommend purchasing IoT devices to execute prescriptive analytics as they can collect real-time data from multiple sources that help predict future trends.
You must have heard the famous quote “Data is the new oil” multiple times. Today we live in the information age where everything has become data-dependent. It enables making better decisions instead of forming educated guesses. This is why BI-enabled ERP systems are gaining a solid foothold in companies across industries. Some of the significant benefits you can gain by implementing them are:
So if you haven’t yet implemented a BI-enabled ERP software, you must think again.
At Sage Software Solutions (P) Ltd., we are home to world-class ERP software and CRM software that will solidify your business tech support fundamentals and enable you to build a customer-centric organization. To know more about it you can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: All the information, views, and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and their respective web sources and in no way reflect the principles, views, or objectives of Sage Software Solutions (P) Ltd.