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Guide to Business Intelligence

Business intelligence (BI) is more than just a hot new term: The global BI market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 7.6%, far outpacing that of major economies, while ballooning to a $33.3 billion market share by 2025, according to a report by Markets and Markets. Understanding what business intelligence is and what it can do for your organization can make it easier to decide how you want to leverage this powerful tool.

What Is Business Intelligence?

BI involves analyzing current and historical data to reveal insights that can be used to make strategic decisions. For accounting advisory services, BI also enables you to better grasp the nature of your client’s businesses, as well as how to advise them and guide them to the next level.

What Are the Basic Components of a Business Intelligence System?

A business intelligence system consists of four elements that work together to produce and present insights. They include:

  • A data warehouse, server, computer, or hard drive that stores data the BI system will analyze
  • Data management and business analytics tools that mine data and analyze it
  • Tools for monitoring and analyzing the progress being made towards the organization’s goals (these are sometimes referred to as business performance management, or BPM, tools)
  • An interactive dashboard, reporting mechanism, or another user interface that gives decision-makers quick access to information produced by the system

When you have a comprehensive business intelligence system, you may not see all of these components. For example, with accounting BI software, you may only interact with an accounting dashboard while the other components are hard at work on the back-end.

How Is Business Intelligence Used?

BI is used as an insight engine for a variety of organizations. For example, when delivering accounting advisory services, you can use business intelligence to:

  • Gain deep visibility into the health of businesses you’re working with
  • Carry out financial performance analytics
  • Use a performance dashboard to quantify a vast range of business performance metrics

BI is also used to design smart key performance indicators (KPIs) the business can use to improve. For instance, tech giant Apple uses BI to study how people use their applications and devices. The company tracks the data captured by Apple watches to better understand what people do during the day. Apple can also glean information about how people are feeling because the Apple watch collects biometric data from its users. In this way, Apple can monitor how people’s physical health improves or declines in relation to what they do, when they do it, and even who they interact with.

This information is then leveraged to create solutions that address the needs of consumers.

With PathQuest BI, you get accounting business intelligence software that provides access to an easy-to-read accounting dashboard. This gives you deep insight into the inner workings of your client’s finances. The information is gathered in real-time, enabling consistent access to a range of performance metrics and smart KPIs.

Watch PathQuest webinar and learn how BI can empower accounting firms to build powerful advisory capabilities.

To learn more about how PathQuest BI can elevate your accounting practice, connect for a free demo!

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