Data to insight: Business Intelligence explained

What is business intelligence (BI)?

Business intelligence (BI) is a term that refers to the technology and processes used to collect, store, and analyse data that can be used to improve business decision-making.

Common applications of BI include sales analysis, customer analysis, market analysis and operational optimisation. Underpinned by easy access to relevant information, patterns and trends, BI can help companies improve their performance by making better use of the data assets that inform actionable insights.

Clear data is the catalyst that sparks business intelligence.

However, many businesses are grappling with finance systems that are outdated and incapable of providing the data clarity required for BI, or at least, not without spending hours manipulating it first.

Finance teams that spend the majority of their day breaking down complex datasets will find that there’s little time left over to absorb any critical intelligence it might hold. Hours spent in spreadsheets can translate to mere minutes making decisions, with only top-level insights as a cornerstone.

Modern notebook computer with future technology media symbols

When analysis is this laborious to complete, there’s simply no option to be granular. The volume of time and manpower required is simply too prohibitive.

A key reason why some finance systems lack efficiency when sorting data and extracting BI is the sheer lack of dimensions they offer.

Data dimensions are the descriptors of data which make it easier to understand and work with.

They provide context and meaning to data, and can be used to categorise, filter, and aggregate figures. For example, desired data dimensions for a clothing retailer across multiple stores might include:

  • The product that was sold
  • The size of the product
  • The price of the product
  • Which store sold the product
  • The time and date the sale was made.

Data dimensions are an important tool for analysis, visualisation, and insight. They help to make complex data more manageable, with action points easy to spot.

Often, finance systems offer only a handful of dimensions to report against, leaving gaps of data and missed opportunities to spot patterns and trends.

Dimensions are the key to turning data into BI. By serving granular information in an easy-to-digest way, they fuel the insight required for fast and accurate decision-making.

iplicit turns complex finance figures into actionable insights by empowering you to report against as many custom dimensions as you need.

Identifying growth opportunities requires timely, accurate data, which is clearly presented as a single version of the truth.

For example, if you work with multiple revenue streams, you might need sales data for different stores, locations and business areas in order to monitor performance. iplicit’s innovative finance system offers unlimited data tagging, so you can get a clear picture of your data and draw conclusions immediately. There’s simply no limit on the number of elements that can be reported on.

Any attribute in any field, within an unlimited number of possible reports, is available to present as management information in real-time. Within minutes, you’ll have the BI required to identify lucrative trends, as well as identify any weak spots which are not commercially correct.

Business intelligence software benefits.

iplicit’s business intelligence software will also allow you to benefit from…

  • A built-in suite of comprehensive reports, which offers everything you need to get started quickly, at the touch of a button.
  • Reports that can be tailored to your exact management information needs.
  • Financial reporting dashboards which provide summary charts and overviews for any aspect of your business performance – such as bank balances and cashflow, sales analysis, purchases and expenses, absence and holidays, debtors and suppliers.
  • Key data that can be shown graphically in an instant, with the ability to drill down for detail.
  • Personalised dashboards, comprising of your most critical charts and overviews.

iplicit finance management software offers business intelligence and so much more. From core finance and accounting to fixed asset management, we have the finance system you need, at a price you can afford.

Keen to find out a little more?


How it all works

iplicit’s architecture is quite special; it’s true cloud and only in the browser, but it looks and feels like a desktop application. No layer upon layer of tabs opening and probably the most intuitive navigation that you will find in the marketplace today. Take a look for yourself.