Nowadays, companies must operate in a digital environment, characterized by an enormous amount of data generated from multiple sources. This data has become the company's most important asset, and the success of the organization depends on its management and the way it is used.

This efficient management of data requires the incorporation of technological systems to ensure the capture of information in real time and the creation of a single database that provides reliable and accurate data. In addition, it requires the use of systems that analyze the data and present it in an appropriate way to the leaders of the organization, to improve their knowledge of the facts that allow them to make agile decisions in the competitive environment in which we live.

And in this ERP software is one of the most important sources of information with functionalities developed to issue multiple reports. But we also have the opportunity to increase their data analysis capacity with the integration of Business Intelligence (BI) systems and tools.

These tools are highly capable of capturing data, analyzing information and presenting it to the user for easy management. Therefore, BI is the perfect complement to an ERP.

But let's find out more:
  • What is BI and what are its main characteristics?
  • What benefits do Business Intelligence tools bring to the company?
  • What is the importance of BI as a complement to ERP?
What is BI?

BI is a term that encompasses a whole set of tools, software, platforms, equipment, services and techniques used in the correct analysis and transformation of company data, in order to obtain a broad view of the data and useful information that can be easily processed to facilitate decision making.

More precisely, BI can be seen as a process in which technology is used to capture data, prepare it and, finally, deliver homogeneous, ordered and relevant information in reports, dashboards, graphs, charts, statistical analysis..., with the purpose of helping decision makers and top management to make decisions and plan strategies.

Therefore, the main objective of business intelligence is to provide a complete view of the company's capabilities and facilitate the timely and accurate approach to each problem that exists or arises.

Most important characteristics of BI

Business Intelligence is characterized by the use of technological applications and systems for the efficient management of information, to improve its presentation, to offer the greatest accessibility to data together with an analysis from different perspectives. In this way it offers maximum support in decision making.

Breaking down this paragraph, we have 4 key characteristics of Business Intelligence:
  • The integration of technological tools. Business intelligence performs the cleansing, logical analysis and recording of an organization's data by integrating a set of technological tools and applications.
  • The transformation of data into useful and relevant information. It performs the recognition and analysis of the data coming from each of the company's departments, to generate really useful information to each user. Always according to the KPIs previously established in the organization.
  • Complete access to information. Business Intelligence has the capacity to structure, organize and integrate in its system all the data coming from the different areas of the company, for the benefit of all the departments or users that need it.
  • The logical and multidimensional analysis of information. BI offers an analysis from different perspectives, which allows the user to easily select the dimensions or points of view required, according to the hierarchy, functions and relevant indicators.
Benefits that Business Intelligence tools bring to companies

One of the main benefits of Business Intelligence is that it offers the company a useful support for the improvement of its competitive capacity within the current market and helps to satisfy the demands of customers. How? By transforming data into valuable information to act with safe steps.

This happens thanks to the generation of reports, creation of scenarios for a given decision, forecasting in the sales area, analysis for various dimensions and access to complete information.

In addition, BI offers other important benefits to organizations:
  • Increased efficiency. The information provided by business intelligence tools offers a comprehensive, detailed and strategic view of a company's operations. This makes it easier to compare results, identify opportunities and quickly produce and deliver reports and analysis.
  • Sound decisions. BI provides the company with real-time, accurate and relevant information at any level of management, enabling better and timely decision making, since the organization's leaders can access, at the time they require it, the analysis and metrics that reveal the performance of processes and provide information about the needs of customers or potential customers.
  • Better data organization. The platforms and systems that make up BI have the ability to centralize data from each of the sources of information coming from internal areas (processes) and external sources (customer data, competition...), in a consistent way. Thus, each department or leadership position can access the same information when required.
  • Increased efficiency and workforce satisfaction. Thanks to business intelligence tools, employees save time in each of the tasks where reliable, updated and easy-to-understand data is needed. In addition, they offer a very intuitive and fluid user experience for employees who do not have great technical knowledge in the use of these tools.
Importance of BI as a complement to ERP software

From an operational and strategic point of view, it is convenient to complement ERP software with Business Intelligence. It is a matter of combining the best capabilities of the two technologies. The value of ERP for the operational phase and the advantage of BI for the study of data at the tactical and strategic level.

BI is powerful for the detailed, thorough and multidimensional analysis of data, while ERP offers maximum capacity for the automation of the organization's processes and for the central storage of the information generated by these processes.

An ERP software captures, in real time, the data generated at each phase and level of the internal areas of a company, to store them in a single database and enable efficient and error-free information management in each area of the organization.

In this context, Business Intelligence tools analyze, interpret and transform the data collected, cleaned and stored by the ERP, to present them to users, employees and management levels in an easy to process way (reports, data dashboards...) and help in decision making for the development and competitiveness of the company.

ERP can be seen as an integrated process management system, which facilitates the optimization of operations in each area (human resources, purchasing, sales, finance, warehouse, etc.).

And Business Intelligence works on the basis of the data stored in the ERP (and other additional sources), to facilitate the examination of the information in an organized and easy to process way, to determine the tactics and apply the most convenient strategies for the corporation.

Therefore, the continuous analysis performed by BI is intelligently fed by the ERP database, being the BI-ERP integration the perfect binomial to increase the efficiency of the organization, increase the capacity of timely response and facilitate the development of competitive capacity.