Software has become an important tool in scaling businesses, and it can have a direct impact on growth when the right minds are put to work using it. With better reporting and analysis of the competitive landscape, marketers and executives can make decisions about product launches and promotions with better context.
Enterprise BI software can take many forms, encompassing the various aspects of gaining more business:
- Studying competitors
- Mining data
- Meaningful reporting
- Data consolidation
- Data security
Here are some of the important ways that software has helped businesses of every size to grow:
Competitive analysis has grown, although some of the basic detective work remains the same. Much of the field now looks at the aggregate for a clearer picture of what’s working.
It’s common to find software that will review keywords for competition, perhaps even showing sample ads from top bidders, for a better idea of which keywords are performing well. It may also be useful to review banners or content from emails. Some of these analysis tools offer glimpses into this advertising thanks to historical data.
There are also tools that better assist your analysis, like Google Alerts. Alerts are sent to your inbox for review, as they happen or at times you designate, giving you better insight into your market (or specific events) as well. Clever analysts will find it easier to gather competitive analysis data.
Data Mining and Reporting
Data mining can be useful for many reasons. It may help provide you with the tools you need to better serve a customer using an automated process to retrieve information from a larger database. Companies that interact with the government are a good example, where publicly available data can be queried with an automated process to bypass the time it would take for a manual search.
However, good data is only useful through proper reporting. For instance, Google’s Analytics software is a free reporting tool for websites. It can tell you where customers came from, how many are browsing in real time and give you a sense of which pages they find most useful.
There are reports you can run on customer satisfaction, the state of your sales funnel, frequently clicked links, top ads posted and a host of other important data points. The choice is determined by what’s relevant to your business.
Supply Chain Management
Another important tool that can be overlooked is supply chain management software. Warehouse analytics is a growing field that looks at stock on hand and allows workers to better move about while working with stock to be shipped.
As operations shift toward delivery direct to the consumer, management requires greater insight into the product (including estimation of time to shelf). Supply chain management offers this insight, along with invoicing capabilities, so cash flow is never disrupted and the consumer receives the product on time.
Maintaining a Dashboard
Keeping a central location to process data and work on new tasks becomes crucial the larger the company scales. A great example of this at work is customer service, where a dashboard allows workers to quickly switch from phone to email support while still monitoring requests in-office.
One of the most important considerations, and a recurring theme in enterprise software, is a suite of tools meant to handle certain aspects of the business. Dashboards offer efficient access to that important data, and consolidate many tools that a thriving mid-sized or large company might use.