BI in the digital era: How does it work and why is it essential for business growth?

Technical articles 30. 06. 2022 10 minutes

For decades, executives, managers and analysts have been trying to figure out how to best use data to improve the economic results of their companies. Especially in the post-pandemic era that has accelerated digital transformation, smart use of data is essential for business growth. And this is exactly what business intelligence (BI) is for, to which an increasing number of companies are focusing their attention.

Business intelligence covers business analysis techniques from standard reports to highly sophisticated advanced statistics to the subsequent use of data. "Simplified, companies can use BI to obtain useful information from a pile of data spread across various systems and locations in the company," explains Jan Jurečka, head of the BI/DWH department at LinkSoft. "Recently, terms such as big data, machine learning or cognitive business can also be heard in the context of business intelligence. But they all relate to what BI has always been: analyzing and using data to improve the profitability and competitiveness of large companies and smaller businesses," he adds.

Business intelligence as part of digital transformation

Business Intelligence can also serve as a powerful tool in digitization. It helps companies prepare, plan and create a business case for digital transformation, monitor its progress and, above all, effectively work with the data obtained after the digitization of processes. "Advanced BI systems can provide companies with continuous and immediately usable information, whether it is the implementation of new IT projects, a new business direction or a new service offering," describes Jan, noting that BI can also benefit the end consumer: "In a digital ecosystem based on information sharing this way a lot of meaningful information reaches people, whether it is a patient in healthcare or a customer who goes shopping in a retail store.”

Is it true that Business Intelligence makes sense even in small businesses?

While many large enterprises have relied on business intelligence for decades, it is still a relatively neglected area in small businesses. “Today, data is an important part of any business regardless of size. Data and workflows are intertwined, whether it's adjusting the supply chain or deciding which product line to focus on," he adds. Knowing the flood of data and using it correctly can be challenging for smaller companies, especially if they lack the budget, personnel or know-how to implement BI. "With the right tools and strategy, even small businesses can gather useful information to help them meet their business goals," adds Jan.

Successful implementation of BI tools requires preparations

Although BI tools are well established in the market, their implementation in specific enterprises requires careful preparation. Save time spent searching for, implementing and managing BI tools and use our consultancy. Our BI experts will assess your business goals and offer a solution tailored to your needs.

From raw data to more efficient practice

How does it work?

Data sources

Data sources
Data sources
External Files

Data warehouse

Staging Area
Data Marts 1
Data Marts 2
Data Marts 3

Reporting and Quering


Data collection and sorting: What is a staging area, data warehouse and data marts?

The starting point is data. We typically work with structured data sources, which are easiest to use and analyze. The most common are SQL databases, spreadsheets such as Excel, sensor devices, network and web server logs, online forms, Azure Table storage, Azure SQL databases, Oracle, MySQL, IBM DB2, Teradata, PostgreSQL, Informix, and others.

All required data must be consistently available at one entry point before being integrated into the data warehouse. This is called a "staging area", i.e. a place where data is temporarily copied from the source systems. From the staging area, the data then travels to the core of the data warehouse, which is an architectural unit designed to collect data from various sources, to sort them and to obtain useful information. 

Built on top of core data warehouses are data marts that focus on a specific area or department. This allows a specific team to quickly access relevant information without having to keep track of all the data or waste time searching through the entire data warehouse or aggregating data from multiple sources.

Reporting, data visualization and information design

The human mind understands images and visual elements better than plain text or numbers. People will understand the data presented in graphic form faster, but they will also more easily notice any patterns or trends. Making data available to end users – their analysis, distribution and visualization – is therefore an integral part of business intelligence. Depending on the requirement, the client receives anything from a financial presentation to an analysis of business processes, risk assessment or so-called information design serving a more comprehensible presentation of data to non-technical workers, which is carried out in a specific situation and offers recommendations for the next course of action.

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