Decision support system, BI, business intelligence are among the many synonyms that are used when discussing business intelligence. The large amount of accurate data that has become more accessible, allows business intelligence to go further. But what is it exactly? And how can it help you?

What exactly is business intelligence?

Gartner analytics defines business intelligence as “an umbrella term that includes the applications, infrastructure and tools, as well as best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance.”

It is therefore a very broad concept, which includes many tools. In other words, we could say that it is a set of tools, strategies and technologies, which provide you with valuable management information.

How can business intelligence help you?

Analyzing this valuable information, allows your company to make more informed decisions bringing many benefits. For example, you can improve your customer retention and reduce error discrepancies in your interactions by using business intelligence tools and approaches.

Is business intelligence something recent?

We could already hear echoes of this expression being used in the business world back in the 19th century. It was used in a book of entrepreneur anecdotes. It told the story of a banker who had benefited from obtaining privileged information that his competitors did not have.

But it is only in 1958 that the term is theorized in the article “A Business Intelligence System” written by the computer scientist Hans Peter Luhn. He describes it as “an automatic system that is being developed to disseminate information to the various sections of any industrial, scientific or government organization”.

The popularization of the modern meaning

In 1989, Horward Dresner; a consultant who later became an analyst with the Gartner Group, redefined the term business intelligence with its current meaning: concepts and methods to improve business decision-making by using fact-based support systems.

However, it was not until the end of the 1990s that the expression became widely popular. The business intelligence toolkit has become much more sophisticated since then.

Where does business intelligence stand now?

Just a few years ago, companies almost systematically had to go through Excel to obtain their reports or to implement complex and costly data management platforms.

Business intelligence evolution with Dynamics 365

Business intelligence evolution with Dynamics 365

For the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ecosystem, it is only as of 2011 that charts and dashboards are made accessible via CRM.  And since the arrival of Dynamics 365 in 2016, many options continue to be added in order to benefit from the latest technological advances in data analysis preparation and delivery while allowing fluid consumption through the Dynamics 365 application or mobility. This allows you to save time and to make the best decisions.

The latest business intelligence approaches will allow you to resolve a good majority of significant CRM issues. This will be the topic of our next articles.

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