What is Business Intelligence BI for Beginners

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Vitamin Business Intelligence

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Ever wondered what Business Intelligence is and why we use it? In this video I'll be answering those questions and showing you why you should be implementing BI for your business. Hey everyone, Adam here from Vitamin BI bringing you business intelligence for beginners and beyond. On this channel we'll look at all things BI like data analysis and visualization as well as BI platforms and how to choose the right one for you. So if you're new here consider subscribing. So let's get straight into it, what is BI? Well, BI is all about harnessing the data that your business generates in all of its different activities. Then we analyze and visualize this data in order to clearly understand it and gain valuable insights into how your business is performing. Now these insights, in turn, allow you to make better informed smarter business decisions to help your business evolve and grow. And that's basically it, the three stages of BI, which in theory sounds quite straightforward but in practice it has many challenges.Let's dig a little deeper and take a closer look at each one of these three areas in turn. In today's modern business world, companies generate a lot of data. Gone are the days when it was all contained in spreadsheets and on-premise databases. With the online age we now have things like social media and cloud-based business services and they all generate tons of data. Therein lies the biggest challenge for BI. All of this data is separate in what we call 'silos' meaning it's hard to easily get a global 360 view of how your business is performing in all of its activities without having to look at multiple reports in different places. What we really need to do is to bring these disparate data sources together and analyze them together to get a clearer picture. We'll dedicate more time to the specifics of where and how to access your data in other videos so don't forget to subscribe. So what about the analysis part? Well, the end product of the analysis usually takes the form of a reports or dashboard containing visual representations of your aggregated data like this one, and this one, and this one. Whereas a car dashboard displays things like your speed, how much is left in the tank or even the outside temperature a BI dashboard contains your business' metrics or KPI's like your revenues stock levels or how much engagement you're getting on social media. When you track and benchmark your KPIs you can measure your business's performance. Visualizing your data makes it easy to read, understand and digest. A dashboard gives you an at-a-glance snapshot of performance and helps you identify areas where you're doing well and those that might need some more attention or investigation. Data visualization is a discipline all unto itself and effective visualization is the key to making sure that your data is as easy to understand as possible. Finally, once we've got all the data together, analyzed and visualized it, it's time for the insight stage where we read the results of the analysis and see what we can learn. Your dashboard can help you spot trends, see how metrics correlate with each other and also compare periods of time to see how things are evolving. Obviously every business is different with different data but let's take a look at a dashboard I built with some real data and I'll demonstrate the kind of insights that we're looking for. This dashboard contains some real Instagram data for a town's tourist office in France. It's a fairly small sample size but you can see that we've broken down the main KPI's, number of posts and average number of interactions - which is likes and comments combined - by various things like month, day of the week, hour, type and filter applied. We've also used color data encoding to be able to look at these two KPIs together. If we look at this first chart by month we can see that in the month of August they posted the most number of times but we can also tell by the yellow color that those posts had the least number of average interactions. So this could tell us that maybe they posted too much and should think about reducing the number of posts during a month. Or simply that it's a month when a lot of people are on holiday in France so aren't on Instagram as much. One way to test this would be to compare the same month of the previous year and see if the average interactions was also low. Now, this chart by day gives us some clearer insights. We can tell that posts on Tuesday and Wednesday receive the highest average number of interactions. So this could tell us that we should post more on those days. And finally, we can see that the Amaro filter appears to be most effective in gaining engagement so we could try applying it to more posts to see if interactions increase. The data visualized in this dashboard gives us ideas and food for thought of things that we could try in changing how when, in this case, we post to Instagram. Ideas that we may not have had without having analyzed our data. And that's exactly what we mean by insights. And that's it for this video. Hopefully now you have a better understanding of what business intelligence is, its challenges and its benefits. And if this has peaked your interested and you'd like to learn more about things like data analysis and visualization, don't forget to subscribe to the channel and hit that bell to get notified whenever we post new videos. I'll be showing you that you don't need to be a data scientist or have a huge budget to get started with basic BI. Until then, stay BI-curious.

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