BI Fundamentals

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When you read the headline here you probably think in terms of the specific package you use for your Business Information.

Let’s step back and look at the more fundamental issue. Why do you ‘do’ BI, and what do you get out of it?

Short answer:

We look at our data in the search for actions we can take to make things better.

Long answer:

There is so much actionable information hiding away in your databases that could change the way you do business. Most of it will never get looked at. Or it will get viewed at such a level of aggregation that the potential insights are missed completely.

KE! I can look at the population of the UK and tell you that it’s around 65 million people.

If you are thinking of opening a new nursery school then you need more detail.

  • How many two – four year olds are there in my catchment area will be ready to join my nursery when it opens
  • How many zero – two years olds are there to keep me busy over the next few years
  • What is the birth rate in my area for my longer term prospects.

That’s just the basics, you would also need information on existing nurseries to know if your business was viable.

This example was chosen because it is really obvious and easy to follow. Let’s gid into something most small and medium sized companies don’t do that should be equally obvious.

Top line statement: We have 800 regular customers and an average turnover of £237,000 per month.


  • How much of our revenue comes from our top 10, or 10% of customers
  • Is there a certain type of customer who spend the most
  • Are there customers who cost us more than they spend
  • Do all of our products make a profit

And a hundred more questions that you can think of your self.

BI fundamentals covers:

  • Finding the right questions
  • Capturing the right data in the first place
  • Creating a single source of truth – and accepting that this might be a myth
  • Ways of gathering data into a single source so everyone sees the same truth
  • Actually looking at the data you have in such a way as to see what it has to tell you
  • Going beyond your monthly KPI dashboards to investigate more of your data.

If you read this far then you obviously have the right passion or motivation.

Get in touch if you need more help, we can book a consultant in to come and help.

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