6 Best Practices for Business Intelligence (with Examples)

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A crucial component of operational excellence, Business Intelligence (BI) is inextricably linked to enterprise strategy and is indispensable for organizations. Moreover, it encompasses a range of techniques and technologies that transform raw data into actionable insights, enabling businesses to make better-informed decisions, optimize operations, and gain a competitive edge.

In this article, we will explore why BI is crucial for decision-making, its importance in the age of burgeoning data, and offer strategies to enhance BI in any business setting. We’ll also take a look at some tools and applications you can use to grow your business and develop deeper customer relationships.

What Is Business Intelligence?

BI brings what truly matters to life through transformative data accessibility, enabling businesses to go beyond the standard reporting provided by most data sources, and more importantly to integrate and correlate data across various source systems.

To maximize effectiveness, BI should be tailored to connect all aspects of a business, considering each department’s unique systems and processes. For instance, by exploring how BI impacts marketing, you can highlight its specific contributions to other areas, which ultimately optimizes strategies and enhances overall business performance.

Why Is Operational Excellence Important?

The importance of implementing specific strategies for BI lies in the ability to drive operational excellence and facilitate informed decision-making that fuels business growth. To fully comprehend the significance of BI, it is essential to know these strategies to pursue success and progress.

Decision Making

BI stands at the forefront of enabling data-driven decision-making within an organization. For that reason, operational excellence is about total business improvement. Ensuring that fundamental aspects, like operational efficiency and key performance indicators, are 100% optimized before expanding is paramount. BI empowers decision-makers with insights that guide actions, ensuring a strategic and disciplined approach to business growth.

Data Explosion

The amount of data generated and collected in today’s business landscape is immense. Along with managing this data, BI also helps extract valuable insights and allows you to connect and correlate data elements that would otherwise be siloed. It is essential since POS systems might offer only basic reporting. Still, real BI goes beyond linking various aspects, like HR turnover to average wage to tenure. This comprehensive view is essential for a holistic understanding of business operations.

Staying Informed

BI enables companies to stay ahead of the curve by analyzing cross-departmental data. This is particularly crucial for franchise businesses, as it allows for consistent operational excellence across the franchise network. Implementing BI early in a brand’s lifecycle allows for identifying patterns, understanding seasonality curves, and planning for future growth, minimizing risks associated with scaling new units.

Examples of Business Intelligence

Emphasizing early integration of Business Intelligence in a brand’s lifecycle is crucial for proactive risk management, targeted sales growth, and strategic planning. Additionally, BI facilitates the creation of decision tree logic, enabling businesses to narrow their focus and efficiently identify the root causes of any known issues.

Technology/Tools Delivering BI

BI encompasses a range of technologies and tools that aggregate, analyze, and visualize your data. Going beyond basic reporting, these tools offer more comprehensive insights. For example, BI tools can link HR turnover, to average wage, to tenure, providing a holistic view of the workforce’s impact on the business.

A specific example would be Google Analytics. By tracking the source of website traffic, it identifies popular pages and measures conversion rates. These data points can then be used to refine marketing strategies and allocate resources more effectively.

Sidestepping Risks And Issues

Operational discipline is fundamental to the success of a business. Encompassing a corporate mindset and operational discipline emphasizes consistent adherence to processes and procedures. It prioritizes efficiency, quality, and compliance across all aspects of the business.

BI thoroughly addresses fundamental aspects before expanding or implementing new strategies. By utilizing BI early in the business lifecycle, companies can mitigate risks associated with rapid growth and scale new units more effectively.


Establishing transparent processes for data analysis is crucial. Creating decision tree logic helps narrow the focus for brands, allowing them to identify the root causes of issues. Within an organization, standardized processes and consistent data analysis are essential for maintaining consistency across internal teams, a network of locations, or your clients and strategic partners. Using BI to inspire operational excellence and data-driven decisions,  businesses can significantly improve their profitability and provide a clear differentiator in the competitive franchise landscape.

Strategies to Improve Business Intelligence

By implementing effective BI strategies, businesses of all sizes can comprehensively understand their operations, identify trends, optimize performance, and improve profitability. BI tools and techniques can help companies collect, analyze, and visualize data from various sources, providing insights that can inform decision-making at all levels of the organization.

#1 Establish a Clear BI Definition

Before implementing any BI initiatives, it’s essential to establish a clear definition of what BI means for your organization. This includes identifying the specific goals and objectives you want to achieve through BI and the type of data you want to collect and analyze.

To establish a clear BI definition, you might set a goal to identify performance bottlenecks among various locations. They could collect sales data, customer satisfaction surveys, and operational metrics to develop dashboards that track sales in real-time, pinpointing underperforming locations and areas for improvement.

#2 Standardize Data Collection

A key challenge in BI is ensuring that data is collected from sources in a consistent and standardized format. It can be especially difficult for organizations with multiple locations or businesses relying on third-party vendors’ data. By standardizing data collection, you can ensure that data is readily available and reliable for analysis.

For example, to standardize data collection, businesses facing inconsistent reporting formats could implement a centralized data portal with predefined templates for reporting sales, inventory, and customer data. This would streamline data collection and analysis, enabling accurate performance comparisons across locations.

#3 Invest in BI Software

Choosing the right BI software is essential for effectively managing and analyzing data. A variety of BI solutions are available, so it’s important to evaluate your specific needs and budget.

To invest in BI software,  you might choose a cloud-based platform with self-service analytics capabilities. This would provide users across various teams or locations easy access to data, enabling deeper insights into trends and performance.

#4 Empower Employees

Educating and training employees on how to use BI tools and interpret data effectively is essential to fully utilize BI. It’s essential to provide training sessions, create user guides, and establish a knowledge-sharing culture within the organization.

To empower employees, conduct workshops to train users to use  BI dashboards to track key performance indicators, identify opportunities, and make more strategic, data-driven decisions. You could also create an online forum for employees to share BI insights and best practices, fostering increased engagement with data and leading to more informed decision-making across the board.

#5 Continuously Monitor and Refine

BI is an ongoing process, not a one-time project. Regularly review and refine your BI strategies to ensure that they are aligned with your business objectives and meet the evolving needs of your franchise.

Regular meetings to evaluate dashboard effectiveness and identify new data sources for analysis would identify how dashboards would inform how dashboards can be updated based on feedback and evolving business needs. Regular monitoring and tracking ensures that your BI strategy remains relevant and aligned with changing market dynamics.

#6 Leverage the Right Resources

Engage with external experts or consultants specializing in BI to provide guidance and support in implementing and optimizing your BI initiatives.

To leverage the right resources, partner with a BI consultant experienced in your industry to optimize data collection, software selection, and training programs. They could also utilize industry reports and data to compare performance against competitors, gaining valuable insights to accelerate BI implementation and maximize its impact.


In summary, BI is a strategic cornerstone for businesses. By developing a strong BI strategy, you’ll be better equipped to make more informed decisions and achieve operational excellence. 

If you’re interested in working with a capital partner to strengthen every aspect of your franchise, let’s link up! From BI to real estate, marketing, and more, Impact Brands provides founders and leaders with the necessary financial and intellectual resources to fortify their entire Enterprise Strategy. Contact us to start a great discussion! 

In the meantime, be sure to read our blog post, “How a Founder Can Plan and Prepare For a Calculated Exit Strategy” for valuable insights into navigating the complexities of business exits.