The evolution of Business Intelligence is one for the books and can be dated back as far as the 1860s. Initially, the term was used to describe the gathering of data on market trends and using it to make decisions that would enable organisations to achieve greater success. The origins of this term predate the invention of computers. It was only in the 1950s when the potential of gathering data using technology was explored, and eventually became the basis to what we know and understand Business Intelligence to be.
Today, we understand Business Intelligence (BI) to be the use of technology to compile, store, analyse and interpret data with the purpose of making better business decisions. BI tools make it easier to present data in user friendly and visually appealing ways, such as through graphs, charts, reports and dashboards.
BI tools enable business users to gain insight into how the business is performing, through the analysis and interpretation of different types of data, i.e., structured and unstructured data. They also make it easy to access and analyse data from different timelines; historical and current, and to even predict market trends.
The Logistics Industry
The logistics and supply chain industry are recognised as one of the most important industries today, with an ever-increasing demand for goods transportation from eCommerce businesses.
Logistics professionals place a strong priority on operational efficiency and getting goods from point A to point B as cheaply as possible. Reaching this goal may be a challenge for individuals in the sector, as competition is growing, and the supply chain is becoming more susceptible due to political unrest, the climate issue, and the pandemic.
The goal of logistics should be to continuously offer value-added services that can assist clients in navigating the obstacles of the modern economy. In proportion to the industry’s rapid growth, its complexity has also increased.
Any logistics operation’s main goal is to satisfy the client. Every day, logistics companies add a wealth of valuable data to their database that can be used to improve their operations. Business intelligence should be a priority for every company in the field, but many don’t know how to use data to their advantage and end up not using it at all.
How BI Tools can be used to make data-driven decisions in the logistics industry
BI tools can also be used to improve data-driven decision making in the logistics industry. Using business intelligence, airlines can gain insights from sources such as flight schedules, cargo manifests, weather reports, and customer data. BI tools can then be used to create reports, dashboards, and visualisations that can be used to make more informed decisions.
Some specific ways that BI tools can be used in the logistics industry include:
- Performance monitoring: BI tools can be used to track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as cargo volume, flight schedules, and customer satisfaction. This can help the logistics industry to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions about how to optimise their operations.
- Data visualisation: BI tools can be used to create interactive dashboards and visualisations that can be used to explore data and gain insights. This can help the logistics industry to identify patterns and trends that may not be immediately apparent from raw data.
- Forecasting: BI tools can be used to predict future trends and patterns, such as demand for cargo services, flight schedules, and maintenance needs. This can help the logistics industry to make more informed decisions about resource allocation and capacity planning.
- Drill-down analysis: BI tools can be used to drill-down into specific data points and investigate the underlying causes of issues. This can help the logistics industry to identify root causes and take corrective action.
- Self-service analytics: BI tools can empower business users to access, analyse and visualise data on their own, without the need of IT support. This can help to increase the speed and flexibility of data-driven decision making.
It is important to note that the success of BI tools relies on the quality and completeness of data, and the ability to turn data into actionable insights, so it’s essential to have good data governance and data management practices in place.
It is of paramount importance that organisations take advantage of the full capabilities of BI solutions. To optimise the use of this cutting-edge technology, organisations need to be in a position where they understand their customers and their changing preferences, market trends, and they need to consistently implement strategies and solutions that will drive improvement in the industry.
There is no manual on how organisations need to implement and rollout their digital transformation strategy. However, it is recommended to start out small, and then add more complexity, as opposed to rolling out a strategy that will reinvent the entire industry all at once. To transform this industry, all stakeholders need to come on board, and invest in modern technology to boost the competitiveness of the entire ecosystem.
ISB Optimus has partnered with technology providers that enable us to provide tailored BI solutions to organisations, to help them draw valuable insights from business data. These applications provide the means to visualise this information and create powerful reports and dashboards to help you understand what happened in the past and predict what might happen in the future with, greater accuracy.
Contact us today to see how we can provide you with an unparalleled BI experience, that will ensure that your organisation is always ahead of the competition.