May 24, 2018

What is the difference between reporting and Business Intelligence anyway?

What is the difference between reporting and Business Intelligence anyway?

Do you remember decades ago how fun it was when data was entered into Excel and you could slice and dice it any way you wanted? Maybe it was just me. Personally, I loved making those graphs that showed comparisons of segments. Fast forward to today and we are all drowning in data. We have so much of it, yet we’re not sure what to do with it and how it can help us make useful decisions. Plus, one individual may have multiple roles in an organization, not allowing for hours of time to manipulate data.

We use reporting to tell us what happened. We run reports of how many people joined our organization, how much revenue our event brought in, etc. But this only tells us what happened.

Business Intelligence is the next iteration of data, which tells the how and the why. With this powerful information at your fingertips, you can then make decisions that will shape future outcomes. No, there’s no crystal ball or soothsayer involved. Business Intelligence accesses data both internal to your organization and externally to help you take the best course of action.

Let’s look at an example. Suppose you were trying to choose a date and location for your next event. Reporting will tell you who attended your event previously and where they were from. You could surmise that based on historical performance, the event with highest ticket sales is the best location. But do you want to base your decision solely on that? What if there’s an even better location?

Business Intelligence will pull in external factors like weather, destination proximity to members, competing events and more. It will also look at when the most tickets were sold to determine the best time to promote your event. Starting to see the difference?

You can also use Business Intelligence to look at the health of your membership. Gain insights into when members renew, age type and how that changes year over year. Then adjust recruitment efforts based on that information. If you see a trend of churn at members between the 2-4 year mark, you know you need to nurture that segment more.

Here's a peek inside MemberSuite's Business Intelligence tool, Insights:

Reporting looks back, while Business Intelligence rotates, pulling in data from every direction, while simultaneously picking out actionable information. The fundamental difference between these two analysis tools is that while reporting will present you with data, Business Intelligence gives you the ability to interact with that data.

These insights support decisions and strategy that shape the future performance of your organization. And Business Intelligence is not just for enterprise companies. MemberSuite offers Business Intelligence specifically for membership driven organizations. It’s called Insights and it is available now and starts working with the flip of a switch.

Don’t get left behind. Without Business Intelligence, any organization will have an incredibly difficult time spotting trends, predicting future outcomes and capitalizing on opportunities to succeed. Click here to request a demo of Insights Business Intelligence.