Business Intelligence Functionalities – 13 Important Features

Editorial Team

Business Intelligence Functionalities - 13 Important Features

Business intelligence (BI) is a technology-driven method for data analysis and information delivery that aids managers, employees, or executives in making wise business decisions. As part of the BI process, organizations acquire data from internal and external IT systems, prepare it for analysis, execute queries on the data, and build data visualizations, BI dashboards, and reports to make analytics information available to business users for operational and strategic decision-making.

Benefits Of Business Intelligence

Below are some of the benefits of using business intelligence:

1. Organization Of Data

Business intelligence (BI) is the process of organizing all of the data generated by an organization into consumable reports, performance indicators, and trends. Although business intelligence technologies serve many purposes, their primary goal is to support an organization’s decision-making process and aid knowledge workers—such as managers and research analysts—in reaching decisions that are more accurate and swifter.

2. Analysis Of Business Specific Data

Business intelligence is the set of IT technologies that a corporation uses to collect and analyze internal, business-specific data so that it may make data-driven choices. A corporation can evaluate unprocessed business data using these numerous tools and software platforms to create effective systems that aid decision-making. Customer assistance, market research, competitive intelligence, product performance, and other sectors that profit from statistical analysis are among the areas where business intelligence tools are used to gather data.

3. Address Real-World Problems

Business intelligence has numerous advantages, but at its foundation, BI helps firms use their data to address real-world problems. If it doesn’t accomplish that, it isn’t doing its job. It is why, if and when you find yourself assessing BI software providers, you’ll want to make sure you only evaluate vendors who offer to do that; vow to be capable of assisting you in achieving your most ambitious and pressing business goals.

Unfortunately, promises are nothing more than a string of words and sentences. And unless you have proof before your eyes, promises are nothing more than empty claims made by business intelligence suppliers all too often. It’s an age-old story. Vendors state that their product is the most user-friendly, and scalable, or provides the best data visualizations. Many providers would say anything to outdo the competitors – or cut them off at the knees.

The following is a list of must-have functionalities to look for in business intelligence software to help with data exploration, speed up the evaluation process, and set yourself up for success:

1. Data Views With Customizability

Simply displaying data on dashboards is out of date. The digital dashboard has been around since the 1980s, and a lot has evolved in the last 30 years.

Evolution Of Digital Dashboard

The world evolves quickly, and you need business intelligence tools that keep up. Make sure that the tool you are considering has customizable, enterprise-level, self-service dashboards that allow you to analyze data and monitor and track the success of your business indicators in real time. Look for a tool that lets you create fully responsive data views (dashboards, reports, tiny multiples, etc.) quickly and easily utilizing good drag-and-drop design tools, data visualizations, and a variety of styles, themes, and templates.

Combination Of Data Visualizations

Every data view you create should be fully customizable, which means you should be able to add any combination of data visualizations and components and organize them in any way you want. No pixel should be inaccessible. Then, once you’ve finalized your design, ensure that these data views can be filtered and dived into, and that advanced analysis and computations can be performed immediately on the interface. Your business intelligence software should never limit or constrain you, especially when it comes to its aesthetic features. The significance of the ability to visually engage with customized data views on data exploration cannot be overstated.

2. Intelligent Data Visualizations

What better way to engage your users and help them dig into the story their data is showing them than through highly interactive, visually attractive, and intelligent data visualizations? We’ve always maintained that data visualizations are the modern-day version of visual communications, and those with excellent interactivity may help people grasp data not only better but also faster.

Data visualizations are interactive representations and approaches that are exhibited as visual objects in the context of business intelligence, to communicate the relevance of data to those who examine them. Data visualizations are good because they are more likely to uncover and reveal patterns, trends, and correlations in data that might otherwise go undetected in less-graphic variations (such as text or table-based data). It’s worth noting that almost every business intelligence software includes data visualizations in some form or another. As a result, while analyzing how good a tool’s visualizations are at assisting data exploration, you must be extra careful and vigilant. The finest data visualizations are dynamic, appealing, and packed with extensive customization features that provide consumers with granular control over practically every design element.

The more intelligent your data visualizations, the better your visual delivery. The better your visual delivery, the more engaged your users will be in the messages you’re conveying. The more engaged your consumers are, the more likely it is that they will use BI tools and uncover data insights.

3. Continuous Data Integration

There’s a reason why so many similar, if not identical, experiences and interfaces exist today. It’s because they work, and they work because people are predisposed to them and have a baseline amount of experience with them.

Integration With Existing Systems

What you should look for in BI software is how well it integrates with your existing systems and whether it can be configured to appear and act like the apps you want to embed it with (be it in a full-fledged stand-alone application, or as a widget on your website). A programmable business intelligence software, designed with flexibility, extensibility, and ease of integration, will be able to consolidate data from any data source, offer seamless data, and assure a consistent and engaging user experience.

Ease Of Exploring Data

The ability to create, distribute, and display rich, dynamic, web-based data views that integrate easily with your existing infrastructure can vastly improve your users’ capacity to explore data by providing a superior BI experience. It will also enhance user acceptance, shorten the learning curve (saving money on training), and provide better access control, management, security, and governance.

4. Immersive Mobile Experience

A large portion of business intelligence software does not provide its users with an immersive mobile experience, which means they cannot generate, examine, or share data views or execute complex data analysis on mobile devices.

Prominence Of Mobile Surfing

For the first time, mobile devices consumed more online traffic than desktop computers in 2016. In 2018, mobile devices accounted for 58% of the approximately 1 trillion web visits in the United States. These figures should not surprise anyone; the move from desktop to mobile surfing has been clear for several years.

Availability Of Information Solutions

Businesses are required to make faster, better, and more accurate decisions. One of the most effective ways for them to achieve this is to enable them to deliver a seamless user experience by ensuring that business information solutions are available and accessible from wherever their users are, including their mobile gadgets. They are constantly on the move, so the ability to connect to their data from anywhere by allowing them to connect, interact, and analyze data from any device should be a no-brainer.

To ensure that customers can examine their data on mobile devices, it is critical to consider BI software that is mobile-first, preferably using HTML5 and does not require the installation of any additional applications or downloads. Users can construct dashboards and reports, and execute data analysis anytime they want, wherever they are, with business intelligence software that works and appears the same on mobile devices as on PCs.

5. Customized Analytics

Tailored analytics, also known as adaptive analytics, refers to users’ experience and interaction with their business intelligence tools in a more tailored manner. Through predictive and advanced data analytics and on-the-fly data analysis, personalized analytics frequently leads to users being able to grasp the business value of their data.

Appeal To A Variety Of Users

The more individuals in your company who use analytics and make data-driven decisions, the better and more successful your company will be. To develop that type of data-forward culture, in which every user, regardless of role, consumes and explores data, business intelligence software must provide tailored, easy-to-use analytics experiences that function as its users expect. The BI software effectively gives everyone the power of analytics by adapting its output to different sorts of users, without sacrificing functionality.

If your company has a wide range of users, such as C-level executives, business analysts, and developers. Make sure you evaluate BI software based on its capacity to address and adapt to each individual’s demands and to provide an analytical experience that allows all of them to extract value from their data. It will result in a higher ROI, and a reduction in help desk support and training costs because fewer technical users will utilize the program, and more individuals will consume and act on data.

6. Capability For Secure And Managed Deployment

You should always consider business intelligence software that offers itself as deployable for modern organizations.

Limiting The Gotcha Culture

We observe far too many departments operating independently of one another, using siloed data and local copies. It leads to poor inter-organizational communication and encourages the “gotcha” culture. It is one in which everyone bases their decisions on their data and experiences and uses their results to not only support their own decisions but also to discredit the decisions of their colleagues. When there is no one source of truth, there is a lack of internal alignment, and the business is more likely to stagnate, despite its best attempts to expand.

Deploying BI For Modern Organizations

To avoid such occurrences, you should consider business intelligence software that offers itself as deployable for modern organizations. What you’re looking for is software that allows you to implement and maintain safe, controlled data analytics solutions per your organization’s IT standards while keeping everyone on the same page. That’s a mouthful, but what we mean is that you should look for BI software that can be implemented and managed the way you want it—you’re in command, not the program. So, whether you intend to install on-premises or in the cloud, remember that the choice is yours, and the software you examine should be able to do both.

7. Intelligence About Location

The capacity to map and visualize data in geographical formats are referred to as location intelligence. It offers a real-time data stream that follows clients’ geographic positions, which may be a significant tool for organizations. BI users can use location intelligence to analyze patterns and trends in customer behavior, which can help businesses make better marketing and sales decisions. Exploring and visualizing data sets based on spatial aspects allows enterprises to gain a new perspective on their business operations, such as sales by region.

8. “What If” Scenario Analysis

“What if” analysis enables firms to evaluate the potential consequences of crucial business decisions before they are taken. Using existing data, we can develop strategies to meet business objectives while avoiding the usual “hit and miss” approach. It enables management to do proper strategic planning.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to simulate future situations and assess the probable consequences of these actions. This type of study can assist organizations in making sound judgments regarding their operations and future objectives. Predictive analytics can help firms better understand customer behavior and forecast future trends.

9. Ranking Reports

This feature allows you to generate reports that group particular categories of information across many dimensions by selecting precise criteria. Ranking reports show which elements of your business are performing. You may develop a report that rates your top ten selling goods, regions, or salespeople.

One of the primary causes of erroneous reports is human error. Ranking reports can help businesses automatically rate distinct data sets in order of specific relevance, allowing end-users to quickly decide which data sets require greater attention.

10. Data Security And Protection

Aside from data visualization, another characteristic of a business intelligence solution is the capacity to securely store and access data. Data collection, filtering, cleansing, and organization can be time-consuming and difficult, therefore, businesses want a solution to protect their data from illegal access. A BI solution is also required for firms that comply with data privacy legislation, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). – must ensure that you select a business intelligence platform with the essential accreditation and protections to ensure data security and compliance.

11. Data Integration

Even the most powerful BI solution will fail if it cannot connect to existing data sources. An analytics platform provides optimized native connectivity for speedier analysis, regardless of where the data is stored.

You may quickly query the database without developing any proprietary code. It should interact effortlessly with the existing data strategy without requiring the purchase of extra goods, which might disturb your current data architecture. It enables connectivity to different platforms, such as ERP and CRM applications, e-commerce and big data solutions, and cloud file storage systems.

12. Join Data Sources

Another business intelligence functionality related to information connectivity is the ability to join data sources.  You may combine data from several sources to execute cross-database queries and obtain advanced business insights. It is vital to have the ability to match and unify data from many sources to gain the necessary insights to help your organization prosper. Modern BI systems should give you this ability by allowing you to define associations between your separate sources with a few clicks, for as via creating foreign keys.

13. Embedding Capabilities

Embedding analytics is one of the BI technologies that will gain traction in 2021 and continue to expand in 2022.  Embedding analytics is a business intelligence feature that allows you to incorporate analytical software with all of its features into your system. Tools like Datapine enable you to embed interactive dashboards inside your application, giving you all the benefits of a BI reporting tool without the cost and human labor of developing your own. You have complete control over your analysis process, from monitoring to visualizing and extracting actionable information, in this manner.


Overall, the purpose of business intelligence is to improve an organization’s operations by utilizing relevant data. Businesses that use BI tools and approaches efficiently can transform their acquired data into valuable insights into their company’s processes and strategies. These insights can then be used to create better business decisions that boost productivity and revenue, resulting in faster business growth and more profits.

Without BI, organizations cannot easily profit from data-driven decision-making. Executives and employees must rely on other criteria to make crucial business decisions, such as collected knowledge, previous experiences, intuition, and gut feelings. While these strategies can provide solid conclusions, they are also rife with the possibility of errors and mishaps due to a lack of data.