ERP is responsible for receiving and organizing data, while Business Intelligence (BI) tools help to analyze the data to provide insights. To better understand the connection, let’s do a quick review.
What is Business Intelligence (BI)?
BI refers to all the technologies and practices that use data that incite change, minimize the possible inefficiencies, and create a more competitive stance for businesses in market shifts. Most modern BI software is designed and built to make this process more effective. This is accomplished by providing data visualization with functionality powered by artificial intelligence (AI), such as using predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics.
Business Intelligence software essentially analyzes the operational and customer data that is provided by ERP to provide insights for companies to make more informative and strategic business decisions. Birst Business Analytics by Infor is a next-generation enterprise business intelligence and analytics platform that helps organizations understand and optimize complex processes in less time than traditional BI solutions.
What is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?
ERP software is designed and built to consolidate, centralize, and automate critical departments within a company such as: sales, accounting, human resources, and customer service. Before ERP software, these departments essentially ran independent of one another and each used a specialized software for their specific needs. This worked for a while, but it made communication and collaboration between departments a major challenge. It was far too easy for data and communication to become misconstrued as it traveled from department to department.
Currently, ERP systems enables all these departments to come together under an integrated system that operates out of a unified database. Members from all departments are able to have access to the same dataset across the board and can gain visibility into the company’s core operations.
What is the Connection?
For most programs, BI functionality will already be built into the ERP system. However, the core functionality may not be enough for larger organizations that experience large quantities of data every day. In these cases, these companies may require advanced reporting features. This means that they may need to implement a specialized BI tool, such as Infor’s Birst, which is designed to integrate with an ERP system.
No matter what, BI will help your company make the absolute most out of every single piece of information that it receives through ERP. Without it, the volume of data that passes through would be too great to handle and pick apart and achieve the best insight.
The Limits of ERP Alone
ERP systems can track the details of operations and transactions within a company. However, many ERP solutions do not have the capacity to immediately translate data into dissectible insights, at least not very quickly or easily.
Modern companies require a solution that will manage large volumes of data and turn this data into insights that organizations can act on decisively. This is where BI comes in. BI immediately increases the functionality of data obtained by ERP.
BI when used in conjunction with ERP, can increase the intelligence functionality of all the data that the ERP system captures, analyze it, and turn it into customizable and user-friendly reports.
6 Benefits of BI in ERP
1. Accurate Predictions with Real-Time Updates:
With BI and ERP, users no longer have to use multiple applications and worry about switching back and forth to see all the data within the company. With BI, companies will obtain a high-level view of all ERP data via dynamic dashboards that make it easy for users to understand the data they are working with. With this system in place, users can get as granular as they please with the data, even going as far as tracing any issues to the root cause.
2. More Accurate Reporting:
When data analytics functions are automated, companies can accomplish much more than simply saving time, because risks such as human error is virtually eliminated and reporting is more concise and accurate. With BI integration into the ERP software, companies can rest assured that every person within the company is working with the exact same data points and reporting tools.
3. Internal Team Collaboration
With BI, anyone within a company can generate accurate data reports. The manual effort is completely eliminated, which frees up the internal support teams to complete other important aspects of their jobs.
Even better, most BI applications can be used by anyone without needing to learn complex coding language. Many of these applications have drag-and-drop features that allow any user, at any level, to create interactive and responsive data reports.
4. Obtain Insights From Legacy Data
BI tools can do so much more than simply process incoming data. They can also analyze historical data from legacy systems, looking for insights to help boost the company in multiple areas.
5. Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics
Data is only valuable if it benefits a company in moving forward. BI tools can use data to predict incoming and future trends, such as a company’s projected year-end sales based on the numbers from the last 6 months.
BI can also provide prescriptive analytics. This means that the system takes the predictions it has previously made and goes as far as providing suggestions for the next logical steps for your company based off of data.
6. Make Smarter Use of Data
Most companies view their data as their most valuable asset. Even so, the likelihood that the data is being used to its full potential is slim. With BI and ERP combined, companies can leverage the full power and potential of data. This results in a company that is able to improve its core business processes as they learn what works and what does not. There are other benefits that can be expected such as:
● Improved Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
● Improved visibility, traceability, and compliance
● A better understanding of supply chain and production processes
● More timely preventative maintenance
● More accuracy in demand forecasting
● Ability to gauge performance across multiple business locations in terms of turnover rates, product margins, etc.
● Access to real time updates on quality issues
● Ability to identify areas to reduce waste or even quicken cycle times
Overall, ERP is Smarter with BI
There are endless possibilities for success when ERP and BI are combined and work together. It all begins with the raw data that customers, partners, and even employees generate on a day-to-day basis. Instead of letting those valuable insights remain separate and go unnoticed, they are now able to be merged together seamlessly with the integration of BI and ERP systems. With the power of BI and ERP combined, a company is equipped with data-rich intelligence that will ensure a company makes smarter and faster decisions, ensuring they maintain the competitive edge now and into the future.
For more information about ERP, BI and what integrating them can do for your company, visit us at www.godlan.com or call 586.464.4400 today.