Data Visualizations are Key to Business Intelligence and Growth

Blog Data Visualizations Are Key Business Intelligence Growth

You no longer need to be a big company to get access to big data. Once available only to large companies, advances in technology over the past several years are giving small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) worldwide access to data visualizations and the ability to improve business operations, automate processes, make data-based forecasts, gain valuable customer insights, improve customer service, and uncover competitive advantages.

The resulting business intelligence (BI) has become a very valuable asset, and the trend is only accelerating. Consider these statistics:

  • According to TechJury, 97% of all organizations, including small and mid-size businesses, are investing in big data and AI.
  • 67% of small-to-midsize businesses are now spending more than $10K a year on analytics, on average, according to Small Business Trends. Among survey respondents, a remarkable 100% are using a data analytics solution!
  • According to IDG, the amount of data small and medium-size businesses manage is 47.81 Terabytes. And the data is expected to grow by more than 50% in 12 to 18 months’ time (from March, 2020).
  • According to Statista, the market survey report showed that the total amount of data being consumed globally was forecasted to increase rapidly to 64.2 zettabytes in 2020 and 79 zettabytes in 2021 while it is projected to grow to over 180 zettabytes up to 2025.
  • Businesses are now collecting data at a staggering rate, doubling every 18 months, according to ComputerWorld.
  • BARC, reported that organizations are reaping the benefits of Big Data— 69% chance of better strategic decisions, 54% chance of enhanced operational process control, 52% for a better understanding of consumers as well as 47% for effective cost reduction.
  • BARC reports that the organizations reaping the benefits of Big Data reported an average 8% increase in revenues while there is a 10% reduction in costs.
  • Companies that were primarily data driven benefited from 4% higher productivity and 6% higher profits according to an MIT Sloan School of Management study.

Business Intelligence Accessibility and Affordability

Being a data-driven organization – a necessity in today’s competitive marketplace – requires online data visualization tools that help decision-makers to see and easily understand their data.

Dashboards and data visualizations reveal business and market trends, uncover patterns and connections, and produce instant insights that would otherwise take hours or days mulling over spreadsheets to arrive at through traditional reporting tools.

These new business intelligence tools and visualizations offer:

  1. Flexible, intuitive, and easy-to-use interfaces
  2. Quick insights into high volumes and varieties of data
  3. Faster processing using visuals (Human eyes can register a stunning 36,000 visual messages per hour)
  4. Better comprehension and retention of information
  5. Customizations to drive key performance indicators for your business
  6. Reporting that is easy to access and share
  7. Interactivity options including drill-down, zoom-in, filters, and more

Embedded BI Ensures Easy Access and Usability

Think of an airline pilot suddenly forced to land with a dashboard that has stopped working. Talk about flying by the seat of your pants! Yes, while the pilot can look at each individual instrument or gauge and talk to the tower, it’s the dashboard in context within the work space that brings all the details together to ensure a safe, smooth landing.

When you run a business in which many of your employees are already interacting heavily with software, the new performance standard isn’t just simplifying and automating operations. It’s analyzing data and processes, finding patterns and trends, and making that information evident to employees at every level of decision-making authority. Advanced analytical and visualization capabilities within your existing application framework provide these capabilities.

Building on its past reporting, many of today’s best data analytics tools are incorporated into an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution with modules or applications that run each department or function of a business. With embedded analytics such as key performance indicator dashboards and auto-generated reports, it’s now possible to relay critical information to and from key decision-makers instantly and without business interruption.

As part of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, business intelligence software brings previously disparate data together, making it available through embedded dashboards and visualizations that are understandable and generate real business value.

Think about that airline pilot with a digital instrument panel. The information it shows doesn’t take time away from flying the jet; it makes flying easier, not to mention less risky.

While access to the latest business intelligence tools requires a commitment to its use, an investment in product, training time, and time to incorporate new tasks into your work, it is worth the benefits of true insight and faster decision making.

Leveling the playing field

Until this decade, larger corporations ran out to an unfair lead, armed with expensive, complex software and teams of business analytics pros to run them. Now, data visualization technology has been distilled for smaller companies and made available through economies of scale.

Today’s ERP solutions are designed to be turnkey, enabling executives to glean powerful business insights and competitive advantages with small sample sizes. It is easier than ever to begin, and the benefits start to accrue the moment your business goes live with your industry-specific ERP solution.

ECI’s dashboards deliver industry-specific business intelligence

Embedded right within the ECI industry-specific ERP software, ECI’s Business Intelligence (BI) dashboards offer dynamic, graphical visualizations of your business data for fast, fact-based decision making. Cognytics is ECI's proprietary embedded BI technology platform that connects infinite data sets to display dashboards and data visualizations within ECI ERP business applications.

With dozens of key business metrics available on financial, sales, service, and more, you'll get a complete picture of your business automatically delivered to you in an easy-to-understand way which empowers you to make better informed decisions.

Specific to ECI’s Red Falcon, DDMSPLUS, and Horizon ERP software for office supply companies, Cognytics-powered dashboards quickly uncover problems and find opportunities to grow your businesses. Relevant, actionable insights are automatically delivered to you in an easy-to-understand way, empowering you to make better informed decisions.

<Insert the video clip on dashboards and analytics>

The role-based Executive Dashboard is provided by permission to business executives such as the owner and CEO. It provides instant access to high-level business health metrics along with single-click drill down into key metrics. It offers compelling data visualizations, customizable reporting capabilities, and everything your business needs to compete with the big box stores and win.

The Sales Dashboard offers sales leaders and individual sales personnel a detailed look at sales data including new orders, open orders, and sales trends. Sales leaders can select a specific salesperson and view unique details about their current sales, gross profit, and other performance metrics to provide guidance and motivation.

ECI’s MarkSystems ERP for residential home construction companies includes Advanced Executive Dashboards that deliver a snapshot of business performance at any time and the information builders need to make strategic business decisions. Executives can drill down into the details or use advanced data filters to see under-performing communities, sales trends, or review warranty claims without running multiple reports or doing manual calculations. The dashboards can be customized for each individual builder’s needs.

New dashboards from Cognytics are being created and added on a regular basis. Learn more when you visit

About the Author

ECI Staff Contributors love to share their insights and expertise on a variety of topics including sales, marketing, cloud, ERP, and SMB development as well as on product specific education. With offices throughout the United States, Mexico, England, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand, more than 40 employees contribute to blog on a regular basis.