Business Intelligence, which is often referred to as BI, is just what it sounds like: the data that makes your business run intelligently. Every organization, regardless of its IT budget, can (and should) aggregate and analyze raw data about their business and then use it to make insightful, tactical decisions. Without effective use of your BI, you’ll just be taking shots in the dark, one right after another. 

According to The Starter Guide to Business Intelligence, BI is an indispensable resource that, when used wisely, can:

    • Provide answers to critical business questions
    • Ensure alignment between activities and strategy
    • Reduce time spent on data entry and manipulation
    • Provide in-depth, real-time insights into customers
    • Benchmark your data against that of competitors and against your historical data for continuous improvements
    • Identify areas to cut costs and to allocate budget
    • Boost internal productivity by spending time on what’s important

There are a number of BI tools out there, and each can transform raw data into meaningful and digestible information via data warehouses, data discovery tools, cloud data services, reports, and dashboards. But the very best BI tools are ones that truly democratize your data so that anyone in your organization can easily extract insights and create value from BI reporting. If you want to understand your holistic business health, then you have to pull data from a wide range of sources and make that data digestible to everyone in your organization and on any device. This is precisely what Zoho Analytics does with its varied performance indicators, collaborative toolkit, and cross-functional reports and dashboards. 

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Zoho Analytics: A Self-Service BI and Analytics Platform

Zoho Analytics is a self-service BI and data analytics software that allows you to analyze your data and create accessible data visualizations in minutes. It tracks key business metrics across departments and then identifies long-term trends and outliers to unearth critical insights. And it does all this using actionable reports and dashboards that blend data from multiple sources inside and outside your organization. 

Zoho is user-friendly, with a drag-and-drop tool that can build out different visualizations in order to highlight different insights. The analytics are powered by artificial intelligence, so you can ask intelligence assistant Zia questions and then get answers in the form of forecast trends or automated reports. You can then collaborate online by sharing these reports with colleagues and discussing them within secure conversations. You can even embed the BI tool and analytics in your own brand name, so that it is seamlessly woven into your own product, application, portal, or website.

Check out the most recent Zoho Analytics update here. 

Creating Custom Inventory Reports in Zoho Analytics

Integrating your inventory management system with Zoho Analytics allows you to track data around products, inventory, orders, and sales. It helps you optimize your stock handling and make data-driven decisions by analyzing your sales orders, your invoices, and your best and least selling products. Even better, this data can be blended with Zoho CRM to help you understand your customers’ preferences and plan your inventory accordingly. 

We recently completed a project where we created custom reports in Zoho Analytics for a client that didn’t have the tools needed to identify whether they would have enough inventory in a few months to meet customer demand. The reporting method in use at the time didn’t account for the various fluctuations and seasonal changes that regularly affect their industry. They had numerous data sets, which they knew were related but didn’t know how to make the connections needed to build the reports. 

We built SQL query tables that were able to connect various types of records and then blend financial and operational data into one unified display. We then added the client’s budget projections as a data source, so that the user could quickly judge their performance and identify potential inventory shortfalls. In the end, our client got increased visibility into their performance without spending lots of time gathering and analyzing data from various sources. All of the reports are compiled into 4 separate dashboards in Zoho Analytics. Some of these reports were simple, others were very complex. 

So, while Zoho Analytics comes packed with great out-of-the-box features, you can also create bespoke or tailored reports to better suit your business needs. Contact us for a free 30-minute Zoho consultation.

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