Business intelligence is the use of tools such as data mining, analysis, and visualization to drive business decisions. For field service companies in particular, the major benefits lie in minimizing inefficiencies, spotting and responding to trends, and grabbing new opportunities.
Business intelligence encompasses analytics as part of the bigger process of making data driven decisions. The process begins with collection of raw data, processing it, and storing it in a data warehouse. Data scientists then use statistical tools to uncover patterns and trends that can be used to make predictions. Business intelligence is turning the insights from such analysis into actions.
Here are some real-world benefits of business intelligence tools for your field service business.
Faster Analysis through Dashboards
Business intelligence software enables quicker analysis and decision-making within a business. The software does quick processing of heavy data from multiple sources and puts it in a data warehouse.
Users can then make queries, whereby the software does a relevant analysis and generates a report on the dashboard. The dashboards are designed to be intuitive so users do not need any technical or coding experience.
Business intelligence can help gather useful insights on KPIs within your field service business. Some of these insights would normally feel impossible to gauge.
One such thing is productivity of field staff, which traditionally was gauged using hours worked each week or month. However, with the ability to analyze multiple data points simultaneously, including the number of customers served, average time on site, customer satisfaction ratings, and so forth.
The powerful nature of data analytics tools today makes it such that huge amounts of data can be analyzed rather quickly. Insights can be uncovered virtually in real-time. This enables better planning, budgeting, and forecasting.
The insights can be a source of sustainable competitive advantage. The organization uses its resources more efficiently, which can enable it to compete with companies with bigger budgets and balance sheets.
Better Data Quality
Data will rarely be 100% accurate because of challenges in collection and recording. Therefore, being able to have and use data from different sources is advantageous because it improves overall quality and reliability.
Traditionally, departments used to have their own data stored away for their use only. However, business intelligence software can combine databases from all internal departments and couple it with external data sources. All departments have access to the same data, which is great for collaboration.
A great example would be a company with field service units spread out across multiple states. Each unit can operate as an independent business, and then the business intelligence tool can aggregate field data from the different units. A dashboard can help managers track metrics on how other teams in other cities are performing and compare that to their own team.
Better Employee Satisfaction
Being able to provide valuable insights to your field team is massively important for their job satisfaction. Instead of giving feedback based on numbers, data analytics tools can help you provide actionable insights to improve them.
For instance, instead of telling your teams they aren’t hitting daily targets in terms of numbers, you could tell them that a short retraining course is warranted to improve their efficiency. You could also share tips that teams in other locations are using to get more done.
What the Future of Business Intelligence Looks Like
A major prediction about the future of business intelligence is that there will be greater collaboration between different tools and platforms. This will create a more immersive experience for users, with real-time data constantly being integrated to enable accurate decision making.
In addition, business intelligence platforms will be built to be compatible with existing systems in users’ companies. Businesses will be able to add data analytics tools as APIs in their existing applications.
Indeed, business intelligence tools give your field service business an edge when it comes to data-driven decision making and smoother operations. Management gets to give meaningful feedback to the field staff, better insights on organizational efficiency, and trends and opportunities in the industry.
The value of business intelligence in field service companies will only grow as more data is collected, technology improves, and more IoT devices get deployed.
If your business needs assistance unlocking insights from data, check out MSI Data’s Service Pro Business Intelligence.