A Guide to BI Tools: How to Use Them to Improve Business Performance

A Guide to BI Tools: How to Use Them to Improve Business Performance | Data Science | Emeritus

Over the years, there has been a significant upgrade in the way businesses use data. Ajay Jain, Senior Vice President of Bharti Airtel, revealed in a webinar that they track 100 billion records daily to determine their customers’ service experience and fill gaps between what’s delivered and what’s expected. Similarly, many Indian businesses use data to make important business decisions. The increasing automation across industries has led to huge amounts of data. However, this raw data is of no use to businesses. Therefore, companies use applications like Business Intelligence (BI) to derive benefits from large data sets. These applications enable organizations to convert data into understandable and usable formats.  

Read ahead to learn more about BI tools and how they help organizations improve performance.

What are BI Tools, and How do They Work?

BI Tools

Business intelligence is software that analyzes data and presents it in user-friendly formats such as dashboards, graphs, and charts. And BI tools are applications that are used in the business intelligence process. It allows companies to access different types of data and gain deep insights into how their business is performing. Additionally, companies use these insights to make informed business decisions and improve performance. 

Here’s how BI tools work: 

  1. Business intelligence platforms use different techniques to extract raw data from data warehouses. 
  2. BI tools prepare the data for analysis and use data visualization tools and techniques to convert the raw data into understandable formats such as charts, tables, and graphs. 
  3. The customizable dashboards of BI and visualization tools present the most relevant information at the top. 
  4. BI tools present data simply and attractively to enable a layperson to understand and draw a conclusion from data. 
  5. The results drawn from BI tools are used to improve decisions, identify trends, and increase the company’s efficiency and revenue streams. 

ALSO READ: A Guide to Business Intelligence Tools: Definition, Benefits, and Examples

How Can BI Tools Help Improve Business Performance?

In India, industries where large-scale data is generated daily use BI tools, such as companies undertaking supply chain management. BI tools help companies gather, organize, and distribute critical business information to key internal and external stakeholders. By analyzing the data gathered via BI tools, companies can gain deep insight into their customers’ preferences, competitors’ strategies, and future trends, leading to improved business performance. 

What are Some Common BI Tools Used in India?

Here are some popular BI tools that most Indian companies use for analyzing and interpreting large data sets. 

1. Microsoft BI

Microsoft Power BI has emerged as a dominant player in the Indian market, offering user-friendly data visualization, interactive dashboards, and robust analytics capabilities. Released in 2011, Microsoft BI also has cloud-based BI services that companies can use for storing important documents. 

2. Tableau

Tableau, known for its intuitive and visually appealing data visualization capabilities, has gained significant popularity in India. Furthermore, its drag-and-drop interface and extensive range of visualization options make it a preferred choice for businesses across various industries. 

3. QlikView and Qlik Sense

QlikView and Qlik Sense, developed by Qlik, are widely used in India for their powerful data discovery and associative analytics capabilities. These tools allow users to explore data from multiple perspectives, uncover hidden insights, and make data-driven decisions.

4. Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio, a free and cloud-based BI tool, has gained traction in India due to its ease of use and integration with other Google services. This tool allows businesses to create interactive reports and dashboards using data from various sources. 

What are Some Examples of Businesses Successfully Implementing BI Tools?

According to the Business Intelligence: An Indian Context study, many Indian companies use BI tools. The adoption and implementation of BI have reached a significant level of maturity in India, where organizations are realizing the value of using it for business decisions. Here are two real-life examples of BI adoption in Indian companies. 


HDFC is one of the first companies operating in India to adopt BI tools. By doing so, it has reduced its costs by optimizing different communication channels. Moreover, HDFC has also improved its reaction time to emerging market trends by using business intelligence solutions. The financial institution uses business intelligence tools to analyze data and cross-sell its services across different channels. Furthermore, HDFC uses BI tools to close accounts faster and understand how its customers are using ATM services. 

2. United Breweries Group (UBG)

United Breweries Group wanted to reduce costs that strained the company’s reserves. They, therefore, used BI tools to identify areas with high expenses. The company found out that a significant amount of money was spent on executive travel and accommodations. This was especially in the case of tier-1 and tier-2 cities. Therefore, the company decided to build guest houses in prime cities, as they found it more cost-effective. 

How Can Data-Driven Decision-Making Contribute to Better Business Performance in India?

BI Tools

Effective business performance is critical for organizations. It helps align employees, resources, and systems with the larger company goal. In fact, according to the Data-Driven Decision Making in Action report, data-driven decision-making can significantly affect an organization’s productivity. Here’s how data-driven decision-making can contribute to better business performance. 

1. Better Understanding of Market

Data helps businesses predict market trends, analyze and understand competitors’ strategies, and gain deep insights into customer preferences. Businesses can thus tailor their products, services, and marketing messages to meet the demands of the market. 

2. Improved Business Efficiency

Businesses can optimize their operations and resource allocation when they make data-backed business decisions. Thus, organizations can identify bottlenecks, streamline processes, and reduce inefficiencies by analyzing data on production, supply chain, and logistics. 

3. Personalized Customer Experience

Data-driven decision-making can help businesses provide personalized experiences to customers. Companies can understand customer preferences, personalize offerings, and provide targeted marketing campaigns by analyzing users’ online presence. 

4. Competitive Advantage

In a competitive business environment like India, data-driven decisions help companies gain a competitive advantage. Businesses harnessing data analytics can determine market trends, consumer behavior insights, and competitive intelligence. This is further used to make informed strategic decisions. 

Learn How to Use BI Tools and More With Emeritus 

It’s clear, then, that BI tools play an integral role in enhancing business performance. The vast field of data science, therefore, is invaluable to further help organizations achieve success. Emeritus’ data science courses are designed to do just that. For fresh graduates and experienced professionals, these courses will enhance learners’ ability to collect, analyze, and interpret data to make better business decisions.  

About the Author

Senior Content Contributor, Emeritus Blog
Varun, a seasoned content creator with over 8 years of diverse experience, excels in crafting engaging content for various geographies and categories. Leveraging this expertise, he seamlessly translates complex concepts into enriching educational content for the EdTech domain. His keen understanding of research and life experiences helps him resonate with students and create fact-based content. He finds solace and inspiration in music, nurturing his creativity for content creation.
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