An abstract image of a shape repeated against a dark background, cyan and pink shades giving it a chrome appearance.

Unlock the Commercial Power of Data With BI Solutions

In today’s data-driven world, businesses need to make informed decisions quickly to stay ahead of the competition. With the explosion of data that has become available to companies as they became more and more computerised, ‘business intelligence’ (or ‘BI’) became easier to carry out, and it’s use more widespread. However, as the volume of data available to companies grew, so too did the complexity of the processes required to properly analyse it. Today, traditional methods of data processing are often no longer sufficient to carry out this task, and allow a company and its decision-makers and stakeholders to make best use of the data at their disposal. This is where business intelligence solutions (also ‘BI solutions’) come in. In this article, the TouchstoneBI team explore what BI solutions are, the processes that allow them to help people make better business decisions, and the other benefits they have to offer.

BI Solutions Explained

BI solutions are software tools or apps that analyse and process large amounts of data, In order to provide insights into a business’s operations. By converting unstructured data into information that can be used to make decisions, these solutions are intended to assist businesses in doing so. Data mining, reporting, and visualisation are just a few of the methods used by business intelligence tools to transform data into insights.

The Advantages of Using Modern BI Solutions

BI solutions are designed to offer a range of benefits to the companies that use them – this is one of the reasons why it’s so important to use them to the fullest extent possible. The following are just a few of the most important advantages that these platforms have to offer:

Better Decision Making

BI solutions give companies real-time insight into their own operations, empowering them to make well-informed decisions quickly. With this ability, businesses are better able to spot opportunities to improve operational efficiency, boost productivity, and earn more money.

Enhanced Effectiveness

BI solutions are the key to automating business data analysis, and cutting down on the time and resources needed to process the massive quantities of data that can be involved. Because they are able to automate this, business intelligence solutions enable management to make decisions more quickly, which can increase productivity and efficiency.

Superior Data Quality

Because they provide tools for data cleansing and profiling, business intelligence solutions help companies to ensure that the data they’re working with is accurate and complete – and therefore that the insights provided can be relied upon. This approach facilitates better decision-making and prevents a ‘garbage in garbage out’ scenario.

Competitive Advantage

By enabling companies to spot trends, patterns, and insights that their rivals might not be aware of, these solutions can give them a competitive edge, helping them to remain ahead of the competition.

How Bi Solutions Work

There are two basic steps to how business intelligence solutions work. The first of these steps involves collecting and analysing data to identify the key insights that decision-makers need to be aware of. The second step involves presenting the data and insights in a meaningful and actionable way. Here’s a brief overview of each individual step:

Data Collection

Business intelligence solutions collect data from various sources, including databases, spreadsheets, and other data sources. This data is then stored in a data warehouse or data lake.

Data Analysis

Once the data is collected, business intelligence solutions analyse it using a range of techniques, including data mining, statistical analysis, and machine learning. This analysis transforms raw data into meaningful insights.

Data Presentation

Finally, modern BI solutions present the data in a way that is easy to understand and actionable. This can include dashboards, reports, and visualisations.

Common Features of BI Solutions

While each individual business intelligence solution on the market can offer a different combination of features and functionality, there are a number of common features that many solutions offer. Those features include the following:


You will often find some form of dashboarding capability included in a business intelligence solution. This is a feature which enables businesses, decision-makers and stakeholders to monitor an array of key performance indicators (KPIs) easily, and in real-time.


Business intelligence solutions also often provide reporting capabilities that enable businesses to generate reports on various aspects of their operations.

Data Visualisation

It can be tough to identify things like trends and other key takeaways that your data can provide you with from the raw numbers alone. That’s why business intelligence solutions often provide data visualisation capabilities that enable businesses to depict those takeaways – which are still always based on the raw numbers – in various ways, such as charts or graphs.

Data Mining

In addition to making it easier to display data in more user-friendly ways, these solutions often also provide data mining capabilities, which enable businesses to better identify patterns and trends in their data.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between business intelligence and business analytics?

While business intelligence and business analytics are related, there are some key differences. Business intelligence is focused on analysing historical data to provide insights into a business’s operations. Business analytics, on the other hand, is focused on using data to predict future outcomes. With that said however, both can be used in an effort to enable better decision-making.

What are the key components of a business intelligence solution?

A sound, modern business intelligence solution will typically include data extraction, data transformation, data loading, data analysis, and data visualisation elements.

How can BI solutions small businesses?

Business intelligence solutions can benefit small businesses by providing insights into their operations that may not be apparent without the help of those solutions. These insights can help small businesses optimise their operations, reduce costs, and increase efficiency.


The importance of BI solutions is certainly rising as we transform into an increasingly data-driven society. Businesses can make better choices, streamline their processes, and beat the competition by utilising the potential of data. There is a business intelligence solution available that can assist you in releasing the power of your data, regardless of whether you run a small company or a big corporation.

More About Touchstone Business Intelligence

Touchstone Business Intelligence is a leading UK-based provider of a wide range of business intelligence support. If you need help with the provision and implementation of a BI solution – like TimeXtender, or one using Microsoft data platforms – we can help you. Likewise, if you need support with additional services such as help developing a data strategy, or harnessing the power of the cloud for BI, we are the people you should turn to.

TouchstoneBI is based in the UK but services clients across the globe. In addition, we are also members of the Touchstone Group, alongside sister businesses such as TouchstoneEnergy, Touchstone Financial Management Services and Xpedition. Click the respective link to learn more about how each of these sister businesses could help you too.

The Touchstone Business Intelligence logo