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Are you looking for ways to increase your bottom line amid the pandemic? Do you have so much data in your hands but do not know how to use it? Then you need to learn how to maximize data to your advantage by using business intelligence.

Businesses lose millions of dollars due to poor data management. It’s one of the challenges that can sink your business fast if you don’t realize what’s happening from the get-go.

With the complexities that come with data management like charts and graphs, business intelligence is the solution to keep things simple. If you have no idea how it works, keep on reading below for a detailed lesson on business intelligence.

Business Intelligence: What Is It Exactly?

What is business intelligence? It is combining software applications and services to transform your data into actionable insights. In turn, you will use these insights to make better tactical and strategic decisions.

One of the key trademarks of business intelligence is the use of visualizations. This allows the organization to get a better understanding of the data-driven insights.

When it comes to the activities surrounding business intelligence, you will go through a lot of data mining, visualization, and reporting. You can also expect a lot of querying and probing to arrive at the most sensible and accurate insights.

How Does It Work?

Since business intelligence involves collecting and analyzing data, you need certain tools to make it work. Interestingly, there are many tools and services you can use to implement your business intelligence strategies. Excel is one of the most helpful tools you can use.

You need to have a reliable dashboard that gives you an overview of everything you need to do. It also tells you where you currently are in terms of progress. A visualization tool is another must-have for effective business intelligence.

However, having all the important tools is only half the battle. You need to have a strategy where you will use your tools on.

Business Intelligence Execution

When it comes to executing a business intelligence strategy, you need to start the right way. Begin by defining your goals. Ideally, your main goal should revolve around getting the most value out of your data.

What do you wish to accomplish for implementing a project? Is there a particular pain point you need to address? Are there developments in your company that you want to understand better?

Determine the answers to these questions first before gathering and analyzing your data. Next, you want to have a vision of what the end will be.

It doesn’t have to be a detailed visualization of your end goal. However, you should consider looking at certain trends and comparisons. You may even need to check your performance and compare it with different benchmarks.

After crystallizing your end goal, you can begin connecting your data. This means identifying the sources where your data resides and putting them all together. Here, your business intelligence tools will come into play.

Certain tools aim to connect all your data that you can eventually transform. This process can be complex. Thus, don’t overwhelm yourself by using all your data.

Instead, use only the precise data that you need to answer specific questions. From there, you will have only the useful data come out.

When it comes to transforming data, gather all disparate data pieces. Connect them accordingly and create a larger data story. This is what you need for visualization.

Visualization and Analysis

After connecting all the data sets, you can turn them into knowledge through visualization and analysis. Start by creating a trend charting your company’s actual performance concerning time. Here, you will be able to see how you performed compared to your forecasted performance.

Moreover, you can start analyzing data from various segments. Since business intelligence tools allow you to segment the data, you can digest information faster. You can interpret them more effectively and determine where your business currently stands.

Next, you want to maximize the power of your dashboards. It is best to invest in dynamic dashboards. These tools give you the power to focus on all sorts of data with ease.

You can switch from valuable data to supplementing data that add context and value. Also, these dashboards prompt you to deep-dive by letting you ask follow-up questions.

A perfect example is when analyzing your recent sales performance. Whether your sales dipped or increased, you want to know the reasons behind the performance. Through data analysis, you can see what’s causing the success or failure.

In turn, you can share the information with different areas of your company.

Intelligence vs Analytics

You should also understand the difference between business intelligence and business analytics. Though these two words are similar, there are distinctions you need to understand.

One of their main differences is the type of data analysis. Business intelligence gravitates toward a more descriptive and diagnostic approach in data analysis. Intelligence focuses on answering questions about what happened in the past and what is currently going on.

On the flip side, business analytics uses prescriptive and predictive analysis. It focuses on predicting what will happen next and what the company should do next concerning the results of the analytical findings.

When growing a business, you need to make these two work hand-in-hand. Using one method is good, but combining them will do wonders.

Why You Need Business Intelligence

Last but not least, you need to know why you need to use business intelligence ASAP. For starters, it will help you gain fresh customer insights. You will get a better understanding of the current buying trends of your target audience.

Also, business intelligence can help improve your business’ organizational efficiency. You can boost collaboration and save time in extracting and reporting data.

Additionally, you will have access to real-time data. Through spreadsheets, dashboards, and applications, leaders can get hold of data and make faster decisions.

Let’s Help You With Your Business Intelligence Project

Through business intelligence, you can manage your data effectively to make better decisions. You can save more time and resources while keeping a step ahead of the competition. However, implementing business intelligence can take a lot of time and resources.

Thankfully, we can help streamline the process for you. Connect with us and schedule a free consultation. Tell us about your goals and let’s start working on your business intelligence project ASAP!

cyber security threats keyboard

Cyber Security Threats

Are you a small or medium-sized business near Gilbert, Arizona?

Like most businesses, you were probably forced to adapt to remote work last year. You might be facing much of the same in 2021. Have you considered how secure your data is as you adapt to new ways of accessing your system in the cloud? The FBI observed a fourfold increase in cybercrime reports during the Covid-19 outbreak. What’s more, cyber security threats are likely to increase in 2021 with the state of the world being delicate due to a global pandemic. That is unless companies tackle the unique IT challenges of a remote workforce. If you want to secure your business from digital thieves, you need to think about outsourcing your IT department. We’re going to highlight the main internet security threats in 2021 and let you know how you can deal with them. Read on!

Remote Workers

The pace of change was breath-taking last year, as internal IT departments struggled to adapt to remote work. Systems built around in-house security are now confronted with new and emerging threats. Often, businesses didn’t have the time, resources, or expertise to stay secure. Remote workers remain a key threat in 2021 unless companies can fix the system vulnerabilities of telecommuting. One major cause for concern is users not connecting to a virtual private network (VPN) to safely access company data. The physical devices being used for work are also of great concern for cybersecurity reasons. Businesses that want the highest levels of security need to issue cyber-secure computers to their employees. Allowing employees to connect to unsecured home Wi-Fi networks with personal laptops is a serious risk. Malware and keyloggers may already exist on their machines, or they could be hacked more easily in a targeted attack.

Internal Threats

Insider threats in cyber security are silent and insidious. Some of the best IT systems can fail to prevent such attacks because employees are not typically viewed as suspicious parties. With the loss of revenue in so many industries, many businesses have been forced to let employees go in 2020. This trend may continue in 2021, making for potentially disgruntled employees. Current employees have also been know to commit data breaches, whether on purpose or otherwise. You need to think about replacing or augmenting your IT solutions with the expertise of an external managed service provider (MSP). Have systems in place to track and restrict access to sensitive data. You can reduce or end the risk of insider threat in 2021. An outsourced IT department can use the latest tools to track and secure your company data in regards to suspicious activity.

Cloud Service Attacks

Businesses that moved their data partially or fully to cloud services did so quickly in 2020. Often, this was done without having the cloud service options reviewed by cloud IT specialists. A non-secure cloud service may lead to a targeted attack that is easy to execute. An attack may also come from a data breach, where a non-secure cloud service is hacked, exposing sensitive company data. A Phoenix outsourced IT department may have survived the cyber security threats in 2020 better than competitors. This is because experienced MSP’s are likely to be cloud migration experts. Your organization is under pressure to deliver a cloud-first strategy. You must always ensure it is both managed and secured by a qualified IT consultant. The National Security Agency (NSA) recognizes that cloud adoption can enhance organizational security. They also point out that cloud services can introduce risks. These risks need addressing, both before procurement and during operation.

Targeted Attacks

What do cybercriminals do with the data hacked from non-secure connections and cloud migrations? Sometimes, this data might be used to power even more targeted attacks. Employees are often using open channels to communicate for work. Thus, social engineering presents real risks. The more the hacker learns about the business and its employees, the easier it is to trick one of them into letting their guard down. An open door into a company IT system may present full and unchallenged access to company and client data – a horrifying prospect. Often, cyber attacks aren’t needing to rely on executable files but are using system tools as a backdoor instead. This makes them very hard to detect since these system processes are not usually considered malicious. Another type of targeted attack that’s being seen affects business processes themselves. After hacking into business systems, thieves could alter payee data, for example. With automated payments, this means that criminals could redirect business funds to a rouge account. This action may even go unnoticed for some time before it’s investigated and the hack uncovered.

Google cloud experts in Phoenix know how to keep your sensitive data secure within cloud computing services. We can take care of your networking, server maintenance, and software implementations. We also specialize in system development, desktop support, business intelligence, and more.

Artificial Intelligence

Cybersecurity experts are noticing an increase in malware and other attacks that rely on automation. The process of automating cyberattacks also allows criminals to cast a larger net. Artificial intelligence (AI) is also being used more often in cybercrimes. Machine learning is a subset of AI, giving systems the ability to learn and improve without re-programming. When automated attacks deliver successful results, they get even better at exploiting vulnerabilities. The good news is that AI and machine learning are used by cybersecurity experts too. The best Arizona MSP will leverage current technologies to support your business. Managed IT services provide the knowledge and experience that can save you both time and money. Does your business need a digital transformation? Make sure you have safe on-site IT solutions and secure cloud infrastructure.

 

We’ve shown that cyber security threats are getting ever more complex. Don’t let cybercriminals use AI tools to automate attacks against your business. If you’re a company near Gilbert, Phoenix, we can help you. We empower businesses by delivering technology-based solutions. We offer Arizona business IT support to companies wishing to outsource IT or replace an MSP. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.

IT outsourcing

7 Reasons to Consider IT Outsourcing for Your Small Business

Did you know that 84% of small business owners work more than 40 hours a week and that 10% feel continuously overwhelmed? So if you’ve been feeling excessively stressed out from running your business, you’re not alone! Thankfully, there are ways to relieve your burden, such as IT outsourcing. This is the use of a third party for your IT needs. Curious about hearing more? Here are 7 reasons why you should consider IT outsourcing for your small business.

 

1. You’ll Save Money

When you compare third-party IT services to an in-house time, you’ll likely save a significant amount of money. With an IT service, all you have to do is pay for them to provide these services and that’s it. But when you need to hire an in-house team, there are several steps. Not only do you have to put a job listing out, but you’ll also have to go through the entire hiring and onboarding process. Not to mention, you’ll also have to pay them a salary and things like bonuses, insurance, and more. By outsourcing IT services, you won’t have to worry about all those things. Simply pay the company and you’ll have immediate help.

 

2. You Can Scale Better

Based on the information above, you can also scale your company better too. One of the biggest things small businesses struggle with is growing pains when expanding. Sure, it’s great when a bunch of consumers start taking interest in your products and services, but in a lot of cases, small companies struggle to keep up. When you see an explosion in demand, simply utilize the services of outsourced IT to meet those demands. And on the other hand, when you have an off-season, you can scale back easily as well. This flexibility also helps you save even more money.

 

3. You Have Access to a Better, Bigger Talent Pool

When you hire IT support, chances are, you only have access to the talent pool in your local area. Even if you wanted to expand your search area, it takes a lot more effort when recruiting. Using an outsourced IT service means you’ll have access to a talent pool from practically anywhere. They’ll typically have more skills and certifications too, which means this is one of the best advantages of outsourcing. This means that your company will provide the best IT services possible to customers. You’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re using the best IT professionals out there.

 

4. Provide 24/7 to Staff and Customers

For many businesses, both their staff and customers need help from the IT department. With an in-house team, they only work 9 to 5. And if you want them to be accessible outside of regular business hours, you’ll have to pay them extra to do so. But that’s not the case with outsourced IT services at all. One of the main benefits of outsourcing is that many hire professionals from all around the world so that when you go to sleep, they’re just waking up. This means you can get round-the-clock IT support for your small business! Not only will this help your staff members be more productive, but it can also further impress your customers and give them a reason to stay loyal to your brand.

 

5. Stay Up-to-Date With Technology

With an in-house IT department, you’ll have to keep dedicating resources (and money) to keep with the ever-evolving world of technology. Otherwise, you risk falling behind and losing out to your competition. An outsourced IT service takes all that stress away. This is because they come to you with their own tech and they’re responsible for upgrading it when appropriate. This can be a huge burden off of your shoulders and you can allocate more of your budget towards things that are more important to you.

 

6. Your Business Will Be More Secure and Compliant

When you work with a third-party IT service, they’ll know about cybersecurity and compliance like the back of their hands. You can trust that all your data will be safe with them. These professionals will take all the proper precautions and actions while working with you to ensure that nothing happens to your data. Because of this, they’ll ensure that you’re always compliant. You won’t have to worry about keeping up with changing regulations, as these experts will take care of that for you. And should an unfortunate event happen and a cyberattack actually makes it through, the outsourced IT techs will work efficiently to mitigate any losses.

 

7. Focus on Your True Passion

Last, but definitely not least, outsourced IT services can help you focus on your true passion: running your business. The flexibility of IT outsourcing means you can get the help you need, when you need it. You won’t have to worry about administrative work and hiring. And even if you have an existing IT department, outsourced IT doesn’t necessarily mean you should replace them either. Instead, they can be an additional layer of help on top of your existing IT to strengthen your business. With the big issue of IT out of the way, this frees you up to really dedicate yourself to the things that truly matter.

 

Get IT Outsourcing for Your Business Today

As you can see, IT outsourcing has so many benefits for your small business. Not only can you save time and money, but you can also get 24/7 IT support if needed. In addition, you have the flexibility to scale whenever you want, and the outsourced team can be a beneficial complement to your existing IT team. With all these benefits, it’s clear that there’s practically nothing to lose by taking advantage of IT outsourcing. So speak to some industry professionals today to see what an outsourced IT team can do for your business.

Are you interested in outsourced IT for your small business? Then get in touch with us today.