Businesses use Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, such as SAP ERP for small business entities, to analyze, gather and share data insights between integral teams. For example, an ERP system can collate metrics from manufacturing, sales, and accounting departments into one database, connecting the dots to help managers identify efficiencies, and optimize processes.
In a quickly evolving business environment, real-time data analysis is key to gaining a competitive advantage and turning data into a business intelligence asset.
What Is the Link Between ERP Software and Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence is the ability to make data-driven decisions backed by reporting and analytics, converting raw data into meaningful information that helps managers make informed judgments. Cloud-based ERP software for small businesses is the driving force behind business agility, gathering key data into one central hub.
Inputs are collated from the important functions within an organization, building a central database that delivers cross-departmental overviews that support:
- What-if scenario analyses
- Financial planning
- Process improvements
- Cost efficiencies
- Improved productivity
The value of an ERP system is its capacity to automate processes such as supply chain procurement or financial documentation in order to optimize data and free up more time to focus on strategic initiatives.
How Is Business Intelligence Different From ERP Software?
ERP software is the system that provides the information necessary to facilitate business intelligence planning. The ERP system is primarily there to enable swift, automated process management, breaking down siles and bringing data into centralized databases.
Business intelligence learns from that data and extracts important information that allows decision makers to contextualize the outcomes and develop actionable insights. Even highly complex data is easier to handle because an ERP dashboard can pull the most critical metrics, comparisons, and baselines to show how each function performs against a target.
The intelligence aspect allows the business to use these metrics to pinpoint trends or anomalies so they can build high-level strategies, trickling down to a granular level for greater profitability. For example, ERP software can deliver real-time data around sales performance and trends, which can be extrapolated to develop refined cost savings, inventory management, and resource allocation.
Integrating ERP Software With Business Intelligence Reporting
Data analysis is fundamental to sound organizational decisions. Still, with exponential volumes of data, companies require resources to store, organize and extract information from all the data collected—at any scale.
Integrating ERP software with business intelligence processes is a streamlined way to manage potentially millions of data points and deliver concise metrics for developing clear, consequential insights. As a standalone, ERP systems can automate processes, eliminate manual errors, and avoid issues such as overstocks, inefficient production schedules, or sales being misaligned with availability.
Using the data management capacity to steer business intelligence reporting takes the power of an ERP solution to the next level, allowing managers to:
- Anticipate market shifts ahead of time
- Spot intricate patterns, trends, and opportunities
- Proactively adjust production and planning
When done correctly, business intelligence is a finely honed instrument that can make a phenomenal difference to the competitiveness of a company, particularly a small or early-stage organization. ERP software and business intelligence not only complement one another, but they also enhance the usefulness and performance of each system.