James Douglas Burbank

James D. Burbank has been in marketing for more than a decade. He has worked in traditional as well as online marketing and he has seen it all. He is also a huge Utah Jazz fan.

James Douglas Burbank has written 12 articles for SB Informer.
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How Business Intelligence Makes SMBs Better

The new age of affordable business intelligence helps small companies be more competitive.

James Douglas Burbank

September 29, 2017

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Until relatively recently, business intelligence in its strictest sense was used almost exclusively by large companies with enormous budgets and enough talent to build entire BI teams. Small-to-medium businesses were traditionally priced out of using business intelligence, but all of this has changed over the last couple of years as we have welcomed the rise of the SaaS model and the explosion in computing and internet speeds.

Nowadays, pretty much any SMB can afford a business intelligence solution. But why should you?


One of the most important things that a piece of business intelligence software can do for your SMB is that it will show you very clearly which aspects of running your company are truly important and where you need to divert your attention. This is extremely important as SMB owners often get set in their ways and focus on issues depending solely on their past experiences.

In the modern world of business, past experiences do not have to mean much as markets shift excruciatingly quickly and as certain processes and strategies require a whole lot of attention all of a sudden.

A good BI tool will show you what is crucial for your operation and in what order you should attend to various issues. This way, you are saving money and reacting in time.


As any SMB owner knows, a big part of running a small-to-medium business revolves around organizing one's company and taking care of the day-to-day organizational matters such as stocking up inventory, cutting down waste and so on.

With a good BI tool, this becomes much easier as you get a whole array of data which will show you a number of things. Data will show you whether your new hires are working out or who among your old employees is up for a promotion.

When we are talking inventory organization, a BI tool can be even more useful, noticing certain patterns that a human being could never notice, patterns that can help you save thousands and streamline your operation.

Market Research

Marker research is a complex discipline and it takes a lot to discover and recognize certain trends that guide a market, any market. This is why market research companies charge so much for their services.

With BI software, market research is reclaimed by SMB owners such as yourself who can finally gain actionable insights without spending months on working out gigabytes of spreadsheets that are not compatible with one another.

A BI software will show you how the market has behaved over a certain period of time, how people have changed their opinions on various products and industries and much more. Some BI solutions even pull down data from social media, giving you an unprecedented insight into what your potential customers think.


Keeping the reins on the budget, expenses and revenues can be a daunting task, especially for an SMB owner with little to no experience in finances. As a result, many SMBs end up budgeting poorly, not assigning enough money where it is needed and wasting it where it is not.

Business intelligence systems put an end to this. Besides representing the existing data in a way that will be easier to understand, good BI tools will also provide you with various data on how much value you are getting from various parts of your operation – individual employees, different departments as well as your partners and suppliers.

With business intelligence, you will immediately see if you are squandering money somewhere or if you need to divert more resources into something that will eventually pay off in a big way.

Closing Word


Of course, there is much more that business intelligence can do for your SMB and you should definitely look into finding a solution that will fit your needs. 


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