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7 BI Tool Tips Everyone Should Know

BI tools have surged over the years with people from various academic backgrounds wanting to know how to use them. This interesting phenomenon can be encapsulated in the following saying, “Data isn't just king; it's the architect of modern business success.” It is no surprise that the Business Intelligence market is surging towards a staggering $33.3 billion, with modern Business Intelligence tools streamlining data analysis and turning raw numbers into actionable insights. Also, according to Forrester Consulting, organizations implementing Business Intelligence solutions can expect a 127% ROI in just 3 years.

So it's necessary for all aspiring data analysts or hobbyists to know essential BI tool tips that streamline business success.

Why Use BI Tools? 

Volumes of business data are stored in databases, which can be retrieved by scripting simple to complex queries. However, this requires the intervention of the IT department, creating dependency and delay. 

Databases cannot provide visualization, meaning the fetched data has to be exported to Excel. Furthermore, Excel doesn't support modern visualizations, forcing one to rely on primitive ones.  

However, BI tools have completely changed the game. Below are some salient features BI tools offer that gained them supremacy over primitive analytic methods. 

Real-Time Data Analysis

From evading sudden market fluctuations, and optimizing logistic allocation to making decisions based on live data, reports generated using BI tools always visualize the most recent data along with historical data.

Real-time data, although brutally laborious to achieve using traditional methods, requires dependency, whereas BI tools can achieve this through automation! 

Identify New Opportunities

BI tools enable users to interact with the data present in the report(s). A benign click on a value (say India) can update all the visualizations with data associated with India!

Similarly, multiple values can be selected, enabling a user to drill down into the data. This process facilitates the discovery of new opportunities backed by data!

Self Service 

Self Service eradicates the requirement for any technical background. Once the BI team develops an application, business users themselves can perform data analysis.

For those who are unfamiliar with the traditional methods, the data analytics is to be performed by a dedicated BI team.

Top 7 Tips for Using BI Tools 

Tip 1. Align KPIs With Business Strategies 

Key Performance Metrics showcase the progress of a company, department, execution pipeline, etc. In short, they represent the growth or detriment of a company. Below are the vital sales KPIs. 

Using BI tools, one should display relevant KPIs, color code, and compare them to the previous year's performance. Below is an example of a Sales KPI. 

Subsequent reports should have a visualization to enable business users to determine how that particular KPI value was achieved! 

Tip 2. Automate Report Generation 

Most BI tools come with the benefit of automating reports. Once you’ve created all visualizations, create the desired reports and add the recipients. 

These reports can be scheduled to be sent automatically on a daily, monthly, or periodic basis. 

Note: Report automation reduces time, and human resources, making it vital for all organizations. 

Tip 3. Visualize Data Using Appropriate Charts 

BI tools offer an arsenal of charts and each one of them has its use case. The key things to keep in mind are: 

  • The no of dimensions your chart may use, 

  • The no of distinct values each dimension has,

  • Measure type, i.e., continuous measure/ discrete measure.  

Below are the generic charts that must be used to get the best out of your data. 

Tip 4. Implement Section Access Before Deployment 

Section Access is implemented to secure reports to maintain integrity. However, if Section Access is implemented during the development stage, the entire application will be lost. 

There are numerous such cases where months of development went in vain because Section Access was implemented midway. Thus, it’s necessary to implement section access before deployment. 

Tip 5. Empower Employees to Use BI Tools  

Earlier in the day, Business Intelligence operations were performed by specialized analysts who used complex statistical tools to derive insights!

Those days are gone! Today, empowering even bottom-line employees with these powerful tools is proving beneficial. Imagine sales reps gaining instant insights into customer preferences, or frontline service teams pinpointing areas for improvement in real time. This data-driven approach empowers employees to own their decisions and optimize their performance.

So make sure to empower your employees to use BI tools for their as well as the company’s benefit!

Tip 6. Use Historical Data for Forecasting

If you or your company has been accumulating data since years then your in for a treat. Many companies overlook the powerful insights hidden within their data. By plotting historical data using line charts (with their clear visuals) trends and patterns often invisible to the naked eye can be revealed.

This historical record can further be used for predicting future performance, allowing you to anticipate peaks and valleys with surprising precision.

A powerful example is sales teams planning inventory based on upcoming demand, ensuring they have the right products in the right places at the right time.

Tip 7. Embed Visualizations Into Your Website 

State-of-the-art BI tools have been developed in a way that allows analysts to not only create insightful visualizations but also embed the same visualizations on their business websites. This simple trick saves valuable resources, thus, eliminating the need to recreate charts for different platforms.

Now a days BI tools like Qlik Sense enable online users/ potential customers to engage with these embedded charts, drilling down into specific data points or filtering information on the fly. These charts that online users/ potential customers can experience enhance transparency and empower them to explore your data on their terms.


To wrap things up, Business Intelligence (BI) tools are a must-know skill since they lead to business success. With the market booming and organizations seeing significant ROI, mastering BI tools is essential. With a good statistical background and the seven tips mentioned in the article, you will find yourself maximizing your BI potential.