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Business Intelligence (BI) software versus ERP software

09 Mar 2023 by Peter Ebdon

Business Intelligence (BI) software and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software are both valuable tools for any business, but are not the same thing. A BI application can form part of an ERP system but they essentially serve slightly different purposes.

What is BI software?

Business Intelligence (BI) software is a specific form of software application that enables businesses to collect and analyse large amounts of data from any number of sources. This may be website traffic, sales data, stock data, training data, event data, financial data or any data that is important to each individual business. It provides users with tools that allow them to securely access, manipulate, and visualize data in a way that is meaningful to each individual.

What does BI software do?

The main purpose of BI software is to provide businesses with valuable insights into their operations. This enables decision makers to plan business strategies based on real-time information. The software can be designed to provide tailored reports that help organisations to identify trends and market opportunities that may have previously been missed due to an inability to harness data effectively.

Example features of a BI software application would include a customisable dashboard to display chart, graphs and gauges. The dashboard contents call on the data, mined using algorithms specific to a business, and display it in a meaningful format. The software can then run reports and provide forecasts to facilitate informed business decision-making.

How does BI software benefit businesses?

A BI application can help businesses gain a better understanding of their client base, their competitors, and their own internal operations. Based on this new understanding businesses are able to optimize their operations, thereby minimising costs and increasing revenue.

What is ERP software?

In comparison, ERP software is a central application integrated with any number of business applications that is designed to manage core business processes such as finance, procurement, sales, marketing and human resources. ERP systems provide a central portal for staff to securely access a database containing data from multiple departments.

How does ERP software benefit businesses?

Being able to manage all departments from one central secure portal and collect data from each department, organisations can streamline business processes to maximise efficiency and thereby profits. This may include workflow and task automation, quality management procedures and project management tools.

How does BI software work within an ERP system?

An ERP solution will most likely include BI software as key data is often presented as charts and graphs on a dashboard screen before the user navigates to other areas of the application.

How to commission ERP or BI software for your business

Achorda has over 25 years’ experience designing and creating software to maximise potential for clients through efficient use of their data. All organisations can benefit from BI software to analyse their data and/or an ERP system to integrate their business process software. If you’d like to start looking into how your business could benefit, please get in touch with us.

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