With so many businesses currently forced to temporarily shut down, or move their employees off-site and create a remote work environment, times are challenging to say the least. These challenges to stay competitive, relevant, and profitable in such circumstances can seem harder each day and are being felt across the board no matter the industry.

Never before has it been more important to find ways for businesses to stay in touch with its customers, continue to provide a high level of services and products, and of course expand the company’s reach. But what’s the best way to do this?

It seems as though business analytics tools may finally be getting their time to shine, proving just how beneficial they can be. But is this something your company can benefit from? Let’s take a closer look.

What Exactly is Business Analytics Tools?

Not to worry if you’ve never heard of business analytics tools before. Just because you may own your own company, doesn’t mean you’ve run into these handy little tools yet. Here’s the thing though, they are catching on, especially with executive managers according to a story published in Forbes.

What these tools do is make the job of a manager easier in that it provides them with all kinds of data or analytics, that they can then use to make policies, processes, and decisions. It allows managers to make those all-important fact-based decisions that tend to lead to the best results. The whole purpose of these tools is to help companies, and managers, find ways to minimize the amount of waste in a business and then figure out ways for the company to be more efficient.

Would Your Company Benefit from These Tools?

The next question that typically comes to mind is how your own company could benefit from these analytics tools. Know that just about every business out there can make use of at least one or two of the tools. It may have a bigger impact on some industries, but the tools are so varied that there is bound to be something that works.

As Aston University Online points out in an insightful blog on the topic, start-up companies, in particular, can benefit from these tools. It doesn’t matter what industry your business is in, or the fact that you are just starting up – all the analytics you can collect will help to shape the direction your company takes. Not only that, but it helps entrepreneurs to map out their path forward.

But that doesn’t mean these tools are just reserved for start-ups or small-sized companies; large-sized companies heavily rely on the very same tools.

What Tools Are the Most Effective?

Knowing that it helps to use these analytics tools is one thing, but then narrowing down which tools are best for your company is a whole other beast. With so many on the market, it can be confusing to pinpoint which would be best for your company’s goals and objectives.

Typically, you want to look for tools that offer a dashboard where you can easily see key details, information, and statistics. You also need the ability to provide reporting information – visualization tools are helpful to provide that quick snapshot. Also useful is the ability to store data, often referred to as data warehousing, and some sort of end-user self-service feature which makes it possible for those with little to no IT knowledge to still access the reports and data they need.

With all of that criteria in mind, there are some tools that stand out and prove to be rather popular with businesses. These include Dundas, Tableau, Chartio, Looker, Yellowfin, Sisense, Zoho Analytics, and MS Power BI.

Each of these tools has a learning curve, so you will need to give yourself the time and energy to learn about its features. Once this is achieved, however, you’ll be able to start reaping the benefits almost immediately.

Keep in mind that the best solution isn’t usually just one analytics tool; rather it can be a combination of tools that achieve and accomplish different things.

Embracing Business Analytics Tools for Success

So that your business continues to forge forward, even in these uncertain times, it’s important to take advantage of all the tools you possibly can.

Business analytics tools are some of the most useful and insightful tools out there for companies of all sizes regardless of the industry. It helps to figure out not just where the business stands today, but how it can move forward.