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Using data to create business intelligence isn’t new, but it’s just beginning to be used wisely by smaller companies. Many small companies have avoided the collection of data and the use of analysis tools since they felt they were missing one key ingredient a high-priced team of analysts to interpret the data in way the company could use. But those days are long gone now thanks to a new generation of sales and inventory software for small business that aims to take the mystery out of the analytics process.

The Difference Between Then and Now

If a company doesn’t need a team of experts to interpret their data, what’s changed? For starters, the way we all see data has come a long way since the early days of developmental business intelligence. Just a few years ago, many people saw data as something difficult to gather, much less process and understand.

But gathering data is now easier than ever with integrated software solutions that provide data from external sales channels as well as internal data on purchasing, invoicing, inventory control and any other pieces of data generated or maintained by integrated software suites.

By combining these different avenues for data, well-rounded programs can provide business owners with a kind of ready-made analysis they can more easily interpret. This has made data analysis — and business intelligence easier, more accessible, and ultimately more powerful when it comes to helping small companies thrive and grow.

The Future of Business Analysis

There is, of course, still plenty of room for the business analysis industry to help even small companies better understand and apply the data they receive. But even if expert consultants are needed or wanted, the amount of work they need to do is drastically cut, making their services more affordable for every company.

More to the point, companies can now work with their own internal teams to gain a fundamental understandingof where they stand and a picture of how they can best grow their business. This accessible data means the difference between simply surviving and growing a business to its fullest potential — all without breaking the budget.