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BI Reports for Enhanced Business Intelligence: A Practical Guide


Published: May 07, 2023    |     null MIN READ



This article provides an overview of BI reports, including their definition, benefits, primary capabilities, examples, and best practices. BI reports are essential tools for businesses to gather and analyze data, make informed decisions, and improve operations. By using BI reporting tools, companies can streamline their processes, predict customer behavior, optimize operations, and make informed strategic decisions.

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In today's fast-paced business world, data is king. Without it, businesses would be left in the dark, unable to make informed decisions or measure their success. That's where BI reports, or business intelligence reports, come in.

BI reports are a vital tool that allows businesses to analyze their data and gain valuable insights that help them stay ahead of the competition. Utilizing modern BI report tools like FineBI, companies can create smart business reports and develop a comprehensive intelligent reporting practice, leading to improved evolution and profitability, regardless of industry.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at what BI reports are, the benefits they offer, the primary capabilities of BI reporting tools, and provide some examples of how BI reports are used across different industries. We'll also share some best practices to help you get the most out of your BI reports.

What is a BI Report?

A BI report, or business Intelligence report is a document that presents data insights from various sources in a structured format. These reports help businesses track performance, analyze trends, and identify areas for improvement. BI reports can include charts, tables, and graphs to help visualize the data and make it easier to interpret.



Modern BI reports can be created with the help of BI tools to gather, process, visualize, and analyze data, businesses can extract actionable insights from the data and optimize their performance for continuous growth.

Benefits of BI Reports

After discussing the definition of BI reports in business intelligence, let's take a closer look at its benefits. An organization can gain several advantages if they approach reporting strategically and correctly. BI reports aim to provide comprehensive data that is easy to access, and interpret and can offer actionable insights. Let's examine the crucial benefits:

Increased Workflow Speed

Managers, employees, and stakeholders can get stuck waiting for a comprehensive BI feedback presentation from IT or SQL developers, particularly when an enterprise combines data from different sources. This process can take days, slowing down workflow and affecting every department. Centralizing all data sources into a single location, with data connectors providing one point of access for all non-technical users, is one of the primary advantages a company can gain. With the right BI report tools, the data-driven world can be easily managed with a few clicks, preventing delays and ensuring that decisions and analyses can be carried out efficiently.

Utilization of Real-Time and Historical Data

Traditional reporting methods make it challenging to comprehend and utilize vast amounts of gathered data. Even the most experienced managers can struggle to create a simple presentation out of voluminous information. Reporting in BI is a seamless process as it provides historical data within an online reporting tool that can process and generate all necessary information. Utilizing real-time data is another crucial factor to consider. 

The sophistication of reports in BI projects far exceeds that of traditional methods. Real-time data analytics, with implemented alarms that can forewarn any organizational anomalies, will increase operational efficiency and decrease costs. Numerous presentation software can help establish and implement this process without needing a whole department to manage it.

Analyzing Customers and Predicting Their Behavior

Every brand and business focuses on its customers as they are the key to generating revenue and survival in the market. Customers are more selective in choosing which brand to trust and prefer those that satisfy their perceptual and psychological needs. Understanding their emotions and predicting their behavior can stimulate purchases and enhance customer experience. BI reports can combine these resources to provide a stimulating user experience by gathering information and adapting to user needs and goals.

Today, there are various ways in which customers can interact with businesses, such as chatbots, social media, emails, or direct interaction. These communication touchpoints and sources of data can provide a holistic overview of the customer, evaluate the success or failure of a strategy, and improve business operations.

Optimizing Operations and Forecasting

Every business uses KPIs to measure and evaluate success, but only the right tracking and analysis can bring profitable results. Business intelligence and reporting include forecasting based on predictive analytics and AI, which can help avoid making costly and time-consuming decisions. BI reporting provides insights that may be overlooked, highlighting multiple angles of reporting to provide an accurate overview of operations.

Informed Strategic Decision-Making

As a senior executive, you must make important choices that significantly impact the business. BI reporting dashboards provide a wealth of relevant data, allowing you to spot trends, identify strengths or weaknesses, and uncover groundbreaking insights with ease. Using digital data to guide decision-making can streamline budgets, improve internal processes, and formulate targeted marketing campaigns. Leveraging BI reporting tools will enable you to make swift, informed decisions and set actionable benchmarks based on solid information. Modern data analytic tools are customizable to suit your exact needs and preferences, significantly improving the senior decision-making process.



Primary Capabilities of BI Reporting Tools

The capabilities of data analytics tools that facilitate BI reports may differ between software vendors, but they typically include programs for data preparation, modeling, mining, and analysis. These tools enable users to connect to various data sources, such as APIs, spreadsheets, and databases, and perform exploratory, statistical, and predictive analysis.

To be effective, BI report tools must possess several necessary capabilities, such as self-service BI, which allows users to analyze data without needing to write code. Additionally, modern BI platforms that employ an associative engine enable users to freely explore data in any direction, recalculating analytics and highlighting data relationships after each click.

As for self-service BI tools, we highly recommend FineBI, it is a powerful self-service BI tool that enables users to easily analyze data without the need for technical expertise or coding skills. With its user-friendly interface and intuitive design, FineBI empowers non-technical users to conduct OLAP analysis and gain valuable insights from complex data sets.

Through simple operations like drag-and-drop, you can create professional dashboards without difficulty!

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What's more, FineBI can manage data from multi-source based on business. Including database tables, SQL sets, Excel, self-service data sets, and etc. And FineBI also supports instant classification.



Other key capabilities include interactive dashboards and data visualization, which promote understanding and collaboration by presenting data in interactive formats such as charts, graphs, and maps. 

FineBI supports more than 50 chart styles, covering basically all basic and high-level charts on the market, and also has excellent dynamic effects and a powerful interactive experience. Various features can be set according to the needs during use, and can also be self-adjusted and displayed on the mobile terminal and large LED screen.



Static reports and alerting are also important features that allow stakeholders to stay informed about their business and act quickly. Users should be able to create and share static reports in popular document formats and receive real-time alerts when KPIs cross a threshold.

Embedded BI is another important capability that integrates BI features within applications, products, portals, or workflows. This enables employees, partners, customers, and suppliers to access data and insights directly without switching to a separate application. Finally, mobile BI is critical, as users need to access and analyze data from anywhere and on any device, including when offline.


BI Report Examples

BI reports or business Intelligence reports are critical for businesses across various industries to gain insights into their operations, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions. Here are some examples of business Intelligence reports in different industries:

Notes: All the BI report examples shown in this article is developed by FineBI, a popular self-service BI tool, it has various types of built-in template to help you build BI reports within clicks of the mouse. Download it for free and smoothly create your own BI reports!


BI Report Examples of Financial Department

BI Report Examples of Financial Department: The financial department relies on BI reports to track and analyze financial data, such as revenue, expenses, profits, and cash flow. The reports can also include financial ratios, budget vs. actual comparisons, and forecasts, providing insights into the financial health of the organization. Key performance indicators (KPIs) for the financial department may include Return on Investment (ROI), Gross Profit Margin (GPM), and Debt-to-Equity Ratio (D/E).

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BI Report Examples of Sales Department

The sales department uses business Intelligence reports to analyze sales data, such as customer demographics, product sales, and sales channels. The reports can help identify trends and patterns, evaluate sales performance, and forecast future sales. KPIs for the sales department may include Sales Growth, Average Deal Size, and Sales Conversion Rate.



BI Report Examples in Manufacturing Industry

BI reports in the manufacturing industry can cover a wide range of areas, such as inventory management, production efficiency, quality control, and supply chain management. The reports can help manufacturers optimize their processes, reduce costs, and improve product quality. KPIs for the manufacturing industry may include Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), Cycle Time, and Scrap and Rework Rates.



BI Report Examples in Retailing Industry

In the retailing industry, BI reports can provide insights into customer behavior, inventory management, and sales performance. The business Intelligence reports can help retailers optimize their merchandising strategy, improve customer satisfaction, and increase revenue. KPIs for the retailing industry may include Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), Gross Margin, and Inventory Turnover.

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BI Report Examples in Banking Industry

The banking industry relies on BI reports to monitor customer transactions, detect fraud, and manage risk. The reports can also provide insights into customer preferences and behavior, allowing banks to personalize their services and improve customer satisfaction. KPIs for the banking industry may include Non-Performing Loans (NPL), Net Interest Margin (NIM), and Return on Assets (ROA).




BI Report Best Practices

The following are some recommended best practices for effective business intelligence (BI) reports:

  • Know your audience and their requirements beforehand. To select the most impactful key performance indicators, use KPI examples to guide your teams in determining all BI report needs for various stakeholders.
  • Prepare your data. Convert raw data into organized, business-ready information by combining different data types into standardized formats stored in a data warehouse or data lake through data replication, ingestion, and transformation.
  • Ensure flexibility and scalability. Ensure that you have a flexible deployment and scalable multi-cloud architecture so that users can share and access data insights between on-premise and cloud deployments while maintaining high governance and trust standards.
  • Govern your data. Traditional BI tools require IT teams to set permissions, but modern BI tools include a governed data catalog that profiles and documents every data source and defines who can take which actions on which data.
  • Present your data story. Learn to create compelling visualizations and design dashboards so that you can highlight important information and use visual cues to tell your data story in an engaging manner.
  • Continuously iterate and evolve. Be willing to adjust your BI reporting process based on technology advancements and changes in business requirements.
    Foster data literacy. Use data literacy training and tools to help your organization become more data-driven.



In conclusion, BI report is a crucial tool for any business that wants to stay ahead of the curve. By providing actionable insights and highlighting trends, business Intelligence reports help companies to make informed decisions that drive growth and success. 

When it comes to choosing a BI reporting tool, we highly recommend FineBI. With its user-friendly interface, powerful features, and robust support, FineBI is the perfect solution for businesses of all sizes. Start your BI reporting journey with FineBI today and take your business to the next level.


Feel free to make an appointment for a live demo with our product experts. We will be more clear about your needs and see how FineBI can help you and your organization to transform data into value.


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