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How to use BI tools? From introductory to advanced!

To make effective use of the data accumulated by companies and further develop their business, it is necessary to optimize the data and use it according to the purpose. By reviewing wasteful operations and creating an environment in which work can be done efficiently, work hours can be reduced, leading to work style reforms. One effective way to review and improve the business environment is to use BI tools. This time, as an introductory version of BI tools, we will check what can be done. In addition, we will introduce points to be aware of when using it and how to apply it, such as cooperation with CDP (customer data platform) and AI.

Table of contents

  • What BI tools can do
  • Getting Started: Data Analysis
  • Applied usage: Thinking about cooperation with CDP and AI
  • To realize the results after the introduction, it is necessary to make the utilization image concrete.

What BI tools can do

A BI tool is a tool for analyzing and displaying a large amount of diverse data and making use of it for making important business decisions. BI tools are equipped with functions for collecting, aggregating, and analyzing data. It also has functions for automating a series of tasks and improving work efficiency. Specifically:

Data collection/analysis

Analyze data and use it for management strategy

In business, we are forced to make decisions in various situations. At that time, if you make decisions based only on intuition and experience, you will not be able to conduct stable management. Therefore, it is important to collect and analyze past data and make decisions based on the data. BI tools enable management decisions that do not rely solely on intuition and experience by collecting and analyzing various data such as sales, customers, sales, and sales activities.

Display on dashboard

It is also possible with BI tools to display various data at a glance in an easy-to-understand manner for anyone (dashboard function). Multiple data can be displayed in lists and graphs. It is also possible to click on the data that you are interested in to enlarge it, or to display more detailed data in another worksheet. In addition, depending on the type of BI tool, it is compatible with multiple devices and can be viewed from smartphones and tablet terminals, allowing immediate access to data anytime, anywhere.

Data mining

BI tools collect and analyze data to create reports that can be used for management strategies, but data mining is often used. Data mining involves classifying large amounts of data, finding relationships, and predicting the probability of occurrence of events using market basket analysis, cluster analysis, logistic regression analysis, etc.


For a company to make a profit and carry out stable management, it is necessary to constantly rotate the PDCA cycle and hypothesize and verify. To rotate the PDCA cycle, it is essential to centrally manage various data and forecast sales and profits. BI tools also have such simulation functions.

Operational efficiency

Automation of Excel aggregation work

Excel is an excellent tool for entering and managing various data, but it takes a lot of time and effort to summarize and integrate data across multiple files and worksheets. However, with BI tools, such data aggregation and integration can be done automatically.

Data visualization in a dashboard format

Regarding the dashboard function mentioned above, BI tools can automatically aggregate and integrate data in different formats and visualize it in graphs and dashboards. This reduces the time and effort required to display integrated data in graphs, and the latest data can always be displayed automatically.

Automatic data conversion of handwritten materials

Handwritten forms and documents that still exist today. Depending on the type, BI tools have a function to capture handwritten forms and materials as images and convert them into data. If you format forms and materials in advance, you can eliminate typos and significantly reduce work time.

Getting Started: Data Analysis

It’s a BI tool that can be used very conveniently if you master it, but let’s check the effect with basic data analysis first without thinking about using all the functions effectively. Specifically, we recommend starting with the following:

Try to make use of budget and actual management in management decisions

Create a marketing strategy using data mining

Try to review sales activities through reporting

Try customer management with priority analysis

●Review product excesses and deficiencies with inventory turnover analysis

The biggest reason why a company fails to master a BI tool even after introducing it is that it is not clear what kind of problem the company wants to solve after introducing the tool. Clarify what problems your company currently has, what you need to do to solve them, and what data you need to collect for that. On top of that, by determining who will be in charge of operation management and the roles for each project, you will be able to put in place a system that allows you to make the most of the functions of the BI tool.

Applied usage: Thinking about cooperation with CDP and AI

Once you’re comfortable with the introductory usage, let’s move on to the next step. BI tools can be used not only to collect and analyze information accumulated by companies but also to utilize it in corporate activities. CDP (abbreviation of Customer Data Platform, a data platform for continuously integrating and managing customer data) and AI can be linked to perform more effective data analysis for your company.

Various data can be analyzed by utilizing BI tools, but it is people who make decisions using the analyzed data. Ultimately, therefore, the skills to interpret the analyzed data and make decisions are essential to maximizing the effectiveness of BI tools. AI, on the other hand, can analyze the data and suggest what it believes to be the optimal solution. Therefore, combining AI with data analyzed by BI tools will help create optimal solutions.

Similarly, data analysis and data mining, which is difficult with CDP alone, can be realized by linking with BI tools. Furthermore, if AI is linked, CDP data and data collected by BI tools can be combined and analyzed, and AI can be used to derive optimal management strategies.

To realize the results after the introduction, it is necessary to make the utilization image concrete.

Analyze and use data. This is essential for the success of business activities. For that reason, there are CDP, AI, and BI tools that are attracting attention and are being introduced by many companies. On the other hand, many voices are saying that the expected effect cannot be realized even if it is introduced. One of the reasons is that we introduced each tool without having a concrete image of how to use them.

However, at the introduction stage, it is possible that we do not know how to use, analyze, and utilize the vast amount of data that is being accumulated.

One of the best solutions is to receive support from a company with specialized knowledge to smoothly overcome that stage and produce results. SoftBank provides a data analysis platform, a “Tableau” BI tool, and support. We also have a system in place to support CDP and data analysis. For example, by linking “Tableau” and “MAGELLAN BLOCKS”, it is possible to visualize prediction results.

“MAGELLAN BLOCKS” is a cloud service that can realize advanced data processing such as big data and machine learning without programming. You will be able to process data using machine learning, such as predicting sales, detecting abnormalities, and inspecting defective products. By linking “Tableau” and “MAGELLAN BLOCKS”, processing such as big data search, AI analysis, and visualization becomes easier, more reliable, and faster, supporting optimal decision-making.

If you need such a service with higher utility value, take advantage of the support of a company with specialized knowledge at the beginning of your consideration


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