As a manager or owner of a company, your main concerns might typically be driving costs down, realizing as much sales as possible, or hiring the best possible workforce. To do this, you will invest in advance information management systems or in highly-skilled employees. One aspect of the business that managers tend to overlook, however, is investing in business intelligence. In today's world, where information is key, business intelligence has grown to represent a competitive advantage for the companies who know how to manage it effectively. Business intelligence serves as a forecasting tool for the future and a way to accurately sense the trends in the market and being able to capture potential demands from there. Just what are the advantages of investing in business intelligence services? The first benefit is informed decision making. Many business intelligence platforms offer countless reporting capabilities that are perfectly customizable to every company's specific need. With this, managers can call up repots relating to forecasts, demands or costs. Decisions can thus be made with an accurate basis and bird's eye view of where the company is going. The second benefit is visibility. With business intelligence, managers are able to pinpoint causes of costs and are able to effectively reduce them. Ambiguity among even the largest departments is diminished with rolled-up reporting. Because of business intelligence systems, upper management can continuously introduce process improvements because of the knowledge presented through many bird's eye view reports, which can also be presented at the lowest level of reporting. The third benefit of employing business intelligence services is ensuring legal compliance. Many of the biggest corporate failures, such as Enron, resulted from lack of controls in managing company records. With business intelligence, data is structured in a visible and clear way, allowing both external and internal auditors to thoroughly see all processes in the company without much effort. The result can even lead to potential high compliance ratings and prevents penalties related to non-compliance with legal standards. As you have seen, business intelligence consulting is just as significant an investment as investing in financial markets such as stocks or bonds.