Companies need to innovate, not only in terms of product or service delivery but through the better use of technology and business intelligence. Together with financial discipline, innovation through technology and business intelligence are a do or die for companies.
In a highly digitised world where the customer wellbeing is at the centre of most business decisions, the amount of data and information that business owners and managers have to handle requires more efficient ways to derive greater control, understanding, and intelligence from their organisation’s data.
Business Intelligence is “the applications, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimise decisions and performance.”
Many companies have been slow in adopting a Business Intelligence strategy mainly because of their lack of knowledge of what it exactly involves, where to start, and how long it will take to see any benefit. Morever, Business Intelligence is not a one-off exercise but an ongoing and integral part of the organisation’s operation.
Companies and organisations are continually collating a lot of data and information which can be vital for them however, these companies must be in a position to decipher and understand what the data is telling them because not all information is intelligence especially if the information is only being gathered or stored by one part of the business.
Therefore, the main scope of any business intelligence initiative is the ability to analyse data after being converted in a structured way. Real business intelligence can inform strategic decision-making across the company and also contribute to superior financial performance. In this scenario, CRM solutions have a significant role to play and if implemented well, these can act as the bridge between teams and will enable you to run reports that deliver key business metrics on what to base future business decisions.
The in-depth analysis capabilities of business intelligence can be crucial to measure activity and identify trends in customer behaviour, spot trends and react quicker to potential sales opportunities. For sales, the metrics can be fundamental to time campaigns more strategically and exploit up-selling or cross-selling opportunities, sales information becomes more visible, and marketers can finely tune and target their marketing campaigns.
In an extremely competitive market, Business Intelligence methods have never been more essential to help businesses understand how customers are interacting with them and how best to reach them and engage with them. Without this knowledge, companies will fall behind their competitors because today, it is more about engagement rather than promotion. Business Intelligence helps you create holistic customer profiles based on their every interaction with you along their journey, regardless of the communication channel. This is real commercial intelligence, delivering detailed insight on buyer behaviour and trends on what to build your sales, marketing and business growth strategies.
Experts tell us that customer experience has become the new marketing battlefront. Understanding our customers’ experience will help us achieve customer satisfaction and retention. With more customer insight in place, segmentation work to identify the typical profile of your most profitable customers becomes more possible.
Business Intelligence also has the potential to release inefficiency bottlenecks, refine existing business processes, automate routine tasks and bring new levels of organisation and prioritisation to everybody’s work. The efficiency and productivity gains can be considerable, including more responsive customer service, better use of salespeople’s time, and closer measurement of product development cycles and marketing campaigns. Centralisation of data and making that data accessible on any device through the Cloud cuts everybody’s administration time.
One of the most complex aspects of implementing Business Intelligence is knowing which data to store, where to save it and who can access it especially when data protection regulations around the world are becoming stricter with regards to the storage and usage of personal data. Addressing the underlying integrity of data in any Busines Intelligence project is vital because this leads to improved data governance, enhances transparency and exposes inaccuracies and gaps that will lead to wasted marketing spend, not to mention potential brand damage caused by sending insensitive or mistargeted communications.
A stable Business Intelligence setup has the potential to yield vast improvements in the return-on-investment of any company. Without the right insight and disciplines, it will be easy to fall back on old ways of doing things based on guesswork and preconceptions – especially when customer behaviour and preferences can never be predicted.
Technology today is regaling us with smart tools with which to track, inform, guide, manage and measure customer experience. This technology is nurturing a stronger company culture where all teams and individual employees carry the responsibility for putting the customer at the heart of the business. If companies want to be strategic, the right business intelligence tools will make them vital!