The use of Business Intelligence (BI) within any organisation (large or small) is critical at all times, particularly in a difficult climate. Business Intelligence should be heavily sought after, acquired and maintained to:
- Remain abreast of changes and challenges in the marketplace.
- For the offering’s applicability to the end-user of the corporation’s product or service.
- To keep an eye on what the competitors have in development or in their pipeline.
- To determine the competitor’s key clients or customers.
- To comprehend and remain vigilant in the pursuit and use of emerging technologies, uses and markets.
- It should also be turned inward to ensure effective performance and management within one’s enterprise.
Regardless of its employment, BI shouldn’t be used in the determination of a quick fix for an organisation (although changes can be expedited due to business intelligence implementation), but instead as a critical means toward the direction of the future of the company for years to come.
The Advantages of Using Business Intelligence
Unlike ever before, an organisation can infiltrate a marketplace, getting to know its competitors, clients, potential clients – and even itself – with accuracy and a level of informative intensity that will only prove to become more in-depth and telescopic in the future. Knowledge is power; the power gained from such knowledge is exponentially more powerful than has been seen in business to date. This information can be utilised in all aspects of business, from technological advancements, conceptualisation, design, innovation and manufacturing, to marketing, advertising, public relations and sales.
You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data. Daniel Keys Moran
It Doesn’t Have to Be So Complicated
Your organisation may not have formally implemented a policy of business-intelligence utilisation. However, you might be surprised to learn that you are already actively employing several means of researching, collecting, and presenting such analytics. For example, a simple spreadsheet about your competitors’ revenue, expenditure and other such data is a very basic form of business intelligence. Beyond spreadsheets, other accepted forms of business intelligence are:
- Software that reports and queries (such as database software).
- OLAP (Online Analytical Processing, such as provided by Microsoft, Oracle, OpenL and RapidMiner).
- Digital Dashboards (presentation allowing monitoring of the contribution of various parts of an organisation).
- Data Mining (extraction of patterns from banks of data).
- Process Mining (analysis of processes based upon event logs).
- Business Performance Management (aids in business performance optimisation through a microscopic view into processes that drive results).
- Local Information Systems (LIS: tools which support geographic reporting).
To implement business intelligence within a company, first, assess needs (perhaps through a stringent SWOT analysis of the BI situation) and financial constraints for such knowledge to be gained through BI.
While the implementation of business intelligence should be included within any growing business of both the present and future, the entity should not become a puppet to its analytics and competitive knowledge. As in any form of business wherein marketing strategy meets technology, it will remain critical that a convergence of these two important facets of daily business is smooth and cooperative versus one aspect becoming entirely relied upon to drive the other.