Business Intelligence is the term used in describing the technology that allows different businesses to analyze, contextualize, and organize business data from the company. It comprises different tools and technology that make it easier for data to be transformed into actionable information.
There are four key parts of business intelligence systems, which are:
- Data warehouse that stores the business information from different sources in an accessible and centralized location
- Data management or business analytics tools that mine and analyze the data from a data warehouse
- Business performance management tools that monitor and analyze how a business progresses towards its goals
- A user interface for quick and hands-on access to information.
According to a German market research firm, more than 145 zettabytes of data will be created globally by 2024. Because of this big data, business intelligence systems have become relevant for many companies, which is why they want to harness their abilities to leverage on its competitive advantages. Today, business intelligence systems now use artificial intelligence and other tools for business analytics.
Where to Use Business Intelligence
Finance, operations, marketing, and sales department are the main users of business intelligence. They use it for tasks like measuring performance and quantitative analysis. The aim is to gain customer insights and share data for identifying different opportunities.
Here are a few examples of how departments and teams use business intelligence:
- Finance: A combination of financial data and sales, marketing, and operations data allows users to gain insight into decisions to act on and understand the factors that influence profit and loss.
- Data scientists and analysts: Data scientists and analysts use business intelligence as well. They utilize the centralized data together with different analytics tools to gain insight on improvements that can be made, alongside providing recommendations.
- Marketing: Marketers use business intelligence tools to track metrics for campaigns from a digital space. They can get real-time tracking and measure campaign performance for future planning.
- Operations: Managers use business intelligence to analyze supply chain data for optimization. It also creates room for improvements along distribution routes.
- Sales: Operations managers and sales data analysts also key performance indicators (KPIs) and business intelligence dashboards to access information like customer lifetime value, customer profitability, and discount analysis.
In every data-driven company, employees and departments can take advantage of the insights generated from business intelligence.
The Benefits of Business Intelligence
Here are some of the benefits of the intelligence business:
- Connection: Allows companies to manage different data sources, thereby giving a complete view of the company or business.
- Visualization: Business intelligence offers a better information visualization in a more graphic format for more insight and a better understanding of data.
- Collaboration: It enhances collaboration through different business units to improve functions like HR, customer care, support, finance, operations, sales, and marketing.
- Trust and Accuracy: It makes it possible for better customization of reports and generation of real-time reports for better decision making. These reports offer relevance, accuracy, access, and insights.
- Speed and Competitive Edge: Business intelligence enhances planning, analysis, and reporting due to constant access to data. It also allows for a faster reaction to different market conditions.
- Productivity and Efficiency: With a complete view of the business, it becomes easy for companies to improve operations, increase revenue, increase sales, and identify problems.
- Decision-Making Support: Business intelligence gives companies the competitive edge to make an informed decision by leveraging on data. It also allows for more accurate and faster decision-making.
- Employee Satisfaction: Business intelligence makes it easier for team members to assess their strengths and weaknesses so they can work on their weaknesses to increase success. It also helps in the identification of positive behaviors through work contributions.
- Customer Satisfaction: Business intelligence also makes it easier for team members to identify products or services that are not meeting customer’s expectations. The reports help in understanding customer behavior and how to implement positive changes for customer satisfaction.
Real-World Business Intelligence Examples
One of the key driving factors for success is fast and data-informed decision-making. Different companies globally enjoy the competitive advantage of business intelligence because of narrow profit margins, global competition, and high customer expectations.
Here are some business intelligence companies worldwide:
1. Spear Education: Business Intelligence Streamlines Internal Workflow and Processes
Spear Education is a leading company that provides continuing education for dentists worldwide.
- Challenges: Their phone system lacks functionality to make customer service representatives work efficiently and offer the best customer service. For example, Spear’s phone system didn’t connect to a CRM tool.
- Solution: Following different research, the company connected its business intelligence solution to a call center software. This is to improve their interaction with customers.
- Results: After the implementation of the solution, their efficiency increased, and this saved the company up to 35 hours of representative time per week.
2. Sabre Airline Solutions: Business Intelligence Accelerates Business Insights
This business intelligence company provides booking revenue management, booking tools, mobile and web itinerary tools, and other useful technology for hotels, airlines, and companies within the travel industry.
- Challenges: Their clients needed a more advanced tool for real-time data on different customer actions and behaviors
- Solution: They created a travel data warehouse that can retain much data. The executive dashboard they offer provides insights and an overview of reservations, business health, ticketing, and operational performance
- Results: Their ability to offer collaborative work has allowed them to increase client satisfaction and generate more revenue.
3. Baylis & Harding: Business Intelligence Making Process Support
A wholesale distributor that specializes in gift sets and toiletries available to independent and major resellers.
- Challenges: Executives and managers needed greater visibility of sales, customer, and financial data for better decision making
- Solution: These executives and managers utilize business intelligence tools to create reports.
- Results: Company managers and executives can now proactively access business data.
4. Cementos Argos: Business Intelligence Improves Financial Efficiency
A cement company that operates in the Caribbean, the U.S, South, and Central America.
- Challenges: There was a need to find a way to support decision-making and gain a competitive advantage.
- Solution: They created a business analytics center by investing in experience data science teams and business analysts to leverage data with business intelligence.
- Results: The company applied big data to understand customer behavior for higher profitability
5. Lotte.com: Business Increases Company Revenue
This is a leading Korean internet shopping mall with customers over the world.
- Challenges: There was a need to understand why customers leave shopping carts, considering a large number of visitors they get daily.
- Solution: They implemented a customer experience analytics to analyze customer behavior and implement targeted marketing to transform their website.
- Results: The new business intelligences program caused an increase in customer loyalty for over a year and also increased their revenue.
6. New York Shipping Exchange: Business Intelligence Reduces IT Dependency
A shipping company committed to improving shipping processes overseas.
- Challenge: There was a need to manually extract data from cloud apps and propriety applications to better understand company performance.
- Solution: The used business intelligence to centralize data to a single system for deeper analysis.
- Results: Business intelligence made it possible for the company to triple its shipping between the US and Asia.
7. Stitch Fix: Business Intelligence Connects Processes, Data, and Departments
The company offers clothing and accessory services and uses data science and algorithms to offer clothes based on style, budget, and size.
- Challenge: There was a need to keep repeat customers and get more business recommendations from customers to family and friends.
- Solution: They use business intelligence to collect data when customers buy from them. As customers buy from the company, it became easier for them to understand customers’ clothing tastes.
- Results: Business intelligence allowed them to increase their revenue and provide more satisfaction to customers.
8. Expedia: Business Intelligence Customer Satisfaction
Expedia is the parent company of companies like TripAdvisor, Hotwire, and Expedia.
- Challenge: The company’s success depends on customer satisfaction, but there was no way to know whether customers were satisfied or not.
- Solution: Expedia utilized business intelligence to analyze data to discover customer trends and patterns
- Results: Access to real-time data for the customer service team to help them understand how their performance.
9. SKF: Business Intelligence Streamlines Manufacturing Processes
This is a Swedish supplier and manufacturer of seals, lubrication systems, mechatronics, and bearings.
- Challenge: They needed a more consistent market size because of their product diversity and coverage.
- Solution: There was a need to implement business intelligence as the sole source of information.
- Result: Decentralizing their assets made it possible for them to quickly share data and perform analysis across various departments. This includes business development, application engineering, management, sales, and planning.
10. Univision: Business Intelligence Increases Market Spend Efficiency
This is an American, free-to-air television network that provides its services in the Spanish language.
- Challenge: They needed to focus and unify ad campaigns
- Solution: Business intelligence, together with information from tools like Adobe Analytics, Google Analytics, and Facebook, allowed Univision to gain more from its programmatic advertising
- Results: Business intelligence caused them to grow by 80% in less than 4 months after its implementation.