As the management consultant, educator, and author Peter F. Drucker said, “Knowledge has become the key economic resource and the dominant, if not the only, source of competitive advantage.”
In the Information Age, data is easily obtained, but often difficult to manage. If you want to make good business decisions, business intelligence needs to be an integral part of your operation.
Business intelligence (BI) eliminates the guesswork from business processes. It allows you greater control over your operations and leads to workforce optimization.
This article will give you five reasons why you need to get smart about your business intelligence strategies.
What is Business Intelligence?
First, we need to understand what business intelligence is and how it is evolving. BI combines:
- Data mining
- Data tools and infrastructure
- Data visualization
BI takes raw data and transforms it into relevant and practical insights. You can use data to drive change, quickly adapt to supply changes or market and eliminate inefficiencies.
The technological age allows this to function more efficiently. Now businesses can host documents online, have governed data on trusted platforms, and prioritize flexible self-service analysis. The world of BI is evolving according to business needs and technology. Businesses can take advantage of modern telecommunications like CPaaS solutions. This will improve your company’s communication and provide data analytics. As more sources of data become available, the potential gain from BI strategies will grow.
Reason #1: Make Better Business Decisions
Information is the key to make better business decisions. Having a current, data-driven strategy is a vital part of success in today’s market. It eliminates the guesswork and assumptions from your business practice by providing you with hard data.
As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning continue to improve, this intelligence will be more accessible. Rather than having to manually look through mounds of data, AI can sift through it for you. This automated analysis leads to an increase in business efficiency, which will create a better experience for you, your employees, and your customers.
Your business needs to be able to adapt to meet both your employee and customer needs. Whether updating online services or managing your team’s activities at their remote workspaces, your company must be able to make quick decisions based on the most up-to-date data.
Business intelligence can:
- Identify ways to increase profit
- Optimize operations
- Track performance
- Analyze customer behavior
- Uncover any problems
- Predict success
- Compare data with competitors
- Spot market trends
Reason #2: Improve Your Productivity
BI is a major part of workforce optimization.
What is workforce optimization? To put it simply, it’s a business strategy that involves balancing performance with workforce management. Done right, it can improve employee efficiency, productivity, and performance.
Using BI tools can bring new levels of prioritization and organization to your business. They centralize your data and provide your business with automated reporting and dashboards. The data and analysis provided in these reports can help you refine existing business processes. This will make your company more efficient and productive.
By automating these routine tasks, you can focus your attention on applying their insights. Take advantage of the benefits of a warehouse management system, or automated transport scheduling. This gives you more time to focus on quality control, responsive customer service, and more hands-on tasks.
You can even eliminate the most mundane tasks out of your day. By increasing your productivity, you make better use of your employees’ time. You can utilize things like skills–based routing to ensure that tasks are funneled to the correct team member.
You can also optimize staffing and automate scheduling. BI tools monitor performance against labor efforts to see when and where you need staffing. It can identify trends that will tell you when you are overstaffed and understaffed. This will optimize labor costs and customer experience.
Reason #3: Deepen Customer Knowledge and Improve Your Customer Experience
An improvement in your customer knowledge will lead to overall better customer satisfaction. Improved customer satisfaction leads to better customer retention. On your digital platforms, you can also use this knowledge to improve the user experience. By applying BI tools in this way, you can bring in more traffic to your online sites.
Business intelligence enables companies to process data from multiple sources to create a 360-degree customer profile. The profile could include the demographic of your customers overall. Depending on the services you use to collect data, this information can provide you with:
- Your customers’ hobbies and interests
- Shopping habits
- Preferred social media platforms
- Usual device choice – mobile, laptop, etc.
- Customer location
Your profile can break your customer demographic down to tell you who looks for you online and who prefers to see you at your physical location. It can also tell you who is buying what and when. The accumulated data helps you understand what customers are looking for and how they interact with you. Knowing this helps you reach them more effectively.
By combining this customer knowledge with technology like cold calling software and CRM (customer relationship management) platforms, you will be able to interact with consumers while keeping customer satisfaction high.
Besides, if you understand customer needs and behaviors, they should also be able to easily reach your company. This requires data on their preferred platform and how they want to interact. The emphasis should always be on engagement rather than promotion.
Reason #4: Ensure Data Accuracy & Compliance
Effective business intelligence gives you peace of mind about data protection. Regulations over data protection are tightening around the globe. There are now local rules about how your business captures, stores, and uses personal data. BI tools allow you to know exactly where your data resides and who has access to it.
Knowing where your data is and what data is important improves transparency in your business. It will expose inaccuracies and gaps that could lead to wasted marketing spending or brand damage. The integrity of your data is vital in the effective running of your company. For example, BI solutions can automate your Accounts Payable reporting, making sure you stay on top of everything.
Reason #5: Develop Effective Marketing & Increase Sales
As well as improving your internal business processes, BI can make your marketing more effective and boost your sales. A closer look at your multidimensional retail data will allow you to kickstart sales. You can measure product development cycles and marketing campaigns. This can reduce your time-to-market and optimize your workforce.
BI strategies can also boost the performance of your marketing and shake up the way your sales and marketing team work together. It can accelerate your return-on-investment through analytical modeling and crafting future growth strategies. By managing day-to-day efficiencies, sales conversion metrics, and customer satisfaction, you ensure that not a penny of your investments goes to waste.
Now let’s look at BI in marketing and sales individually.
BI for Marketing
Business intelligence provides the tools to fine-tune and target your marketing campaigns. By knowing what your customers’ behaviors, what they need, and what their interests are, you can effectively develop your marketing strategy. You would be able to answer this kind of question: What platforms do they use? What social media do they use and what websites do they visit?
You can use the most up-to-date data to ensure that your marketing initiatives are effective and profitable. For example, the meal-kit company HelloFresh, saw increased conversion rates and improved customer retention when they used BI tools to revolutionize their digital marketing campaigns. Using business intelligence, they saved their marketing analytics team 10-20 working hours per day and were able to regionalize and individualize their marketing campaigns.
BI For Sales
BI tools provide your salespeople with the tools they need to measure activity and customer trends. You can utilize predictive analytics to anticipate needs and make suggestions. The BI systems will time your approaches and make the most out of your up-selling/cross-selling opportunities.
This is particularly helpful if you’re moving into e-commerce for the first time. You must utilize your business intelligence to tap into this rapidly growing market. It will allow you to gain important consumer data and increase your sales.
Business intelligence is vital to success. Utilizing business intelligence tools will allow you to make better business decisions. You will have better oversight over your company’s processes and practices. By optimizing these processes, you can save money and increase the efficiency of your workforce.
The effective use of BI will allow you to get to know your customers and make the most of your marketing campaigns. You can engage with your customers on a deeper level and understand their needs. This will lead to an increase in your sales and accelerate your return-on-investment.
So, why do you need to get smart about business intelligence? Data is the fuel behind being a better businessperson.
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About the author
John Allen, Director, Global SEO at RingCentral, a global UCaaS, VoIP and computer telephony integration software provider. He has over 14 years of experience and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs. He has written for websites such as SageIntacct and Novatech.