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Understanding the Business Impact of Business Intelligence

Data is the new science. Big Data holds the answers.” – Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMWare

Today, information is power. The good news is that it is easy to gather information – about your business operations, supply chain, vendors, customers, employees and so on. The bad thing is that if you are buried under the information and don’t know how to make sense of it, then it is of no use and just becomes an overhead.

Business Intelligence (BI), which is the actionable business insights, and technologies and processes used to obtain them, is being widely used to make sense of the humongous amount of data being generated. Not only the large enterprises but even the small and medium size companies have started leveraging the power of BI for optimizing their business performance.

It is predicted that the BI and analytics market will grow to $20Billion by 2019.

By becoming more analytical companies are trying to better understand their customers, optimize their operations, and make real-time quicker decisions. Here are a few ways in which Business Intelligence can have tangible business impact –

Smarter Decisions

Going beyond the typical and well-known applications for BI and analytics such as achieving operational efficiency, cutting costs, etc., organizations have now started to look at BI for ways to achieve business transformation, to deliver higher value to their customers, and enhance the overall customer experience through every interaction with the business. Smarter decisions in customer interactions are making them more customer friendly organizations. On the other hand, using BI tools, companies are able to view and analyze data from multiple sources such as – customer data, products, vendors, pricing, competitive analysis etc. and take faster decisions. For example: With a better understanding of margins on the product lines, companies are able to take decisions on whether to continue or discontinue a particular offering and better structure the deals with vendors.


Business intelligence helps companies analyze the flaws in a business’ data and then solve them effectively to create a more efficient operation. Operational efficiency, therefore, is one of the biggest spending drivers for investments in Business Intelligence software. From a good business intelligence implementation, companies can achieve compliance efficiencies. With proper data entry, there is no man hours’ loss in data correction or data reconciliation. Along with this, with clear data and analysis on top performing customers, products, and their co-relation with the revenues, instead of relying purely on gut feelings, businesses can use business analytics in gaining efficiency in prioritization.

By eliminating unnecessary steps and by rightly utilizing the resources, BI can help companies become more efficient, thereby leading to increased profits and a better market share.

Improved Bottom Line

Business intelligence solutions help companies improve their bottom line by mining and analyzing the data. Since BI offers the data to the stakeholders at the moment of value to the company, they can extract the crucial facts from the data, make decisions quickly and decide the course of action. Using BI tools, companies are able to provide visibility and transparency and bring alignment of outcomes with the company’s strategic objectives. By empowering the employees with more real-time data, companies are able to drive more informed decisions and thus, have a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Along with this, by understanding the customer behaviors, companies are able to gain a greater visibility into what their customers want, how they want it, and when they want it – making it easier for them to better address the needs of the customers.

Sales and Marketing Effectiveness

There are a plethora of avenues available for marketing today – social media, apps, analytics, paid campaigns etc. For small businesses working with tight budgets, it is important to know which marketing strategy is producing the RoI. Business Intelligence solutions can help companies analyze the research data, facts, and the overall numbers to understand what is really working and what needs to be tweaked.

For the sales teams, Business Intelligence can help companies in gaining a deeper understanding of the prospects and then be prepared for objections specific to that company. Knowing information such as budget cuts, or increased turnover, fluctuating sales numbers, mergers etc. about the prospect company can help the sales teams in being better prepared for their sales pitch. They can also use this information to prepare a personalized sales strategy, rather than going with a generic pitch.

Several large and small corporations across the world are already using Business Intelligence to improve their business operations and achieve tangible business impact. Westpac Banking Corp uses BI to get a 360-degree view of the customers. Based on the analysis of ATM usage and call center interaction of its 12Million customers, the company is trying to increase the customer engagement by offering them very specific new programs.

By using Business Intelligence for asset management and lean practices, Heinz increased its performance rates by more than ten percent and reduced the maintenance costs by up to ten percent.

The benefits of business intelligence are numerous. The implementation of Business Intelligence provides companies with powerful insights to help them make the right decisions at the right time – thereby, transforming their business into a data-driven organization.

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