How Business Intelligence Helps Convert Enterprise Data Into Actionable Information



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Business intelligence is a set of techniques and methods that converts raw and unstructured data into meaningful information that can deliver valuable insights to optimize an organization’s business processes, performance and operational efficiency. For business intelligence (BI) to work efficiently, an organization must create the required environment. This includes adopting common standards for data storage and converting all previously created and stored unstructured data to match these new standards. The key advantage of BI is that it gives validated information that is based on facts and trusted methods, which can be used to make data-driven decisions.

Organizations possess huge amounts of information regarding customers, users, product logs and more that is often stored in old databases. Most of this data is in unstructured and legacy formats, which needs to be converted into a single modern standard before it is processed by BI techniques. Modern BI tools come integrated with features that allow organizations to operate on unstructured data. Such BI tools usually make use of data streamlining tools, which first convert the data into the required format.

BI can help a business grow or explore new avenues and maintain (often improve) levels of efficiency. Let us look at an example that demonstrates how business intelligence converts an organization’s data in to actionable intelligence for a product launch.

Choosing the appropriate markets for a particular product is critical to maximizing profits. To arrive at these decisions, executives and other decision makers need intelligence based on facts that indicate the product will perform well in particular markets. When using business intelligence to get such information, the following takes place:

Analyze company data for different markets

First, a BI tool will start querying through your (commonly huge) company databases and derive relations between the marketing data, sales data and other related information, depending on the data location. Then analysis is done on the sales numbers and customer information to indicate how many of existing customers are likely to show interest in the new product based on their past preferences BI tool that has dynamic links to the databases can also analyse new information as it comes in. With all this information, BI uses advanced analytics algorithms to predict the performance of the new product into the particular market. This process is repeated for all markets and those with the most favourable scores are stored separately with their respective information for further processing.

Analyze public domain data

Business intelligence also takes into account the vast amount of public data present on the internet. BI will analyse the information related to advertisements from competitors, surveys regarding the success of the product in question, search trends on similar technologies, and public response to similar products from competitors including reviews, ratings and complaints. This information is then converted into intelligence. This may include the features expected by the customer in the new product, potential customers for the product and the price range in which the product will best perform. This information is added to the overall intelligence to determine suitable markets.

Analyze competitor data

Unless your product is revolutionary, chances are competitors have already launched similar products with similar specifications. Analysing the performance of your competitors with respect to their related new product launches could indicate how your product’s performance will be affected. In addition, customer satisfaction levels and consumer voice analysis will indicate the likely success of your product. This information is paired with the market scores to indicate which markets are most likely to bring in more sales.

Collected data reporting

Business intelligence also includes a reporting aspect, which presents the collected data in an easy to understand format like graphs and charts. Some BI tools also allow you to make changes to this data by providing new information to see how the figures will respond to such information. Usually, when a completely new and untested product is launched, the product is released in a test market to gather first-mover information, which can help predict the performance of the product in other markets using business intelligence.

Business intelligence is a very powerful tool which if used properly and on the right data sets, can deliver excellent results in the form of profits and deeper market penetration. Most businesses that use BI have still to explore its full potential. In addition, it is best to undertake a BI project after in-depth analysis is performed (by your internal team or an external technology consulting company) to evaluate how well it will integrate with current systems and processes and to ensure overall success.

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