What is Business Intelligence?


As companies become increasingly data-driven, business intelligence or BI will be a key component of your tech stack. This is due to two primary reasons: first, there’s a rapid proliferation of new and emerging data sources, across social media, web apps, and connected devices or IoT. Second, greater data democratisation through smarter dashboards, simpler visualisations, and self-service BI makes the technology accessible for all, regardless of experience in data science.

Research suggests that demand for BI has grown significantly in 2020-2021, with 41% of companies reporting increased interest in this technology.

1 in 3 companies wants to use data to gain a competitive advantage, while 23% will employ BI for data-driven decision-making. So, no matter where you stand on your journey towards data maturity, BI is a vital concept and one that is essential for widespread utilisation of data outside of the ivory towers of academia and data science theory.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence can be defined as a collection of tools, technologies, and strategies that can help you capture and analyse data, transforming data into a format that can be consumed and actioned by business users. As you can see, the concept of BI encompasses three elements:

  • Tools – The user-facing interfaces (e.g., dashboards), data connectors, and data-generating devices/apps powering the BI ecosystem

  • Technologies – Primarily comprising statistical algorithms, AI engines, and ML models that find correlations within data inputs and generate insights in a human-readable format

  • Strategies – The blueprint that determines which data sources to ingest, the business outcomes to be achieved, and the workflows for making data-driven decisions

5 Benefits of Business Intelligence for CX Professionals

While BI has applications in nearly every area of business operation from supply chains to product planning, there are five key benefits for CX:

  1. Speed up root cause analysis – Study the contexts surrounding adverse events to find the most common root cause

  2. Make personalisation and targeting strategies more effective – Understand hidden customer intent and online/offline behaviour patterns to finetune campaigns

  3. Predict and prepare for future events – Anticipate events like lagging interest in an existing product or potential acceptance of future products to rewire your strategies

  4. Automate workflows – Connect specific actions to BI data thresholds, triggering automated workflows whenever a KPI is reached

  5. Find correlations between intent, activity and outcome – Evaluate how your strategic ideas are translating into business activity, and if they are unlocking the desired outcomes

Who Are the Key Business Intelligence Providers in 2021?

  • Microsoft – Has a dedicated Power BI platform and SQL Server BI; also incorporates BI insights into other tools like Teams or Dynamics

  • IBM – Offers a suite of web-based BI solutions; offers advanced data science and AI services and is powered by Watson AI

  • Tableau (now part of Salesforce) – A flexible solution for data analysis, CRM applications, embedded analytics, and server management

  • Qlik – Enables data integration, advanced analytics, and dashboard creation, including Data Literacy-as-a-Service

  • Sisense – A self-service analytics and reporting tool, with the option of embedding BI in your apps and codeless data exploration

Source: CX Today

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