The world of business intelligence used to be rather basic and only included things like basic surveys and employee evaluations. However, the space has gotten a major makeover in recent years with the growth of new disruptive technologies and strategies. That disruption has had huge effects in a number of areas and is changing how companies across all industries do business.
At its core, business intelligence is all about using data to make strategic decisions. The amount of data companies could store and use was traditionally limited by human capabilities and storage functions. However, the growth of cloud services has allowed companies to tap into vast amounts of data that is more complex than ever before. Use of the cloud also allows businesses to share that data seamlessly between various departments and remote employees.
Instead of the old model of dividing up different aspects of business intelligence to various services and vendors, companies can now consolidate everything in the cloud to make it easy to store, analyze, and access whenever needed. This means the departments can share data and analytics to form a cohesive company goal and keep everyone on the same page.
Big Data-Driven Marketing
The use of the cloud and more advanced computing systems means companies now have access to more data than ever before. Instead of just scraping the surface on customer analytics to drive marketing and sales, companies can now use big data to dig deeper into what customers want and use personalized solutions to meet their needs. Instead of simply marketing to women or men of a specific age range, marketers can now use big data to hone in on finely targeted groups, find out what drives customers, and then target each person nearly individually to provide a customized experience.
The result is typically less money spent on marketing because it is more targeted, but the results seem to be better, with increased customer engagement and sales in many cases. This is especially important in the mobile-driven world, where customers are becoming increasingly used to be accessible and approached in a way that shows their individuality. Sharing analytics through big data allows companies to move more quickly with their marketing campaigns, coordinate efforts across technologies, and create a central source of marketing data.
Disruption in business intelligence has greatly increased the amount of data available, but that data is meaningless if it can’t be integrated into business strategy. Much of that comes from being able to pull out the most applicable pieces of data and present them in a format that is easy to understand and implement. For executives, much of that comes from easier and more reliable dashboards. Instead of having to sort through reports or recalculate numbers, new dashboards make it easy for executives to see data changes in nearly real time and to view information that allows them to make business decisions more quickly.
Dashboards can even be customized to meet the needs of each company or individual. In theory, employees at any level can access a dashboard that quickly tells them the most current data they need for their projects and responsibilities while also connecting their data with that of the entire department or organization. These dashboards provide employees with a snapshot of applicable data that can keep them on track. If needed, they can then go deeper and expand on that with more business intelligence data. As dashboards grow, they will likely include artificial intelligence and more effective human-facing communication by creating a robotic personal assistant of sorts.
Business analytics disruption also ties into other technologies and allows companies to leverage the latest updates. Instead of just analyzing text data like used to be done, today’s disruptive systems can monitor photo and video, greatly changing the game in a world that relies increasingly on interactive visuals. Instead of being monitored by humans and putting a company at risk for human error, commercial surveillance systems can now tap into business intelligence to analyze customer and employee movements. Businesses can use this information for a variety of purposes, ranging from streamlining manufacturing processes to improving safety and employee engagement. Some retail stores are using video analytics to track what areas of its stores receive the most traffic and where customers tend to look first. With that video data in the system, companies can then compare updates in the store to see which method is the most effective at turning browsers into paying customers. Similar examples can be seen in different areas across industries.
The business intelligence world has been turned on its head in recent years, but the disruption has proven to be a powerful tool in helping businesses maximize their potential and reach new levels of revenue and success.