Business Intelligence for Competitive Advantage

Business Intelligence (BI) has become an accepted tool for companies looking to gain a competitive advantage in their market space. The Internet is today’s primary source of market data, and smart businesses leverage BI and the Internet to analyze customer and market behavior in new ways that deliver real insight quicker than ever before.  This allows for faster time to market and lets the business make adjustments to pricing, features, and marketing to stay ahead of the competition.

Let’s look at some of the ways BI can be used to gain a competitive advantage.

  • Business Performance Management (BPM). Broadly defined, BPM is the process of setting goals and measuring corporate performance in attaining them. For example, a retail company can measure sales and profits by many dimensions, such as store, region, product line, season, etc. This helps the firm identify products that have reached the end of their lifecycle and need to be discontinued, or underperforming stores that may need help in the form of additional marketing support or promotions to overcome local competition. For a sales organization, this may mean measuring average deal size and time-to-close, analyzing the sales pipeline to understand where opportunities are getting “stuck”, or developing a forecast based on current pipeline size at each opportunity stage.
  • Measuring Marketing Effectiveness. One of the main drivers for the migration of advertising spending to the Internet has been the ability to measure results. This can be accomplished through direct means, such as click-throughs and impressions, or more indirect means, such as analysis of consumer sentiment on social networks, review sites, and blogs. BI analytics are a key component in managing the massive data sets involved. The results of this analysis help companies better target marketing budgets and understand how best to segment their markets.
  • Customer Attrition Analysis. Customer attrition (better known as “churn”) can be costly, especially for service companies, where the cost of acquiring new customers is high. Understanding the reasons for churn can help to focus on improving areas that are the root cause of the churn, such as poor service, price competition, or billing problems. Customer profiling can be used to predict churn by analyzing the characteristic of customers most at risk to leave based on mining of the existing customer data set.
  • BI in Web Retailing. Web retailers have the built-in advantage of a large, detailed, real-time set of customer behavior data to feed BI analysis. This helps them to understand their customers in ways never before possible. Customer behavior can be tracked through every stage of the selling process, from product browsing, evaluation of alternatives, and closing, allowing retailers to understand things like product affinities, and the triggers for users abandoning their shopping carts.
  • 360° Customer View. Customer data is one of your company’s most important assets. You can maximize its utility by integrating information from customer touch points throughout the organization. This can include CRM, sales, support, marketing, billing, or any other place where customer data is used; the number of touch points can be surprisingly high. Achieving the integration can be challenging, especially when organizational / political boundaries need to be crossed (“Why do you need to see our sales data?”). However, once the integration is achieved, BI is the critical component providing the analysis that allows you to profile, segment and identify the most valuable customers and their relationships (e.g. in a household) and determine how to cross-sell and up-sell. Customers can benefit too – they’re frustrated when they have to deal with different parts of your business that don’t share data.

 

GRT is ready to provide solutions to your data quality problems. We can help your business:

  • Develop a strategy and implementation roadmap to leverage BI technologies across the enterprise. This may include rationalizing disparate BI deployments to work together in order to achieve real competitive advantages
  • Link existing BI analytic and reporting solutions to marketing and sales campaigns to better measure their effectiveness.
  • Accelerate the attainment of corporate goals by defining and measuring reliable metrics that visualize progress across the enterprise.
  • Turn the huge wave of raw data you amass into intelligent information that’s accessible anywhere, anytime.

 

GRT’s experts can help you leverage BI to win in a competitive marketplace. We have experience building analytic solutions across a wide range of industries, and can help with data integration, BPM solutions, CRM systems, data mining, and much more.

 

To learn more about how GRT can help you meet your goals, contact us.