Business Intelligence – Leverage The Convergence of Data and Computing Power to Guide Your Business

March 31, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

The key to reaching any goal requires that progress be measured and tracked over time. This is especially true for marketing and business goals. A business can only grow successfully by establishing success criteria for individual business objectives and then managing progress toward achieving those objectives. Marketers the world over are using data from their past to make better decisions about their actions in the present that will positively influence future outcomes.

Business intelligence refers to the computer-based techniques and methodologies used to analyze and manipulate data in order to identify useful patterns. For instance, a sales department keeps detailed data of their conversions and lost sales. When they introduce a new pitch or a new promotion, the department head can easily see how effective the new effort is by comparing it against past sales data. Business intelligence tools consist of software designed to collect, analyze, and find patterns within data.

Whether a business knows it or not, past performance data is a real asset. With measurable information about past successes and failures, leaders are able to make decisions with as much ‘foresight’ as possible. Following patterns from past data may not always lead to success, but it does serve as a good predictor of what effect will follow a given cause.

One of the greatest benefits to implementing business intelligence tools is that it is applicable to every aspect of your business. It is not just for the realm of sales alone. Business intelligence tools collect data on customers, products, suppliers, inventory, even business equipment. A well-planned, escalating adoption of business intelligence tools can help you optimize every business unit in your organization.

Business intelligence tools help automate processes so the software can easily collect data from invoices, packing slips, inventory databases, online sales, and supplier inventories and orders. Perhaps most importantly, if used correctly BI tools can provide you with high quality data directly from your customers and prospects.

This master data, as it is called, can then be gleaned and analyzed to produce Meta data, or data that identifies or explains the data you have gathered. Meta data allows you to easily identify patterns of customer behavior, or cause-and-effect relationships in any business unit.

Once you have had a chance to examine the master data, you will note certain actions you have taken in your business that yield desired results, while some have not been as successful. You can focus on what you did right and drill down until you know exactly why any one effort was successful where others were not. Through this process you are given the ability to identify what your best actions are moving forward, and in most cases, you will even understand why.

Finally, business intelligence collects detailed information on your clients that you can then use to structure marketing campaigns and materials in the future. For example, you begin to notice in your data that the majority of your customers are young, fitness-oriented men in their teens and twenties. Knowing this information can help you target your marketing messages to this audience for greater conversion.

In the information age, being able to examine and use historical data is essential to managed growth. Business intelligence tools allow you to leverage the conversion of data and computing power to guide your business to success.

Find out how to implement a business intelligence program for your company at

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