“Actionable Insights” are the NEW GOLD! Present the right data at the right time to the right people on the right devices! Insights that are actionable enable you to make strategic, well thought-out decisions that drive positive business outcomes. But while Business Intelligence and Analytics converge when it comes to driving “Actionable Insights,” the methodologies and approaches are very different.
Let’s begin by discussing the fundamentals of each. Simply stated, Business Intelligence involves collecting data from multiple sources, both internal and external, then transforming and normalizing that data to provide valuable actionable insights for making data-driven business decisions. The process uses an integrated data model comprised of various data feeds (e.g., financial, customer, sales, marketing, prospect, inventory) to answer top-of-mind business questions, such as:
- Which customer-types are likely to buy a particular product or service?
- Which campaigns are more successful, and why?
- What factors impact customer retention?
- How is my customer satisfaction—by region, by product, by vertical?
- Where should I be putting my marketing dollars?
But what about Analytics? Isn’t this the same as Business Intelligence?
The difference is this: analytics integrates BI tools within business process applications, thereby allowing business users to be more productive, work smarter, and make better business decisions in real-time without leaving or interrupting the natural flow of their day-to-day workflows. So, while analytics still provide “actionable insights,” they don’t necessarily consider the big picture. Rather, they’re more geared towards providing immediate feedback in order for a given business workflow or process to continue seamlessly. For example:
- Acknowledging or leveraging previous orders while the customer is window shopping.
- Providing real-time feedback within a business workflow or process (e.g., “Place this order in the next 20 minutes to receive your item by next Tuesday by 4pm”). Analyzes and takes into account inventory, shipping locations, pick-up and delivery points, departure and arrival times, previous shipping records and so on.
- Analyzing hundreds of leads from a sales campaign and determining in real-time which potential customers are most likely to turn into a positive outcome, or sale. Leverage the power of analytics to determine where to focus sales-calling efforts.
- Gathering and analyzing vital information as part of a workflow before committing an approval or authorization. Illustrates key factors that will help determine the right path or decision.
- Generally, embedded analytics are predictive rather than descriptive in that they analyze trends and outcomes based upon historical data. An example would be in a manufacturing environment where sensor data sends out an alert or notification when a particular asset or device is beyond a specified threshold, thereby eliminating unscheduled outages and downtime.
This makes sense, but how do I determine what I need for my business—or within my departments—in terms of Business Intelligence or Analytics? Do I need both?
Clearly, there are benefits to Business Intelligence and Analytics. It’s key to monitor business trends, detect significant events, and get the full picture of what’s happening inside your organization. It’s also important to optimize processes, increase operating efficiencies, drive new revenue, and improve decision-making.
Many enterprises have vast, rich datasets, particularly the financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and telecommunications industries. Leveraging this data can be extremely beneficial. Let’s look at the top 5 areas Business Intelligence and Analytics make a big impact:
Acquiring New logos, customer retention, improving behavior, customer satisfaction. Understanding the cost to bring on a NEW customer, opposed to losing an existing customer.
Reducing employee turnover, improving behavior, employee satisfaction and performance.
Probably the most obvious area. Analyzing successful and not so successful tactics, approaches, communication, and marketing. Illustrating forecasts, sales performance, and best practices.
- Operational Efficiency
Identifying efficient and inefficient processes, workflows, bottlenecks, along with process optimization.
Marketing effectiveness, social media listening, alerts, text, email.
I hope this article helped you understand how “Actionable Insights” enable strategic decisions that drive positive business outcomes and improve engagement by allowing you to present the right data at the right time to the right people on the right devices. If you still have questions about Business Intelligence and analytics or would like to discuss all the ways your organization can use advanced analytics and BI to drive actionable insights, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help you get started.
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