Creating a business intelligence strategy is one of the most important steps to growing a business. Imagine being on the verge of growth but always falling short. Every business eventually reaches that stage. The companies that implement a sound data strategy are the ones that grow larger than life.
A successful BI strategy provides a business with a blueprint that uses data to boost its performance. The goal is to use this data to get closer to their customers. This helps to seek out competitive advantages and tap into new niches that the business might not even be well informed.
Big data has become an essential part of business today. The days of a business owner using their “gut instincts” are over. If a company wants to break through to the next level, they have to tap into the wealth of information provided by its customers. This information is the catalyst for innovative new products and critical operational changes.
How to Create your Business Intelligence Strategy
Business intelligence transforms data into powerful insights so that executives know the actions they need to take. It’s time to dive into creating a strategy for your business.
- Have a BI Roadmap
Business intelligence compiles and analyzes data to find competitive advantages. But a company needs to have a strong plan in place to follow-up on that information. Make sure that your business is set up for the following:
- Industry KPIs: Look at competitors’ sales and profit margins. These benchmarks are essential to seeing your business in the big picture.
- Custom KPIs: Certain metrics are going to be unique to your business. Make sure you understand how to track these.
- Reporting: Make sure that your business has a plan for important reporting metrics.
- Historical Data: Monitoring a business over a specific period helps executives fully understand it.
- Build a BI Team
Once a business has a roadmap laid out, they will need to build a team to execute that plan. Depending on the size of a business, sometimes hiring a company like Research Optimus is a better choice than hiring in-house. Whatever the choice, this team must be headed by highly data-driven people who can function in many roles.
- optimize a business. They need to understand the language of the business – or business jargon. Each industry will be different, so everyone on the team needs to understand the lingo for their specific industry.
- Team members must be able to pinpoint gaps in data and provide a fresh, unbiased perspective.
- A BI Team’s reception within the company will show how the organization feels about the current landscape. Poor responses mean that the company culture has not shifted toward a more data-driven mindset.
- Team members will always be the first to report on BI analytics. They provide unfiltered feedback that is used to help optimize a business.
- Know your Data Sources
There are so many sources of data in today’s world that keeping up with every source would be a nightmare. Instead, it’s best to identify sources valuable to your business and make sure that those are being analyzed as thoroughly and efficiently as possible. The goal in this step is to make a list of all data sources that are important to your business. Then determine what data is important.
There are three main categories of data:
- Core Data: This is the data that your business will gather using mobile apps, websites, and other online sources
- Peripheral Data: This data is collected when customer purchases a business
- External Data: Data that is obtained from external sources like sentiment analysis
- Secure a Data Warehouse
Now that you understand the sources for all the data being collected, you can focus on storing it. Data warehouses can provide a bird’s eye view of your business so that you gain a firm understanding of how your efforts are affecting it. Then that information is used to create strategies moving forward.
Here are some considerations:
- What database size meets your data requirements?
- Do you want to use cloud-based storage or an on-site server?
- How often will you need to scale it?
How a Business Intelligence Strategy Helps Companies Grow
Let’s look at how having a sound business intelligence strategy will help your company grow.
Make Smarter Decisions
Managing a growing company can quickly become overwhelming, so having data on your side makes decisions much easier. Business intelligence allows management to develop strategies that are based on data gathered directly from customers.
This is where having an effective system pays dividends by providing a wide range of key metrics like:
- Performance of teams
- Customer behavior
- Market trends
Once the data is inside of the system, reports can be created and then analyzed to help management make smarter decisions moving forward.
Understand Customers Better
The previous benefit serves as a perfect transition into this important business practice. We live in a customer-driven world. They provide so much data to businesses that they expect their voice to be heard. Customer engagement has become the forefront of all business practices.
As a result, there is an overwhelming demand for tools to cater to this vital need. Having a powerful business intelligence strategy in place provides information into the critical areas of the customer experience.
Data is Transformed into Actionable Information
Social media has accelerated the rate in which we acquire data, so having a business intelligence strategy transforms that data into information. Businesses must have a way to make sense of this data.
Having this actionable system in place improves the ROI of a business. Growth is the bottom line here. Management is tasked with making decisions that grow their business to the next level. Business intelligence is the key that unlocks this type of growth.
Businesses that are stuck at a certain level of growth should look closely at improving their current business intelligence strategy.