Using Business Intelligence (BI) in organizations
1 August 2015
Around the organizations I know, nearly everyone deals with BI on some level. Small organizations usually don't use this term, yet even without this methodological name, they still perform evaluations and analysis of both sales data and consumer behavior. Sometimes, this is done even without using a specialized BI tool. The best simplest example is my neighborhood grocer who knows exactly which products sell better at which seasons and why, and orders them accordingly.
In other organizations, the term is used explicitly, BI teams are being established and managed, BI systems are being used, managers set objectives and evaluate success based on BI data as well as use BI dashboards and evaluate competition etc.
Nowadays, we all deal with Business Intelligence.
In the beginning, Business Intelligence dealt with data analysis, report analysis and drawing conclusions as well as Data Mining- a term which may sound to this day like a mystery or riddle awaiting its deciphering… A this point, the data analysis was mainly based on the organization's core data which was then stored in the "organizational data warehouse" (e.g. sales data).
And for a while, this sufficed.
During the second stage, the technological development of products in this field took off and various BI tools and systems began to appear in the market. These automatic tools connected to the organizational database, replaced the reports and manual data analysis and provided quick and precise answers to questions built-in in advance. At this stage, data analysis already combines the organization's core data (sales data for example) with operational data and other data. We have already seen how the BI "sucks" information from other systems in the organization (for example, CRM).
And for a while, that sufficed.
During the third stage, which is the stage at which we are today, the organization's environmental development creates, uses and manages innovative communication & information channels (internet, social networks, cellular phones, applications). These lead to a substantial increase in the amounts of information and types of information collected (and presented outwards) by the organization, and for an organizational need for analyzing the behavior of users/consumers- an analysis based not only on numbers (sales) rather also on values and behavior.
At this stage, data analysis already combines core data and the operational data and other data from different systems, while examining consumer behavior on the network, reviewing trends and social buzz, reviewing contents & events, etc.
And for the time being, this will suffice.
What will the next stage be? The field of Business Intelligence is evolving towards multiple directions simultaneously, and is also reacting to changes and developments in the actual different markets…it seems we'll have to wait and see where things go from here, or even try it ourselves and create the next stage ourselves… we can only imagine at this stage how the next stage will include more data, more types of information collected via new innovative communication channels, as well as quicker analysis and responses to real time field events…and these are only some of the challenges that will pop up in this field in the near future.
For a sneak peek to the future, I recommend following a number of blogs that deal with innovation in the subject of Business Intelligence.
For your comfort, here is an article which lists 50 blogs on the subject: http://www.ngdata.com/top-business-intelligence-blogs/