If you’re staying with this Business Intelligence (BI) 101 discussion, you are probably wondering why bother? No that doesn’t mean why bother with this blog but why bother with BI at all. Businesses need reliable information in order to survive and thrive, and business users need this when they want it and how they want it. The sort of information they’re after is shown below:
How does this information help a business? Here are a few examples below from projects I have worked on before I got swallowed by the blue monster:
- Help merchandisers to decide when to discount this season’s fashions – too early and margins are lost, too late and the warehouse is full of redundant stock.
- Prove value to TV advertisers, by comparing revenue to audience participation and thus retain those advertisers
- Monitoring the performance of liability insurance claims to decide where to put resources to reduce the claims. Ever wondered why grapes are sold in bags these days? It’s to keep them falling on the flow and cause injuries to staff and customers, which does waste some packaging but saves on crutches!
- Enable performance to be compared against targets across all levels of a global fast food chain, to properly reward the top performers and identify areas for improvement.
So it isn’t just about retail, the traditional home of business intelligence, the techniques can be applied to just about any business to gain better insight into problems and opportunities.