Enterprises have been utilizing Business Intelligence to ensure that the decision making is based on ‘facts’ not just ‘guts’ for business benefits. For quite a long time BI technology has revolved around Information storage, integration and analytics. However, lately BI has changed with a bit of business integration and innovation happening in the BI realm. Business Intelligence processes have matured a lot and have found application in many industries including police force intelligence, smarter city planning and not only enterprise decision making.

Improvements in BI processes

 

Including the traditional tools such as ETL, OLAP, Data Mining; other technologies and tools have started to count under the realm of BI processes. Some of them are:

  • Content Analytics: Information in the form of text residing in organizations is utilized with relevant advancements in text mining technologies. For example to improve call center efficiency, speech synthesis software are used to process voice records and identify patterns such as product issues, fast issue resolution and whether or not standard operating procedures are followed. Similarly a large amount of data is available online on social networks and this can be analyzed for sentiment analysis, opinion tracking on different products and services. The same notion is used by distributors of films who show promos of new movies at regular intervals to gauge the interest of the audience. This information is then analyzed by software and tools and relevant features are added or removed from the new products or services being offered.
  • Advanced Information Delivery: There have been a lot of improvements in the data visualization techniques with the utilization of GIS technologies integrated with maps which have a direct bearing on the decision making of the executives. For example analysis of telecom services in a particular geographic area or locality along with the performance of competition in the same area. Also there has been a drastic increase in the information delivery channels.
  • Focus on Operational Efficiency: The idea of having information at one’s disposal for effective decision making is relevant only when the information is available on time. According to the Time-Value Curve the business value decays with time. For example call center executive needs to make a decision based on the customer’s needs then and there. Thereby the executive needs to have all the customer information required by him at his disposal since he needs to make a decision with a latency of 5 min, any information available after this time period is futile since the decision might have already been made. A wrong decision at that time may result in customer churn and hence the timely availability of information is important. To cater to such scenarios the use of technologies like Rules Engines have been made frequent which help in determining the “Next Best Action” to control customer churn by avoiding improper decision making.

 

Conclusion

 

Even though BI has evolved to a more advanced state now, many firms are found struggling with the basic tenets of BI like setting up a warehouse and getting the dashboards and report generation modules done. It is important to make sure that the foundations of BI are set up rightly based on which later innovations and integration of newer technologies can be done rightly. If used correctly BI can add a dimension of certainty to decision making and hence improve organizational efficiency.