Big data is hard to collect, organize, and view at scale, but you know you need it to compete in today’s growing digital landscape.The way you’re analyzing data now is likely a time-eating process that hardly ever results in quality business insights. It’s difficult to move beyond massive Excel spreadsheets, but it’s also daunting to invest in sophisticated tools that aggregate data but don’t integrate with one another. Telling a story through data pulled this way that can actually inform your business decisions is nearly impossible.
In order to remain digitally relevant, you must implement a solid business intelligence strategy that simplifies the ability to make business decisions from loads of data. In this blog, we discuss three ways business intelligence (BI) can form your business strategy for immediate success.
What is a Business Intelligence Strategy?
A business intelligence strategy is the process of developing and executing a BI system that will help identify opportunities and weaknesses that give your business a roadmap for achieving business level goals.
The 3 Benefits of Implementing a BI Strategy
A BI strategy will help you make informed strategic decisions, save time and money, and gain a competitive edge. Implementing a BI strategy is not an easy task: it requires significant preparation and, potentially, expenses. In the end, though, the rewards (and ROI) will outway the costs. And soon, businesses that don’t BI will experience higher costs long term than those that do. Once the automations and aggregators are set up behind the scenes, you can cut the time it takes to manually pull, align, and analyze data manually by up to 90%.
1) Understand ROI Across the Business
A solidified BI strategy uncovers where your business is maximizing ROI while also identifying the business actions not giving you a return on your investment. It’s difficult to analyze ROI across business campaigns, most often due to unstructured data coming from multiple data sources that do not talk to each other. The information in these disparate systems may be easy to report on in a siloed view; however, a siloed view limits the ability to compare the real impact (or lack thereof) of a specific campaign. By implementing a BI strategy, CEOs and business owners can review data combined from multiple sources and see insights at the business level to fully understand what’s performing and what’s not.
2) Optimize Business Costs
BI can simplify the data collection process, which can reduce your long term costs for gathering data on an ongoing basis. Budgeting and forecasting can also be accomplished through a solid BI strategy. CEOs and business owners can estimate how much they need to spend on certain campaigns in order to achieve their business revenue goals with campaign-specific performance data. Additionally, they can quickly identify where campaigns are blowing through budget without producing results and take immediate action to either stop or reroute budget elsewhere.
Outgoing campaigns are not the only area where you can use BI to optimize your costs. At &Marketing, we use it internally to understand how we are spending our time for each of our clients and identify where we can improve our own execution processes to optimize time and reduce costs.
3) Gain a Competitive Edge
By implementing a business intelligence strategy, you can get visibility into your entire competitive landscape across multiple business lines and channels. Competitor intelligence is often difficult to work into existing analytics, as competitor data does not always match up apples to apples with your own data. If you’re struggling with limited competitor information, BI tools are available that can analyze competitor campaigns by identifying where they are doing better and what areas you can improve and overtake them.
How to Create a Business Intelligence Strategy
Creating and executing a business intelligence strategy is not an easy task. It requires extensive planning and is not as easy as simply choosing a platform. Here’s what to know:
1) Identify Your Business Goals
The most important part of creating a business intelligence strategy is to define KPIs for your business. Without KPIs, you will develop a strategy that does not effectively answer the questions you need to answer.
2) Define Success
After defining your KPIs, understand the people, processes and technologies you need in order to achieve success. This step is important in getting everyone on the same page before getting too far down the road.
3) Aggregate and Align Your Data Sources
This is the most time-consuming step of creating a business intelligence strategy. You must gather all of the data and determine common connectors so it all communicates. Once you have aligned data sources, be sure to visualize the data in a way that CEOs and business leaders are able to easily understand.
4) Develop Data Visualization Dashboards to Easily Mine and Find Your Business Insights
This is the most exciting part of creating a business intelligence strategy and a critical step in taking data all the way from insights to action. Our team recommends reviewing data for multiple time frames in order to best understand your business. For example, compare months, quarters, and years to uncover trends. September might show higher numbers than October, but you might be up for the quarter or the previous year’s September.
5) Develop a Roadmap
Using the business insights from above, create a roadmap for success that details your campaigns. Use the roadmap to guide your tactics and serve as a baseline. After starting the campaigns, be sure to monitor results as soon as you have them.
6) Review, Optimize, Rinse, and Repeat
Business intelligence strategies are always evolving, just as new digital tools arrive to market every day and online trends ebb and flow. Be sure to constantly review the market for ways to innovate.
Implementing a BI strategy requires upfront work and expense that your business will need to prepare for ahead of time. Yet, a solidified BI strategy uncovers where your business is maximizing ROI while also identifying the business actions not giving you a return on your investment.
Having trouble with building your BI strategy? Download Our BI eBook to help you pave a roadmap for your own business.
About Paul Ferguson
Marketing Director Paul Ferguson helps clients develop fully integrated marketing solutions that make impressions and drive results. Whether it be design-oriented campaigns or digital market execution, Paul skillfully creates strategies to effectively reach client’s desired audiences.
&Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.
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