Business intelligence (BI) involves using specialized processes and tools to transform data into insights your company can utilize. It concerns current and historical data that can reveal your company’s status and how it reached that point.
Although it takes time and effort to see the full payoffs of using BI products, you can look forward to numerous advantages. Business growth is one of the likely outcomes. Here are some specific ways that a BI tool could help your company grow faster than you may expect.
1. Reach Informed Decisions Faster
Accurate, up-to-date information can prove vital for reaching confident decisions. However, a 2019 survey found that it takes 60% of employees days or hours to locate what they need. Only 3% said they could retrieve it in seconds. Since BI tools can compile data from many sources and show trends, they can save people the valuable time they’d otherwise spend trying to find relevant content.
The same study showed that only 7% use self-service tools for data-driven decision-making. Conversely, 79% reported having to ask an IT expert or business analyst for help. Those findings show that you can’t make the mistake of purchasing a tool that’s too hard for people to use on their own.
It’s crucial to give people enough time to learn how to use whichever BI tools you select. Those resources become largely useless if they provide the data, but users don’t understand the best ways to retrieve and act upon it. Plus, the more people feel comfortable working with a BI tool’s features, the more willing they should be to trust its findings.
2. Reveal Social Media Opportunities
Building an online presence for your business via social media is not necessarily sufficient. The opportunities for lasting business growth often come from seizing chances to succeed on these platforms that may have otherwise remained hidden. For example, some tools track mentions associated with your brand. If you find most of those come from women in the 18-24 age group, that information could guide a future campaign.
Your BI tool can also spotlight statistics that you initially overlooked. It might show that a blog series about simple but effective healthy eating tips was the most-shared content produced by your nutrition brand over the last year.
When looking through historical data, try not to make assumptions that could taint how you interpret the findings. View the material in as much as an unbiased viewpoint as you can manage. Also, examine the data in a broader sense. Could other factors have caused a jump in social media activity besides those you deemed most influential?
3. Enable Finding More Customers
Locating new customers is likely a top priority for your company regardless of what you sell. A BI tool can become an excellent resource for illuminating underserved parts of your target audience. You could supplement your BI tool use by conducting a spatial search, for example. That means focusing on data within a specified area on a business map. Someone from a company might draw a circle on it and then see how many different ZIP codes there are.
Taking that approach could show neighborhoods or other parts of a community that deserve more attention due to their potential to drive your company’s sales. You could also use a BI tool to search through social media activity for people in your area that might benefit from your product. For example, if you have a fitness facility, you could focus on people that mention working out as an interest.
Once you look at spatial elements to discover new potential customers, investigate the best ways to reach them. For example, if their homes are easy to get to by car, door-to-door sales could work well. However, if most people in a community take public transportation, associated ads could prove more effective.
4. Improve Inbound Marketing Strategies
Inbound marketing’s primary goal is to attract potential customers who are most likely to convert or are highly relevant to your products or services. A company blog, natural keyword usage and engaging social media posts are some of the main inbound marketing strategies used today. However, turning people into customers is not enough. Companies must also work to keep them happy and loyal.
Using a business intelligence tool could help you excel at inbound marketing efforts. You might find statistics that indicate which kind of content is most likely to interest people at certain buying process stages. Alternatively, a BI product could tell you which pages encourage people to provide their email addresses.
However, be careful to avoid the pitfall of focusing too much on one aspect. There are usually many reasons why site visitors get to the point where they take action, such as providing an email address. Do people do this because they appreciate the kind of content you offer, or is it due to the number of times they’d visited your site? Don’t assume there is only one thing compelling people to act.
5. Enhance How You Provide Customer Service
Your business could offer one of the most in-demand products, but fail to grow. That’s particularly likely to happen if people are not satisfied with customer service or how you assist them. Using BI can show you meaningful trends and inform the best ways to keep customers happy. For example, you could see the most common unresolved issues and give customer service representatives more training to tackle them.
A survey of shoppers found that 73% preferred self-service options to human contact when getting assistance. Suppose people at your company want to let customers help themselves. They could start by using a BI tool to determine the most common queries associated with customer service calls. The next step would be to create a searchable database of related answers people could access at any time.
If your company decides to use BI to improve customer service, make sure the data fed into the tool is sufficiently specific. For example, if agents choose an “other” category for 35% of their calls, knowing that alone probably isn’t adequate for taking action. You’d first need a more detailed breakdown of the customer needs falling under that type, which may require looking at a representative’s call notes.
Use BI With a Purpose
Many company leaders begin using BI tools without figuring out the specific reasons why. Some hear that competitors use BI tech and decide they’d better follow suit to avoid falling behind. There’s no harm in watching what other companies do, but your reasons for investing in BI solutions should be more purpose-driven.
This list suggests how to rely on BI for growth, but what does it look like for your company? Does it mean attracting more customers, releasing a higher number of new products than last year or moving into a new market?
Since there’s no universal answer, you must decide what’s most important for a BI tool to help you accomplish. After that, you’re in an excellent position to evaluate the products on the marketplace and pick the most appropriate options.