Analytics stakes out space in IT budgets

Companies considering business intelligence (BI) solutions may balk at the idea of adding something "extra" to the IT infrastructure. Finding the ways BI can give value to a company is an important step for users, helping them improve their processes in a number of different ways. Knowledge is power in business, and BI provides firms with a deep understanding of their market and unique place in it. Linking those abstract benefits to real and immediate ways to boost revenue could be the beginning of positive change for businesses.

Knowing oneself and others
According to Business 2 Community contributor Jeff Adelson-Yan, companies can decide what their various outreach and marketing programs are worth through the application of BI. Devoting space to analytics means gaining insight into how each other project is performing. Setting budgets for individual processes, he stated, is easier when using BI to find out what customers really want from a company. This information is extremely valuable, as it takes some of the guesswork out of planning.

Adelson-Yan noted that companies can also analyze their market in addition to their own processes. While firms can gauge how their competitors are doing from quarterly earnings reports, up to date briefs on the industry could be far more powerful as a business tool. After all, corporate decisions on marketing and similar programs must be made quickly to be effective, meaning that a working knowledge of the current state of things is vitally important.

Beyond the current state of the company using BI and the position of its rivals, there is a realm of hypotheticals, new options to be explored. According to Adelson-Yan, firms can constantly tap into new technology ideas, including advanced strains of BI, to make sure marketing efforts are working properly.

Finding data
Companies looking for insight into their customers' mindset may not have to look far for information to mine. According to PCQuest, there is a wide variety of information lurking in businesses' own systems. Firms log their interactions with customers more now than ever as business becomes increasingly digital. These records could be the raw materials for important insights.

The source noted that even small companies can look into their interactions with customers for valuable insight. Though these businesses may not have the budgets and international backing like that of their peers, they still have computer databases and clients to study. The simple fact that they have information from consumer contact means they have what they need to dive in and understand their positioning and create a budget that makes sense from all sides.

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