Business intelligence

In today’s business ecosystem, markets are volatile and competition is fierce

For many multinational companies, it is evidently clear that those once considered big business ideas are now looking tiresome and slowing down one’s ability to adapt.

Disruptive innovation will continue

Take the travel industry for instance. For decades consumers relied on travel agents to book flights and hotels, but the rapid rise of travel aggregators like booking.com (which some say is the largest hotel operator in the world without owning a single room), Airbnb and the likes have threatened the conventional roles of travel agents, prompting them to adapt and evolve. Today, successful travel agents don’t attempt to compete in areas of cheap tickets and hotel bookings, instead, they redefine escorted tours and curated travels, paving new avenues to generate income.

Equally, if you think booking.com and Airbnb are indestructible, you might be wrong because a few changes are coming. For instance, blockchain is gaining much attention in the travel industry lately. The upshot of it is that it allows consumers like you and me to book hotels on a blockchain platform using tokens and without having to pay any processing fees to providers and consumers (whereas booking.com and Airbnb charge high fees to both parties).

Suffice to say, due to how quickly the business landscape can change, multinational corporations require intelligence sourced from an immensely broad spectrum to remain competitive.

SMEs also need business intelligence

Corporate intelligence is no longer the realm of global corporations. So moving from multinational companies to SMEs in the UK, the trends tell us that for the first time since the year 2000, small business growth in the UK registered a deficit, with 0.5% fewer businesses in 2018 than 2017, equating to a total loss of 27,000 businesses overall. In this environment, and under such circumstances, an effective and considered business strategy is of the utmost importance – it equates to better practice and a better chance of survival.

To facilitate a comprehensive, holistic business strategy, SMEs now use corporate intelligence to better compete locally and even globally (in the sphere of eCommerce).

When it comes to corporate intelligence, we aren’t just talking about a piece of software processing a large amount of data and churning out nice-looking charts. We are talking about a combination of specialist tools and human-based investigations centred on solid research and proper due diligence to ensure that the insights you get are useful to your organisation.

In this article, our corporate intelligence team at Blackhawk Intelligence looks to discuss business intelligence and its applications, as well as the ways in which it can be implemented with respect to businesses that are yet to consider using business intelligence as part of their processes and procedures.

What is corporate intelligence?

Corporate intelligence is a complex paradigm that incorporates cutting-edge software and personal services. The process converts any collated data pulled from tools and services to recommend strategic and tactical business decisions. Sometimes it can also include counter-intelligence whereby you identify ways to safeguards business-sensitive information against your competitor’s intelligence service.

The goal of corporate intelligence is to protect your business interests, mitigate risks, enhance opportunities and leverage your competitive edge.

Effectively ‘corporate intelligence’ as an abstract is the means by which businesses utilise technology in order to harness data and make considered decisions based on sound, solid evidence. With respect to its pragmatic elements, business intelligence represents the tools and processes by which businesses can access and analyse data and present this data in a digestible format.

This is where the nexus exists; on the practical side in the collection, dissemination and analysis of relevant business data (sourced by business intelligence technologies), and on the implementation side of this data, where businesses make ‘intelligent’ decisions based on evidence and hard fact. In this way, business intelligence is a two-pronged entity and as a holistic process, translates to reasoned decision-making and substantiated action.

In terms of applications, corporate intelligence covers:

  • Assessment of strategies, from marketing to cybersecurity
  • Investigation of modus operandi
  • Competitor capabilities
  • Location suitability
  • Short-term market prospects
  • Long-term market trends

The difference between business intelligence and business analytics

Business intelligence should not be confused with business analytics – the former refers to collations of data as ‘recommendations’ as to suggest effective courses of action for companies, while the latter involves the use of software as a means of predicting what will happen to a business in the future.

To make this clearer, if a company wants to determine where its weaknesses are with respect to certain processes, for example, the supply chain management, then instituting business intelligence software can illuminate the points needed for improvement, as well as potentially the specifics of any delays or weaknesses and how remedying these might be able to improve the process overall. As such, it can be said that business intelligence is a catalyst for improving a company’s operational activity and in turn, can serve the betterment of its profitability and holistic interests.

How can I make my business more intelligent?

It should be noted that business intelligence is focused on decision making. Every day you’re inundated with questions that require you to make decisions which will impact your business in more ways than one. To make sound strategic and tactical decisions, you first need the right data and this is where the corporate intelligence team at Blackhawk can help.

Within this function, we have five specialist areas which can be utilised to give you more control over your business decisions:

At any one point in the natural course of trade, you and your colleagues are constantly involved in a variety of business transactions, engaging anyone from vendors and clients to partners, managing operations, fulfilling statutory obligations and meeting shareholders’ expectations, to name but a few. To make your business more intelligent, you need corporate intelligence that can help you kick-start discussions, review existing relationships, meet expectations and optimise your resources – all these elements can significantly enhance your competitive edge.

Rely on Blackhawk for solid corporate intelligence

If you’d like to enhance your decision-making process with solid corporate intelligence, Blackhawk Intelligence can help. With a proven track record of delivering sound corporate intelligence and business recommendations, we can assist in planning, researching, collecting information, processing and analysing data and delivering business insights to you.

Contact us today on +44 (0)20 8108 9317 or via our Contact Form for more information on how our corporate intelligence services can help you.

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This post is intended to provide information of general interest about current business issues. It should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances.