Business Intelligence Services
Intelligence-led data and optimally-managed processes help businesses to make effective decisions.
The textbook definition of Business Intelligence (BI) is a framework which encompasses relevant software, infrastructure and best business practices to identify, analyse and interpret the efficacy of business data. The goal of business intelligence is to increase your competitive advantage by optimising the decision making process and enhancing performance.
In other words, business intelligence is about acquiring, processing and interpreting key data generated by various elements of your business – or exposed to by its operations. It is, therefore, a more ‘inward-looking’ process.
Data-driven decision making
It must be said that business intelligence, competitive intelligence and business analytics are what most people refer to as data-driven decision making tools, but their similarities end there.
Business intelligence varies from competitive intelligence. The key difference is business intelligence focuses on reviewing your internal data and internal processes with the intention to optimise the decision-making process. Competitive intelligence, on the other hand, uses external data associated with your competitors and market environment with the intention to stay ahead of the competition.
Business intelligence is also different from business analytics, which is a statistical analysis of data.
It is also incorrect to assume that business intelligence is only about customers. Far from it actually, as business intelligence covers every aspect from your production line, sales, marketing to staff performance.
Applying Big Data to your operation
The advancement of technology has enabled companies to amass a wealth of data at an unprecedented scale, giving rise to the term ‘Big Data’. Let us start by sharing the four characteristics of Big Data:
- Volume: This refers to the quantity of generated and stored data. The size of the data determines the value and potential insight, and whether it can be considered big data or not.
- Variety: The type and nature of the data. Big Data is gathered from text, images, audio and video, and analysts will use data fusion to integrate multiple data sources to produce more consistent and useful information.
- Velocity: This refers to the time taken to generate, process, record and publish the data to meet demands and challenges.
- Veracity: An extended definition for big data, it refers to the data quality and the data value. The data quality of captured data can vary greatly, affecting accurate analysis.
Big Data is applied in manufacturing, healthcare, education, insurance, media and even the government sector. Here are two examples of how Big Data can help:
Big Data helps to detect insurance fraud cases and reduce wastage
In the past, fraud investigators relied on manual effort to screen through a large number of cases to identify suspicious fraudulent behaviours. It was time-consuming and inefficient. With the rise of Big Data, healthcare providers now use technology to store and process an immense amount of data to identify irregular behaviours, waste and abuse.
Big Data helps to ban ‘serial returners’
If you have purchased an item which does not meet your needs, it is within your rights to return it within 14 days (online) or 30 days (in store, but the store policy may override this). However, serial returners, referring to the people who buy items and then return them on a regular basis, are costing companies significant sums of money. Increasingly, online retailers are using Big Data to identify consumers who are abusing the return policy versus those who genuinely return the items for good reason. As a result, some companies even take the step to ban serial returners.
Business Intelligence means being forearmed
We like the phrase ‘to be forewarned is to be forearmed’. Regardless of the data size, the information must be processed and analysed to tease out and reveal meaningful insights. In other words, the information must help the management in your company to make more intelligent and strategic decisions, and respond quicker to changes in the market place than before. It is somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy – the better the insight and understanding you have on your business and its environment, the more effective you can be to improve your business intelligence infrastructure.
How Blackhawk Intelligence can help
If your company is looking for intelligence-led information which your management can use to optimise the decision-making process, enhance performance and increase your adaptability to changing market needs, then our team at Blackhawk Intelligence can help you to gather, process, analyse and interpret the data to reveal meaningful insights that can help your company become more competitive.
Better data-driven intelligence, analysis and management of business information can significantly differentiate you from your competitors. Moreover, it can also uncover areas where your company is at risk of fraud.
Talk to Blackhawk Intelligence on +44 (0)20 8108 9317 today and see how we can help.