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The Best Companies Do Better with BI
Strong companies get more out of business intelligence than weaker ones do.
Posted Dec 21, 2007
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Top service organizations using business intelligence enjoy a 42 percent better improvement in customer retention than do laggard firms using the same systems, according to a recent report. The report postulates that increasing customer demand for faster and more efficient service as well as rising resource costs are driving service organizations to increasingly turn to business intelligence. The report, "Get Smart: Business Intelligence and Analytics for Service Organizations" from Aberdeen Research and based on responses from more than 250 firms, finds that best-in-class firms are five times more likely than laggard firms to conduct simulation modeling on service operations, and 82 percent more likely to have established standards and processes to ensure data cleansing and accuracy. Additionally, the top-performing companies are nearly two-and-a-half times more likely to analyze service data near real time or daily. These best-performing firms employ enterprisewide scorecards or performance management systems, the report says, among other characteristics:
  • consolidating data from common sources into a common service database;
  • employing executive dashboard tools as well as exception and alert reporting within the service knowledge management solution; and
  • using forecasting solutions.
The report points out that frequent analysis of service trend and performance information is a critical element of meeting customer demands for outstanding service as well as producing overall service profitability. By examining key performance indicators more often than other firms, top-performing companies can quickly make any necessary changes -- before profitability is impacted, the report says. "A key requirement of a service organization is the ability to adjust operations to meet quickly changing market pressures and priority mandates," write report authors Mickey Long and Sumair Dutta. This extra attention to detail in BI maintenance and usage is helping the best firms improve their bottom lines, according to the report, which says that top firms generate 70 percent more service profit than laggard companies do. Overall, the best-in-class firms have improved their time-to-decision performance by 47 percent via BI technology. Firms that want to move into the best-in-class arena need to follow similar practices and enable on-demand distribution of key service information across the enterprise, according to the report.
Aberdeen found that nearly 80 percent of service executives surveyed have in place -- or plan within the next twelve months to implement -- a BI/analytics solution within their service operation. These executives, the report says, are using better data analysis to balance customer, competitive, and cost pressures. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, click here. (Free registration required.)

Related articles: Feature: The 2007 Market Awards: Business Intelligence As the market for business intelligence matures and users become more sophisticated, more companies are buying into BI; Business Objects is named a Leader. Feature: The BI Tools Bonanza Simple BI tools have been developed over the past three years, quietly accelerating marketers' ability to see and hear. Viewpoint: 10 Ways to Improve Your Business Intelligence Friendly suggestions to help revitalize and maximize your company's BI strategy. Business Intelligence's Intelligent Leap Not every step toward a best-in-class BI deployment is going to be a smooth transition. SAP to Acquire Business Objects The friendly takeover folds new business intelligence capabilities into one of the leading enterprise software platforms; amidst differing opinions, rumors loom of a counteroffer from Oracle or IBM. Oracle Is Set to Purchase Hyperion The $3.3 billion acquisition would be Oracle's largest since Siebel, and continues Oracle's focus on BI while undermining rivals; more BI acquisitions are to come, according to analysts. IBM Acquires Cognos The $5 billion deal marks ongoing consolidation in the Tier One business intelligence market; a "significant change" in IBM's direction, one analyst notes. Cognos To Purchase Applix The $339 million acquisition is the latest example of the convergence of business intelligence and performance management. Cognos Brings BI to Excel The BI vendor adds search and analysis capabilities for business users of Excel; analysts say more vendors will follow. BI Tools Market Shows Continued Growth A study by IDC reveals that BI software is both popular and necessary; Business Objects and SAS continue to lead the field. The MDM Effect: Who Stands to Gain? Master data management solutions will improve business intelligence results; data governance best practices are still key. Editorial: You Drive Intelligence There's an unfortunate eagerness to view business intelligence as a business panacea. SAS Tops Gartner's BI Magic Quadrant The market will experience more growth; application and suite providers enhance their own offerings. Gartner Releases Its BI Magic Quadrant Business Objects, Cognos, Information Builders, and SAS Institute are setting the standards in BI. BI Will Be Pervasive Gartner analysts predict more business intelligence usage throughout enterprises, with increasing focus on seamless deployment into strategy and business processes. Bigger BI Budgets Are CIOs' Priority for '06 Gartner predicts strong growth for this rapidly expanding market, but not before companies start to look at BI as the means to strategic IT planning. Business Objects Leads the Pack in BI ROI An evaluation observes that standardization is growing as a trend, but that dashboards are driving BI adoption.
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