Looking at how technology keeps rocketing past us; there is a tremendous opportunity to start morphing the way we do things in the the ecosystems we work in. Here is my perspective from a non-technical perspective.
Fact: The better the information we have to work with, the better the business decisions we can make.
Let’s talk about the domain of Sales and Customer Service. I know a little about this as I have been a turnaround specialist / consultant for the last 12 years and wrote a book in this domain title The Market Has Changed, Have You? (VPs of Sales – you need to buy this book for your team and have me come do a training session around it) Sorry, I digress, couldn’t pass that opportunity up. It just flowed 🙂
So. Imagine you were selling your own brand of Spectrophotometers to research labs across the US at every major Research University, Pharmaceutical company, the Military, the National Institute of Health and similar institutions in 27 other countries. How useful would it be if you got daily data dumps from every machine you had out there; that gave you information about usage, machine condition, energy supply etc. Ques: Could you not then use that information to then be more proactive with your customers?
If you noticed a specific unit was being used more than the recommended number of hours in a day; you could proactively call and offer them a meaningful discount on a second machine. If you noticed the energy supply was not consistent and of poor quality; you could sell them a power pack. If you noticed certain parts of their machine were not performing at optimum levels you could proactively schedule a service call and improve your customer’s experience using your spectrophotometers. The list goes on. This is one simple way you could operationalize Business Intelligence in the domain of Sales and Customer Service.
Let’s stay with the discipline of sales; I am a big fan of the Salesforce platform and appreciate the way they have structured their data models to allow you to customize your Salesforce application in ways that make sense to your business and its needs. Imagine designing an analytics solutions that helps your sales people make the “Best Next Offer” to your customer, based on a multitude of conditions like …
- Their purchase history
- Size of their organization
- Size of each transaction they make with you
- Annual Net Transaction Value
- Others customers like them
- Market Value of dependent Commodities that day
- Weather information in key geographies their customers in
- Demographic information of their customers
- Social Media Trends related to their business
You get the point. Operationalizing Business Intelligence will allow you to run complex statistical models and let you do analysis and testing on multiple data sources within or outside your organization to come up with a trustworthy assessment of what your next best offer should be to your customers today.
This is currently being done by many of the leading companies in the world. Technology platforms like Information Builders and Splunk have made this easy to do and a practical choice for business leaders in every type of company from Small to Mid-Size to the largest of the large Enterprises and the all Local, City, State and Fed Government Agencies. The Market Has Changed and technology has made it easier for us to leverage data so we can in very practical terms access the wisdom and the insights about our business. Talk to my buddy Dan Grady at Information Builders if you want to learn more about what I am talking about.