Doctor, Doctor….I feel ill: a case for business intelligence

With our low cost business intelligence (BI) solution for your CRM data about to be released it seems like a good time for our CRM expert, Duncan Wood, to explain why failing to use BI is like cutting off your leg!

Imagine you sit down with your Doctor and the conversation goes something like this:

You: “Doctor, I don’t feel very well!”

Doctor: “OK, no problem let’s start by chopping off your left leg and see if that helps. That will probably work, it works for most people.”

You: “You are going to what? Don’t you want to look at me first?”

Doctor: “No.. I don’t have time and lost my stethoscope on the way in this morning”

Sounds like a joke I know, but now transfer that analogy to a business meeting.

Most people have been present in a meeting when decisions have been made with little or no data but based on “probably” logic. That is where Business Intelligence tools can help a business to first diagnose a problem and also provide the data to analyse possible solutions. I borrowed the analogy from a blog that Ed Kless wrote about consultancy. He said “In consulting, as in medicine, prescription before diagnosis is malpractice.” Meaning without the information to analyse the problem then prescribing a solution is dangerous even a negligent practice.

OK, what is BI or Business Intelligence?

The current usage of the term is cited by WikiPedia to Howard Dresner (later a Gartner Group analyst) who proposed “business intelligence” as an umbrella term to describe “concepts and methods to improve business decision making by using fact-based support systems.”

There are three key stages of creating an effective BI solution:

  • Gathering data and organising it
  • Turning it into meaningful information through analysis
  • Delivering a BI interface, allowing the business to make actionable decisions to drive the business towards strategic goals

Who’s doing it and why should you care?

BI is getting more and more popular as evidenced by Gartner’s press release on 3 April 2012 that announced the worldwide BI platform software and related revenue grew 16.4% from 2010 to 2011 worth over $12 billion in that year.

The reason this is relevant to you is that it is getting more and more likely that your competition are using a BI solution to make better decisions. In business, as in medicine, it’s not only is a good idea to diagnose a problem properly but an early diagnosis can be the difference between life and death or success and failure.

Good BI can alert you early to a problem in your business such as a change in behaviour in your customers by a shortfall in sales in a certain category of your products.

Good BI can also to alert you to unexpected strengths in your business that you could exploit further such as an extremely high open rate for an email campaign about a new product.

Either way an early diagnosis of a weakness or strength will allow you to fix a problem or exploit an opportunity.

Big and scary and ££££s?

BI has a reputation for being big and expensive and that can be true. However, I am pleased to announce a new product offering in for our CRM product Sage SagesLogix that gives you a low-cost “out of the box” BI solution for your CRM data. The package is called “Sage SalesLogix Advanced Analytics” and is available for sale in the UK on 1 June. The starter licence package (including 5 users and 1 developer but not implementation) costs less than £2,000 and hopefully you’ll see a return on your investment in the first meeting where you make a good decision you would not have made without it!

Sage SalesLogix Advanced Analytics is really easy to use and gives you all the key analysis about your CRM data in a dashboard format organising your Marketing, Sales and Customer Service analysis into different tabs.

Business Intelligence for your CRM software

Sage SalesLogix Advanced Analytics

There are several videos on YouTube including an overview demo and training videos.

Anyway, I hope you have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend and enjoy any Jubilee celebrations you attend. I wonder if Buckingham Palace use BI yet.. 😉

Duncan Wood

You can follow me on Twitter @sageukcrm