Category Information:

Business Intelligence solutions continue to change at a rapid pace. The proliferation of data sources within and beyond the walls of companies affords many opportunities to improve the value of measurement and analytics. Today’s complexities reside partially in the concept of Big Data, which introduces the three core V’s of Volume, Velocity, and Variety. Essentially, data types are increasing and requiring business intelligence solutions to manage structured, semi-structured and unstructured data in large volumes within data sets that are turning over rapidly. This requires more horsepower for finding answers within data assets. Both hardware and software advancements are making it possible, but often outpaced by a combination of the data factors and availability of knowledgeable resources to execute the project.

These solutions are able to fulfill business needs well beyond those found within the marketing department. Effectively, they may be implemented across one ore more functional areas or business units. Select consultants will recommend identifying a core set of business requirements for a functional area, such as Marketing, to concentrate efforts on a reasonable initial implementation and then expand coverage. Others may recommend evaluating corporate wide needs to develop a comprehensive roadmap. A roadmap allows a cohesive approach to planning, but is subject to change between the roadmap planning and project implementation cycles.

Business Intelligence and Big Data solutions assist marketers in addressing multiple business needs, such as identifying unique opportunities, managing marketing campaigns and tracking performance results. The tools to make this happen may include:

  • Visualizations
  • Dashboards
  • Reporting & Publishing
  • Notifications & Alerting
  • Data Analytics
  • Content Analytics
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Data Mining
  • Data Aggregations
  • Metrics
  • Workflow & Collaboration
  • Business Rules
  • Business Performance Management
  • Benchmarking
  • Data Connections

More specific to marketing, these solutions are able to provide insight into economic indicators, marketing campaign performance, channel and distribution analysis, web and eCommerce analytics, social analytics, advertising metrics, sales management, marketing attribution, marketing & sales funnel analysis and lead nurturing activity as a few examples. Ultimately, if you have the data, these solutions can turn it into valuable insights and then inform the necessary people within your organizations and across your business partnership network.

This is a relatively mature category with much of the recent innovation occurring within the areas of connecting to data assets within or outside an organization, simplification of the ‘idea-to-report’ process and visualizations. Each solution provider has a unique approach to providing selected features from the above group as well as other solution specific value adds for their respective customers.

The Effect on Marketing Budgets:
A key consideration regarding budgets is the depth of the solution that is needed. Many marketing teams may simply want to gain better access to existing data and only require a solution to tap into the information they already have and present it efficiently. Other companies may want a more holistic set of capabilities to Acquire, Manage, Perform Analysis, Report and Share this information. These organizations may require a more robust set of solutions encompassing Business Intelligence, Data Analytics, Data Management, Data Warehousing and Governance related technologies. There are a few highly functional free solutions that meet the needs of the former, while the latter often requires one or more investments in various technologies.

Definitions:

Business Intelligence (Wikipedia)

Videos:

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence Overview

Business Intelligence Maturity

The Future of Data Science

Top 10 Tech Trends for 2016

Why BI Projects Fail

Presentations:

Top 10 Trends in Business Intelligence for 2016

Top 6 BI & Analytics Trends for 2016

 

Conferences & Events:

TDWI Conferences
Business Intelligence Conferences

Associations:

The Data Warehouse Institute

Return On Investment
Business Intelligence and Big Data solutions typically provide value across the enterprise as previously mentioned. However, to focus on the needs within Marketing, a core value is often the consolidation of data that represents all the touch-points occurring from an initial inquiry to a closed sale. This may include inbound and outbound messaging, prospect interactions, advertising placements, press coverage and all other market conversations. This activity, when aligned with prospect data, uncovers the key to attribution and the measurement of return on investment for marketing expenses. While still not a holy grail, marketing systems and infrastructure are getting closer to measuring the “half of the marketing expense that doesn’t generate results”. Therefore, let’s answer the question about where to look for ROI from a BI solution within Marketing:

  • Data coverage for measuring marketing campaigns and channels
  • Integrating external data sources to provide competitive insights
  • Efficiently publishing key performance indicators to necessary audiences
  • Automated distribution of reports and analytics to people and processes
  • Improved timeliness of this information
  • Decreased costs compared to today’s processes

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Executive Planning Tools:
To discuss any of the above or following tools or how to navigate Business Intelligence and Big Data decisions within your organization, please Contact Us.

  • Executive Buy-in Presentation
  • Capability Mapping
  • Software Capability Evaluation
  • Roadmap & Maturity Planning
  • Financial Analysis and ROI

 

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