A business intelligence program is a necessity, not a luxury

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The business intelligence train is leaving the station. If you are not already implementing a BI solution, planning to implement one or have completed an implementation, you risk being left behind.

BI is something that you cannot afford to be without in the very near future. It crosses all industries and company sizes, but is it extremely important to companies in data-rich industries like financial services, retail or telecommunications.

Your competitors are implementing BI solutions right now, which they will use to take your market share. BI can be a competitive advantage for a company if it can better understand its business or industry better than the competition.

If properly used, it can help identify opportunities, such as cost savings, efficiencies or process changes that will improve your position. Smaller companies can benefit even more since they tend to be more nimble than their larger counterparts.

Late adopters of BI will be at a significant competitive disadvantage as BI is more widely used through various industries.

Your customers are expecting to experience the benefits of BI from the organizations they come in contact with. Loyal customers want to be treated based on their value and can get very upset when they are rewarded in one situation and treated poorly in another - by the same company.

This requires recognizing them in real-time when they call or shop with you. The intelligence to do this is locked inside your data systems. Your job is to utilize it effectively.

Your management is requiring more information about operations and is expecting to see a return on all the data your organization has been gathering.

A well-implemented BI program will help keep management informed of potential problems or upcoming challenges, which provides a headstart on minimizing their impact or eliminating them altogether.

Lastly, your stakeholders require information on the organization's performance soon after the month, quarter or annual close for the same reason management wants to know - to take action. Forget about month-end closings; most retailers had the preliminary sales figures for the holiday shopping season within days of it ending.

Good data is the foundation of an effective BI program. It's no longer about turning data into information, but transforming the organization through information and changing the way it operates. That's the real opportunity. Get your ticket and get onboard right away.

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