Project Management

Smarten Up: Building an Intelligent Corporation
Part 1: Defining a High-Level BI Strategy

There have been many definitions of business intelligence that have been put forth by the gurus in the field: information that gives a competitive advantage, information that allows a better understanding of customers, and information that allows improvements in internal efficiency. BI is all of these and more. What you as a BI strategist need is a roadmap that says "Insert BI here" within your organizational process. To help you on your merry way, I have started to build that roadmap which identifies areas for BI opportunity throughout the organization.

Within an organization, there are several key processes that dominate. First and foremost is customer relationship building. This process includes developing the products that a customer wants, marketing the products to the customer needs, selling to the customers, the purchasing the product, and servicing the product. This is an iterative chain that reoccurs as customers continually buy new products over time. During each of these iterations, invaluable information is gained about a customer that aids in the development of new products, improved servicing, and focused sales and marketing efforts. The analysis of this invaluable information is our first "Insert BI here" we shall call this area Relationship Intelligence.

The second key area is centered on the product: its construction, its delivery and quality. …

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