Business Intelligence – The Next Steps

January 13, 2014   //   Business Intelligence, , , , , ,

Many times I’ve seen clients using business intelligence to satisfy individual ad hoc and corporate reporting needs. While this is one way to use BI, there is so much more you can do with the data and the solution. We sometimes get wrapped up in our day-to-day reporting needs and miss the bigger picture. That is, to recognize (and remember) that the data in the data warehouses contain the corporate experience and history of running the business. There is a wealth of information in there to help supply answers to questions like:

  • Where is our business going?
  • What are our top customers like?
  • Who are our less profitable customers and what should we do about them?

And also –

  • How can we better partner with our customers so that we both are more profitable?
  • What tools and knowledge can we bring to the customer’s table to gain a competitive advantage over our competitors?

I’m currently working with a client to develop a very cool BI solution which will take their reporting to this next level – true analysis of their business experience. We are creating tools that can be used to create a win-win situation for them as well as their customers. For example, intelligence cubes or Tableau dashboards.

The client is a leading handler of fleet vehicles for their customers and we are beginning with the data collected over the years for accident claims, routine vehicle maintenance and vehicle sales. The company has been in business since the late 1940’s and there is a wealth of historical data available.

The key item in this business is the vehicle and one of the tools we are building is the ability to create vehicle profiles by any of the hundreds of attributes available. Based on historical experience, we will be able to create very detailed ways to look at a vehicle and on average, what happens to it over its lifetime.

The profiles will allow our client to better set their customer rates based on experience and also enables them to help their customers choose the right vehicles for their needs:

  • What is the average total cost for a vehicle like this over its lifetime?
  • What is the vehicle’s propensity to be in an accident in this geography?
  • When is the best time to replace these vehicles?
  • If the vehicle is needed for application X, would it be better to get vehicle A or vehicle B? Which has a lower cost of maintenance?
  • What geographical area is better to finally sell a vehicle of this type to gain the highest return?

These are just a few of the questions and answers that give our client that edge – both internally and externally with their customers. Business Intelligence is fascinating and the possibilities are endless.

To learn more about BI and all of the exciting new features SWC has for the business intelligence community; please join us for our next informative Business Intelligence event.

If you enjoyed this post from Bill, please check out a few of our past posts on business intelligence:
Ask SWC: What’s So Great About Tableau?
My Search For The Business Intelligence Chupacabra
OAuth 2.0 – Google API Business Intelligence Implementation
An Agile Approach to Business Intelligence
If They Only Had Tableau
How to Fast Track Business Intelligence
Can’t afford BI? Try the BI Analytics Tools in Everyday Software
How to Break Business Intelligence Users’ Excel Addiction
Ask SWC: What Is A New Technology That You Find Interesting?
Agile BI Software Solution
SWC’s Virtual Database Administration (VDBA) Solution