Tips for Gathering Business Intelligence

BLG02x - edited feature imageGathering business intelligence is a process that starts from within. Collating internal intelligence is of vital importance before searching the market.

Oftentimes, the internal departments of your business will offer better suggestions and methods than any others you can find.

These suggestions and ideas will help form the basis of the intelligence gathering. After you have spoken to your departments, it’s time to visit the World Wide Web.

The internet is overflowing with information, largely thanks to big data, which has given businesses an incredible amount of resources right from their own computers. There are now programs and applications that will assist in the utilization of big data, making it a simpler process for businesses. Mining information when and where you can is the best way to stay on top of the competition.

Get Internal Data First

Gathering data from every source is absolutely essential. A treasure trove of information is sitting right in your own office building. Sales, marketing metrics, productivity metrics, and key performance indicators are all available to you, but you’ll need to request and record the information to make use of it.

Be sure to:

  • Contact every department with relevant information
  • Collate data and organize depending on the type
  • Cross-reference information and validate data before beginning analysis

Leverage Big Data

The World Wide Web is overflowing with data. With every click of a mouse, data is uploaded, downloaded, and streamed. Petabytes of data proliferate every single day.

Some programs can help organize big data, making it useful for marketing, sales, and other strategic business applications.

Mining big data can help accelerate market research and give your company a competitive edge when it comes to intelligence.

Record Data with a BI platform

Don’t rely on excel sheets to store your business intelligence. Integrate your business intelligence processes with a reputable business intelligence platform.

Record and export your data into visual aids such as line graphs, pie charts, and plots. Interpreting data with standard office programs will likely invite errors and missteps.

Consult With Experienced Product Managers

Many companies gather business intelligence, create product plans, and launch new lines without the expert guidance of great product managers. However, the success rate of product launches is abysmally low and can be improved by simply consulting with experienced professionals.

Product managers are experts at gathering business intelligence, since it is the absolute foundation of their product plan. You may want to consult with a manager from a similar industry to get the best advice.

Perform Analysis With a Team

When we look at data alone, we’re inviting misinterpretation. Instead of getting caught up in an echo chamber powered by bias and blind spots, take a look at the intelligence you’ve gathered as a team.

Here are a few strategies to make analysis even more effective:

  • Invite team members outside of your project or department
  • Ask for team members to support their analyses with evidence
  • Encourage team members to voice disparate interpretations
  • Brainstorm solutions to possible problems with the information
  • Incentivize creating actionable plans from the team analysis

Create a Strategic Marketing Plan

Business intelligence is only useful if it is leveraged properly. You’ll find gathering useful information easier if you have an end goal in mind.

A strategic marketing plan is a great target to begin with since there are many metrics you’ll need. Use geolocation and other underutilized metrics, for example.

Conclusion

Once you get this data, however, what do you do with it? Instead of throwing it into a spreadsheet, use business intelligence tools to organize the data into visual aids and succinct summaries.

Data, when presented in the right way, is the most effective force in business. To better help organize the data, businesses should consider consulting with a product manager who knows the industry and has seen it all.

Experienced product managers are valuable assets to any business looking to get ahead because they offer the insight needed to target the right intelligence. Once your intelligence is collected and organized you will want to form a team of trusted people that will analyze the data and create the necessary scenarios.

Interpretation and analysis are nearly impossible to do without a diverse team of knowledgeable people who will tell when something is useful and when it’s out of fashion. Then, utilize this team to create an engaging and focused marketing plan using the data you gathered. If done properly, your gathered business intelligence will be enough to launch a successful campaign and even better product.

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About Ellie Martin

Ellie Martin is co-founder of Startup Change group. Her works have been featured on Yahoo! , Wisebread, AOL, among others. She currently splits her time between her home office in New York and Israel. You may connect with her on Twitter at @EllieMartin120.

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