Why is that after the successful deployment of state of the art ERP and Business Intelligence software folks in strategic areas of the company still struggle to make sense of the data?
The reason is pretty simple. Strategic Marketing is the headlights of the business; their job is to predict the future and exploit that prediction in a manner that increases market share, revenue and profitability. Their focus is mostly outside and in the future while ERP data is all about inside and in the past.
When companies populate their BI systems solely with internal data from the ERP, this only supports the back-office or day-to-day operation but it does not help folks in strategic functions. Marketing, sales or line of business management need a much wider perspective to impact the bottom line.
Marketing needs a 360 degree view of the market-business-profit reality. This includes both internal and external sources of data usually not found in the transaction system. They need to access external market intelligence to compare it with company performance metrics. This can be market and customer segmentation, updated customer and competitor merger and acquisition status, competitive opportunities, business and products under threat, market size, forecasts, etc.
In my experience, using Business Intelligence software to integrate internal and external data has always a positive change in the company’s culture, where instant access to strategic knowledge helps folks in charge of strategy to accurately answer complex business questions within minutes.
Marketing becomes an avid Business Intelligence user when the configuration of both data and BI software provides the key measures and dimensions, in a user-intuitive way, to monitor business direction against the company’s strategy. They can quickly find the root cause of problems and opportunities, with no intervention of IT or business analysts, and take immediate action faster than their competition.
by Bill Cabiro and Strat-Wise LLC
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