What is the Rapid Response Business Intelligence Team?
The rapid response business intelligence team is a team of two or more members uniquely equipped to deliver actionable business intelligence on a same-day basis in most cases, and next-day in nearly all other cases.
Business intelligence (BI) is refined information and insights about both past events and performance as well as forecast (predicted) future outcomes.
Data developed includes information about your company, your marketplace, your competitors, the economy, and any other exogenous (external) data that could conceivably affect your business. Exogenous data could include weather data, population data, freight rates, advertising rates, or information about the availability of skilled labor.
When the data is carefully cleaned, organized, and after insights are extracted and presented, business intelligence becomes actionable data. Actionable data gives clear answers, supported by facts, to questions posed that must be answered for the business to survive and succeed.
Who’s in the Rapid Response BI Team?
The most effective teams have multidisciplinary expertise and broad technical and business analytical skills.
Productive teams also typically have members with diverse but in-depth experience with the operations of the business.
Such a team might have, ideally, a
- MySQL and Google BigQuery expert with provisioning and billing system experience, a
- data scientist with SEO, CRM, and marketing analytics experience, a
- financial analyst with extensive operations experience and analytical dashboard skills, and a
- business analyst with ordering and inventory experience who writes ERP system queries
How Does the Rapid Response BI Team Deliver?
The rapid response business intelligence team can deliver actionable data promptly because the team prepares in advance to identify and secure access to information throughout the organization.
Single Source of Truth With a defined scope and a range of business questions to be addressed in hand, the team first develops a “single source
of truth” for each data element needed. The single source of truth is the authoritative origin of the data, as contrasted with a time-delayed replica or data scraped from a downstream report.
Smart Connectors and Cloud Datastore Next, the team develops a cloud datastore to host data tables. An enterprise data model defines the tables. The BI team builds smart connectors that collect, clean, and transform data from ERP, CRM, billing, and marketing analytics systems. The data is gathered on, for example, an hourly basis and stored in the tables described by the enterprise data model.
Real-time Interactive Role-based Dashboards
The team will develop real-time analytical dashboards to present the data gathered and combined from the cloud datastore. The dashboards organize data by
role and concern within the role. For example, there could be a set of dashboards for the CFO focusing on liquidity and runway, along with a set of dashboards for the VP of Manufacturing covering parts inventory stocking levels, lead time, and forecast parts usage.
The interactive analytical dashboards provided go far beyond the ordinary reports provided by CRM or ERP systems. They offer far greater power to understand the data because they
- Feature slicers, sliders, and drill-downs that enable what-if questions and answers
- Combine data from multiple systems to give answers not available in a single system
With these three critical elements established, the team can quickly produce actionable data, focusing on delivering fresh and insightful analytical results of value to the business.
Integrated Data Example – Using LTCV to Guide Marketing Spend
The ability to integrate data from many different systems to create critical KPIs is a significant value to the business and something that traditional static reports from Salesforce, Netsuite, or Dynamics cannot provide.
For example, suppose that the Chief Revenue Officer and the CSO want to use lifetime customer value (LTCV) to steer spending on SEO, advertising, social media, and email campaigns. To tally LTCV by lead source or campaign,
- the customer identity comes from the CRM,
- the product purchase details come from the shopping cart,
- the lead source is extracted from the shopping cart and marketing analytics system, and
- the customer’s lifetime purchases are rolled up from billing system monthly invoices
With the smart connectors and a real-time business intelligence dashboard in place, the CRO and CSO can watch LTCV by lead source and campaign. Date range sliders make it possible to ignore older data so that the CRO and SCO can examine only current experiments, campaigns, and lead sources, or only those from a specific cohort.
How Does the Rapid Response BI Team Show Value?
The rapid response business intelligence team creates business value on a day to day basis by providing actionable data in time for the decisions supported can save money or increase revenue.
Using real-time data for critical concerns will deliver business value with gains in areas applied, like these areas that have measurable business value.
- Operational efficiencies such as reduced inventory holding cost
- Better customer experience and follow-on sales
- Higher customer retention
- Ability to recognize and head off potential losses
- Recognition of difficult to recognize market changes affecting leads to opportunities
The team also creates value for the business by customizing dashboards and presentations that are specific to a line of business in the company. Dashboards created use terms and acronyms that are specific to the line of business so the audience can understand the findings without translation.
The team’s ability to develop new guidance can also provide substantial support for business transformation initiatives. The team can evaluate assumptions and intentions behind initiatives to confirm the direction of launch, and continue to assess as initiatives roll out, providing cost-saving steering during the project history.
About Glimpse Real-Time Analytical Dashboards
You can try a free live demo of Blackstone+Cullen’s ERP Integration Dashboard, where you can control the data reported and also drill down just by clicking on any report element or part of the map shown.
You can download our free Guide to ERP and CRM Integration. The Guide to ERP and CRM Integration highlights the top things you should consider when acquiring a company or trying to pull together data from a variety of ERP, CRM, and billing systems.
You can also download our free Guide to the Leads Pipeline for the CMO. At the same link, you can try a live online version of an actual Leads Pipeline Forecasting Dashboard. Test your skill at improving leads and sales by adjusting spending on seven different lead sources.
About the Author
Bruce Brownlee is a data scientist and product manager with an undergraduate math and engineering degree and an operations research graduate degree with a focus on stochastic processes and mathematical optimization. He’s worked as an industrial engineer, software developer, marketing director, data scientist, and product manager across a broad range of industries where analytical skills are required. His special interests include financial modeling and machine learning applications.