What do marketing automation and business intelligence have to do with each other? Quite a lot. Or: How do you generate the data basis that is suitable as a reliable basis for decision-making? Here are the facts.
Business Intelligence: data, data, data
To make the connection clearer, it is worth taking a close look at the much-used and long-established buzzword Business Intelligence (BI): This is a process supported by modern technologies, which includes data analysis and concise information presentation, which supports the company management in making sound business decisions. So far, so good.
So this is what it's all about,
- to collect the most diverse data from external, but above all internal sources using
- suitable tools and methods,
- to prepare them for specific analyses,
- set up and execute intelligent queries and
- create profitable reports, visualizations and dashboards
The bottom line is that the results can be valuable not only to decision makers, but also to the employees of a company.
Complex tasks - a solid foundation necessary
In view of the enormous changes of our time, BI is becoming more and more important - and can only be implemented with intelligent tools. Ultimately, it is all about optimizing all parts of the company. The data basis is therefore crucial for success: If it is analysed in a targeted manner, you can gain important insights into established business processes and make strategically wise business decisions to increase productivity, turnover and, as a result, growth.
The following advantages can therefore be summarized:
- You accelerate and improve decision-making.
- You optimize internal business processes.
- You increase the efficiency of your business.
- You increase turnover.
- You gain competitive advantages.
- You identify market trends as early as problems.
That reminds you of the marketing department? No wonder, because the data about the customer and his behaviour ultimately plays the main role in this play.
BI data - which sources come into question?
Basically, not only historical data provides important information, but of course above all the current data - for your strategic and tactical business decisions. But how do you get this data?
It is not without reason that the relevant BI tools were primarily used by IT experts to create the corresponding analyses and reports for companies. However, practice has changed, as managers at all levels are increasingly using a wide variety of BI platforms that rely not least on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The range of applications is enormous, including
- Ad-hoc analyses
- Mobile, real-time and operational BI
- online analytical processing (OLAP)
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) BI
To meet the high demands on BI applications, numerous components are required, such as
- Data visualization software to create graphics such as diagrams;
- easy to understand key performance indicators (KPIs);
- Tools for developing performance score cards and dashboards to visualize business metrics
Marketing Automation Tools: How data collection works!
In the field of marketing, an enormous data pool can be generated around your customers - and the potential sources are manifold: social media, surveys, loyalty programs, forums, mobile devices or your support. This is where you can generate customer insights, because the characteristics, preferences, lifestyles and needs of your customers are just as interesting for the future direction of your company as their behaviour.
If your customers' product or service requirements change, a new orientation is necessary. So the conclusions do not only concern your marketing campaigns, but also extend to product development - they are therefore relevant for the entire business policy.
This makes it all the more useful to take a look at the range of functions of intelligent marketing automation tools: These not only process big data and collect the relevant customer data from the most diverse sources in order to structure, summarize, prepare and ultimately analyze it, they can do much more:
- Data visualization and interactive presentation: The implied visualization options allow you to quickly capture enormous amounts of data so that you can make informed decisions. This includes, for example, maps, charts, dashboards or score cards that make your reporting understandable.
- Clear data mining: A marketing automation tool is designed to be easy to use, guiding you step-by-step through a complex data world. Various instruments help you to always keep an optimal overview of the results.
- Intuitive user interface: Operation is extremely simple, especially since you can use the reporting on any end device. Meaningful navigation makes it easy to use, making the creation of analyses child's play.
- Ad-hoc analysis of raw data: You can start right away and examine the generated raw data in a targeted manner - and exploit the potential of slicing, dicing, pivoting and compile the desired data just like the charts.
- Proactive warning system: If there are worrying developments, such as a decline in sales in certain areas, you will receive an appropriate warning - automatically. In addition, you can also create automatic reactions so that you don't waste any time.
- IT or analysis skills are not necessary: With a Marketing Automation Tool you can demonstrate expertise - from ad hoc to cyclical reporting. And all this without any special knowledge of IT or analysis!
And the most important thing:
In order to start with such a tool and also take Business Intelligence to a new level, no integration into your existing system is necessary at first.
Business Intelligence - where is the journey heading?
A look back shows that the term Business Intelligence has been used since the end of the 19th century - but here it is used rather sporadically. It was only in 1989 that Howard Dresner introduced BI as a generic term to describe the use of data analysis techniques in relation to corporate decision-making processes. Accordingly, BI tools were based on mainframe-based analysis systems such as executive information systems. However, a wide variety of synonyms such as data analytics or business analytics are used here, which are based not least on the different interpretations of the term.
For implementation, BI teams are usually formed, consisting of BI architects and developers as well as specialists for data management or business analysis. To ensure that the requirements of the company are taken into account, users are usually included.
Agile development techniques are used, which divide the BI projects into manageable stages, so that incremental and iterative new functions for the analyses open up again and again - which above all makes implementation easier, but also enables adaptation to changing requirements and refinement of the instruments. In the future, the technological progress will certainly open up exciting perspectives - but you already have them with Marketing Automation.
Marketing automation is proving to be a decisive step towards a digitalized world for many companies - and it is relatively easy to achieve. You can generate, prepare and evaluate extensive data without having to intervene in the existing systems. After all, one thing is a fact: In the end it is your customers who decide on your business success - which is precisely why you should know them in detail and tailor internal processes to their needs. Business Intelligence is a sensible approach, marketing automation the decisive key!