Top performing companies are driven by pervasive Business Intelligence

A new study – Operational Intelligence: Boosting Performance with ‘Right-Time’ Insight – has revealed that top-performing companies use operational Business Intelligence (BI) to improve their business.

The report, compiled by research firm Aberdeen Group, was based on responses from 260 end-user companies globally. It declared that industry leaders were separated from their competitors because they had the ability to generate “timely, clean, and relevant business insight to support operational decisions, rather than simply relying on ‘gut-feel’.”

The report said that “Best-in-Class” organizations were able to achieve superior performance in customer service, sales management and improve financial efficiency, by utilizing BI technologies to deliver insightful information to key decision makers quickly, to support critical business decisions.

"The real value of operational intelligence is the ability to apply BI and analytical techniques to everyday decisions and create insight that is based on fact, rather than gut-feel," said study author, Michael Lock.

"Fast and clean information is a large piece of that puzzle, but several other factors contribute to an employee’s ability to make better operational decisions. Successful operational BI delivers analytical insight to more areas of the business and shares information collaboratively across departments and lines of business."

The report said that companies with top-performing BI tools are twice as likely to share operational data across functions, and more than three times as likely to use a dedicated BI platform, as companies with poorer performance.

It was also discovered that:

  1. 74% of companies succeeding with operational BI have a formal process for operational performance review, evaluation, and re-alignment
  2. 86% of the top performing respondents track operational performance against corporate goals

Best-in-Class performance

Aberdeen identified several factors common amongst top performing companies utilizing pervasive BI solutions. These “Best-in-Class” companies:

  • Deliver 93% of critical information with the immediacy needed to support critical decision-making, compared with 72% for the industry average, and 32% for industry stragglers
  • Achieved an average 17% year over year increase in financial operating performance, compared with an industry average increase of 7%, and 1% decrease for stragglers
  • Drove and averaged 29% year over year improvement in sales pipeline management, compared with an industry average increase of 12%, and 2% for stragglers
  • Hold an average 94% customer service score, compared with an 88% industry average, and 74% for industry stragglers

Achieving Best-in-Class

The reported recommends that if organizations wish to achieve “Best-in-Class” performance, they must:

  • Integrate a continuous process of operational KPI identification and delivery into their routine business operations
  • Develop a system for cross-departmental and organization-wide information sharing
  • Develop a system of automated data delivery and integration

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