Information is just waiting for you to find it. In organizations of all sizes and shapes, there are repositories of all sorts scattered among different departments and in different forms. When people have the right accesses to these repositories, the information hidden comes to light. Linking information across these different repositories can bring many different things to light, including deep customer insights, hidden costs, and surprising inefficiencies. Telecom agents can use this data to focus their sales messages and enhance their marketing efforts.
All of this hidden information, known as business intelligence, is valuable to the company and its future.
Business intelligence comes from having access to the places where the data lies. How does that happen?
- Knowledge of the available repositories: Where is the data? What kind of data is inside? What do the data structures and fields look like? This is basic for any type of business intelligence gathering.
- Access to the repositories without a lot of red tape: Of course no organization is going to open up their databases to everyone who asks for it. But the process for getting access should be clearly defined and without hidden agendas or arbitrary rules.
- Ability to ask the “owners” of the data key questions: The people who work with a particular repository will know what sort of data is in it and how reliable it is. The person doing business intelligence gathering should know who the owners are and have permission to contact them.
- Have access to analysis tools and training in how to use them effectively: Repositories come in many forms. Using tools specifically built to pull data from multiple repositories for analysis is basic. everyone doing this kind of work needs training in how to use the tool.
- Standards on how to use data, how to report it, and how to share it with colleagues: Once an analyst has access, what can they do? This information is not for their personal use. The person needs to use the data within allowable limits, report it in a common format, and share it in a place where interested colleagues can find it.
When these items get into place, people can start pulling data in, analyzing it, and publishing their findings to the people who need to know it. This can expand the information available when making critical business decisions.