Big data. It’s a phrase you’re hearing and reading about constantly these days. According to a recent article in Forbes, many business leaders are beginning to refer to big data as the new oil—a necessary commodity that will drive the future success of most organizations. The article cautions, “You’re going to need the right tools–and you’re going to need the right people–to put Big Data to work for you. All that ‘new oil’ won’t have value unless it can be used to gather the actionable insights that drive business growth.”
What can big data do for your business?
A report from the McKinsey Global Institute highlights five ways that organizations can use big data to create value. They believe big data can be used to:
Make information more transparent and accessible in real-time so it can be used more often.
Collect accurate, detailed performance information about any aspect of the business.
More narrowly segment customers or markets for any product or service.
Create analytics that drive better decision-making.
Tailor the development of future products or services.
Actionable intelligence can lead to better decision-making and stronger financial performance. Tailoring product development, marketing, and sales efforts for better performance can both reduce costs and improve results. In its report, “Sales Forecasting: How Top Performers Leverage the Past, Visualize the Present, and Improve Their Future Revenue,” the Aberdeen Group revealed that companies with trustworthy sales forecasts averaged 13.4% year over year revenue growth versus just 3.4% for other companies. Best-in-class companies are twice as likely to have replaced “gut feelings” with predictive sales forecasting.
How much data have you already got?
Your CRM system captures and stores a tremendous amount of data about your prospective and existing customers as well as how effectively your sales, marketing, and customer service departments operate.
But what happens to all of that data? Can decision-makers in your company glean timely insights? Can you supply your company’s leaders with accurate predictions about trends in the marketplace? Are challenges identified and acted on?
Many companies are not distilling enough actionable intelligence yet. A 2011 survey found that only 1/3 of data scientists are confident their companies can make decisions based on new data. It’s a brave new data world, and companies that plan and invest in business intelligence now may well find themselves in market-leading positions later.
Business intelligence can help you see the big picture more clearly and quickly.
A business intelligence solution can help your business unlock the data you already have and make it available to right people, at the right time, and in the best format to facilitate action. A specialized analytical tool for CRM data will focus on the information needed to manage and execute in sales, marketing and customer service. But some tools can also pull in CRM-related information from other business systems, such as accounting and ERP systems or spreadsheets.
With access to real-time accurate information from across the business, company leaders can make better informed business decisions. To be most effective, an analytical tool should:
Present information in a useful, meaningful way that helps your sales, marketing, and customer service teams take immediate action to improve performance.
Reveal predictive information—for example accurate sales forecasts—that will help you make more effective decisions.
Make information available to decision makers on an ad-hoc basis in real-time.
Sage SalesLogix Advanced Analytics is a powerful business intelligence solution that integrates directly with Sage SalesLogix and can be used to perform analysis on all of your CRM related data. It takes important real-time CRM-related data from across your business and turns it into something that you can use—immediately—to make better-informed business decisions. Click here to learn more about it.