5 Ways Business Intelligence and Analytics Enhance Business Performance [Survey]

Michael Brenner

Knowing what to do faster than the next guy is one of the things that gives best performing companies an important competitive edge. That’s the take-away from a benchmarking survey by SAP on business intelligence and analytics.

According to the data provided by more than 400 businesses, firms that are truly embracing the value of advanced business intelligence and analytics are out-performing their competitors significantly. What makes the difference?

  1. Best-run companies align BI strategy with overall business strategy. According to the survey, companies that have their landscape architected with a thorough understanding of business and technical requirements have on average 80% higher revenue per employee. Plus, companies that undertake higher strategic and informational projects have – on average – double the revenue growth than lagging peers.
  2. Top performers embed BI in all business processes Enterprises with flexible information systems have 24% higher usage of business intelligence to manage their business processes. Survey respondents that have higher usage of BI to manage business processes have on average 63% higher information access through BI tools.
  3. Leading companies improve business insight. Companies that have enhanced business user access to information, have 10% more timely information to create actionable insights. Operations with easy-to-use self-service analysis tools have 38% more reports created directly by the business (not by IT).
  4. Best performers optimize BI expenditures. Companies that consolidate multiple BI tools into a standardized and enterprise-wide portfolio have 36% lower BI expenditures. And operations that have higher percentage of business users proficient in creating active reports have 34% lower BI expenditures. 
  5. They organize for responsiveness, scale and optimal support. Companies that have a formal BI competency center in place have 11% lower BI expenditures.

Apparently, more companies are paying attention to the performance benefits top performers reported. According to the data:

  • Organizations are spending on user adoption rather than technical implementation
  • They are moving to a flexible enterprise-wide architecture at a lesser cost
  • Further adoption of advanced and predictive analytics is planned
  • And In-memory analytics is drawing more attention

SAP’s Performance Benchmarking program is a strategic service sponsored by our Value Engineering organization. Originally launched in 2004 the program has more than 12,000 participants from more than 4,000 companies and studies available in 12 languages. Participants receive—free of charge—customized and confidential benchmarking comparisons against industry peers as well as aggregate analyses. To participate in the SAP benchmarking program, go to the Value Management homepage.


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Deliver Results With A Search-Driven Marketing Plan

Michael Brenner

the search-driven marketing planWhy should any marketer consider a search-driven marketing plan? Can’t we just take what we did last year, do 80% of that and add some new bits? You know, we’ll add in some social strategery and what not.  Create some viral videos. Update our Facebook page…no?

Unfortunately, many marketing plans are built with a few minor modifications to the previous year’s plans and some new buzz words added in. But an analysis of what marketing activities have really worked for many of us in the past will show that something like 80% of what we do is ineffective and does not justify the cost.

So keep the 20% – the best tactics, creative, campaigns and programs – and use the rest of your budget to drive a search-driven marketing plan…

What is a Search-driven marketing plan?

A search-driven marketing plan is the only way to ensure that your marketing activities are aligned to your audience. Through a search-driven marketing plan, you are using the words your customers use. You are using the volume of searches to prioritize their most important issues. From this you can create an audience-focused marketing plan that delivers valuable content on your customers’ hottest topics.

You can group the keywords into appropriate category clusters and analyze their importance by buying stage:

  • “what” and “how” searches are generally “early-stage” searches indicating your customer’s desire to get educated on how to solve their problems.
  • “who,” “”why” and “where” searches will indicate middle-stage searches when your customer’s are looking to identify the vendors that can solve their problems.
  • “how much” and comparison terms like “vs.” (such as “Coke vs. Pepsi”) indicate late-stage searchers who are looking to make a decision.

What exactly is Search?

Search is simply about getting found. Earlier this week I wrote about search engine marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as one of the keys to effective inbound marketing along with social media and content strategy.

Shelly Kramer (@ShellyKramer) also wrote earlier this week a post called SEO 101: How Google Works where she provides a link and overview to Google’s Matt Cutz who attempts to white board his explanation on how Google works by 1) crawling the web, 2) indexing those pages and 3) ranking and serving up the best results to keyword searches.

Shelly also provides links to great resources like SEOmoz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO,” and Search Engine Land’s Guide to SEO.”

How to get started:

  1.  Help your marketing team understand that a Search-driven marketing plan is key to your success
  2. Don’t forget that for most marketers, search is really hard. It does not come naturally to the traditional marketer who thinks in terms of targets, promotional messages and outbound tactics.
  3. Find SEO resources to help you do the research. You should start with Google’s Keyword Idea tool to understand the important keywords for your audience, group them into clusters and prioritize the clusters based on search volume and conversion.
  4. Combine this information with your social media and content strategy to create one heck of a killer inbound marketing plan.

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Recognizing Great Ideas From the Developing World

Leigh Buchanan

We imagine innovation as a trickle-down process. Companies in places such as the United States, Europe, and Japan deploy sophisticated technology to produce premium products for developed markets. Then they strip out some features, maybe substitute cheaper materials and eliminate most options, and ship their diminished creations to presumably less-demanding customers in Africa, Asia, and South America.

But the days of rich countries’ hegemony over innovation may be numbered.

Read More on >>


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Gadgetwise Blog: Harvard and M.I.T. Take Their Classes Online

Azadeh Ensha

This week Harvard and M.I.T. announced a $60 million online-classroom venture named edX. The non-profit enterprise will offer a variety of free courses across disciplines for anyone with an Internet connection.

Education moving to the cloud? Read more on the New York Times Gadgetwise Blog >>


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Top 10 News/Blog Sites for Big Data

Jen Cohen Crompton

As we continue to serve as a resource for business innovation information, we compiled a list of the Top 10 News/Blog sites featuring information about Big Data in addition to our Top 50 #BigData Twitter Influencers. These sources were compiled using specific search terms, Alexa rankings, site information, and relevancy to the topic.

1. Forrester Big Data Blog
Overview: An aggregation of blogs from company contributors focusing on Big Data topics.

About Forrester (from their site) – Forrester is a global research and advisory firm and serves professionals in 19 key roles across three distinct client groups. Their clients face progressively complex business and technology decisions every day. To help them understand, strategize, and act upon opportunities brought by change, Forrester provides proprietary research, consumer and business data, custom consulting, events and online communities, and peer-to-peer executive programs. Forrester guides leaders in IT, marketing and strategy, and the technology industry through independent fact-based insight, ensuring business success today and tomorrow.

2. Smarter Computing Big Data Blog
Overview: A compilation of contributors blogging about Big Data and Cloud topics. Each week the top reads in BigData is posted, which lists and links back to top articles.

About Smarter Computing Blog (from their site) – The blog is intended to provide readers with thought-provoking content and a place to talk about the issues raised within the content. Smarter Computing Blog feels strongly that the blog is not going to deliver final answers to the issues raised, but will represent a starting point for conversation around the issues.

3. GigaOm
Overview:GigaOm features news articles about Big Data, Analytics and Mobile. It’s a great place to read recent tech news stories and updates on hot topics.

About GigaOm (from their site) – Founded in 2006, GigaOM is now the leading provider of online media, events and research for global technology innovators. The company is one of the most credible and insightful voices at the intersection of business and technology, with an online audience of more than 4.5 million monthly unique visitors; industry-leading events, including Structure, Mobilize, GigaOM RoadMap, and Structure: Data; and a pioneering market research service and digital community, GigaOM Pro, which provides expert analysis and research on emerging technology markets.

Overview: Greenplum provides a section within the site with aggregated blog posts and news focused on Analytics, Big Data, Data Scientists, Data Warehousing and Hadoop. It pulls information directly from Forbes, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Information Week.

About Greenplum (from their site) – Greenplum, a division of EMC (acquired by EMC in July 2010, becoming the foundation of EMC’s Big Data Division), is driving the future of Big Data analytics with breakthrough products that harness the skills of data science teams to help global organizations realize the full promise of business agility and become data-driven, predictive enterprises.

5. Data Stories
Overview: A bi-weekly podcast on data visualization with with Enrico Bertini and Moritz Stefaner (two Big Data industry influencers). Each podcast post provides a breakdown of the content by time and relevant resource links.

6. Data Round Table
Overview: A community of Big Data and data experts discussing data quality, data integration, MDM, data governance, and data migration. This is a nice compilation of various perspectives.

About Data RoundTable (from the site) – The Data Roundtable is a forum where industry thought leaders come together to share the spotlight and discuss data management topics. Each day you’ll find a new post about something relevant and thought-provoking, from news on federal regulations to pop-culture commentaries on how data management relates to Seinfeld. There’s no agenda – just ideas.

7. ZDNet
Overview: This blog features Andrew Brust discussing Big Data, Hadoop, NoSQL and the mystical discipline of data science.

8. The Data Warehouse Insider
Overview: Technical details, ideas and news on data warehousing and Big Data from the Oracle Team.

9. Planet BigData
Overview: Planet BigData is an aggregator of worldwide blogs about Big Data, Hadoop, and related topics.

10. Dataversity
Overview (from their site): DATAVERSITY™ provides resources for information technology (IT) professionals, executives and business managers to learn about the uses and management of Big Data.  The worldwide community of practitioners, advisers and customers participates in, and benefits from, DATAVERSITY’s educational conferences, discussions, articles, blogs, webinars, certification, news feeds and more.

Disclosure: I am being compensated by SAP to produce a series of posts on the innovation topics covered on this site. The opinions reflected here are my own.

Interested in using big data to improve organizational decision making? Join us in New York City for the SAP Innovation Forum, September 12th, 2013. Register here!


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