Business Intelligence (BI)

Business Intelligence (BI) refers to the set of tools and techniques used in the transformation of raw data into meaningful and actionable information. Business Intelligence touches all areas of the Billing interactions diagram. When thinking of Business Intelligence one needs to think about source data, ETL, operational data store, data warehouse, and reporting.

Strong BI leverages various sources of record throughout the ecosystem in order to aggregate key information for various business purposes. Strong considerations must be made when the business requires certain BI data within an environment that leverages cloud providers for key business processes.

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In some ecosystems, it is crucial to build robust integrations with various applications, develop thorough ETL processes, and time the execution of data processing just right in order to gather the most efficient, accurate, and complete data.

Business intelligence software can perform trend analysis on internal processes and identify the leading indicators for change within the business environment. For example, if the sales of a particular product are slipping, an actionable alert can be issued to the relevant product manager.

Business intelligence is about enabling corporate decision makers to navigate the waters of today’s complex business environments. The right tools will eliminate wasteful practices before they become a force of habit that damages the company’s bottom line. Business Intelligence software can perform trend analysis in internal processes and identify leading indicators for changes in the business environment. For example, if the sales of a particular product are slipping, an actionable alert will be issued to the relevant product manager.

Business Intelligence Components

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Extract Transform Load (ETL)

Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) is the set of process by which data is extracted from numerous databases, applications and systems, transformed as appropriate, and loaded into target systems like a data warehouse.

More than half of all development work for data warehousing projects is typically dedicated to the design and implementation of ETL processes. Poorly designed ETL processes are costly to maintain, change, and update, so it is critical to identify the right technology and tools that will be used for developing and maintaining the ETL processes up front.

Marketing Automation (MA) Triggers

The key to successful marketing is relevance, timeliness, and value. The first two, relevance and timeliness, are hardcoded into Marketing Automation (MA) Triggers. Value is up to the organization to align offers to its recipients. Marketing Automation Triggers gives an organization the timeliness it needs by having the system send out targeted emails to customers in advance of their contract renewal date and it does not rely on human interaction to send out those emails.

Data Warehouse

Data warehouses are often at the heart of the strategic reporting systems used to help manage and control the business. The function of the data warehouse is to consolidate and reconcile information from across disparate business units and IT systems and provide a context for reporting on and analyzing:

  • Corporate performance management
  • Profitability
  • Consolidated financials
  • Compliance

BI UI Ad Hoc Reports

The User Interface (UI) of a Business Intelligence (BI) system must be accepted and utilized by the users for the BI system to add value to the organization. To increase user acceptance of the BI system it’s crucial to involve key stakeholders from all levels of the organization. Along with a strong user interface, the Business Intelligence system needs to have the ability to create ad hoc reports without having to involve a developer for a stakeholder to run the necessary reports.

Custom Reports

Custom Reports are a critical part of a good business intelligence solution. While key performance metrics provide a good, high-level view of a company's health, it's the ability to dive deeper that identifies and solves issues. Custom reports that give analysts a layered look at the business - segmented and re-segmented - are how an organization's people, processes, and technology are optimized.

The benefits of harvesting various iterations of a company's data spans the enterprise - from marketing and sales to operations and finance. All require reporting capabilities that software manufacturers couldn't possibly anticipate.

The best BI solutions offer an easy-to-use interface for creating, charting, and exporting data not found in the standard list of reports. Less sophisticated offerings and many internally-built frameworks require a direct connection to the database and the ability to pull the data required via an API or SQL query.

Big Data

Big data is a broad term for data sets so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. Business Intelligence is the tool that bridges the gap of taking Big Data and turning it into actionable pieces of information.

People, Process, and Technology of Business Intelligence

People

Business Intelligence is a valuable resource to every organization in an enterprise. However, not all are key stakeholders in the construct, customization, or upkeep, and security of the data.

In complex service-provider product and selling environments, it's the teams from Customer Service, Customer Success, and IT that bear the BI weight. Data is a primary driver of the daily activities of these groups, while the Marketing, Finance - Billing, Sales, and Operations teams perform key BI functions as well.

Sales

Operations

Customer Service

Customer Success

MARKETING

FINANCE - Billing

FINANCE

I.T.

Process

ATG maintains a set of 99 key business processes to support the management of Customers and Revenue for Service Providers. Thirty of these processes originate or are impacted by, the Business Intelligence function. Below are the key processes that touch BI, categorized by the Organizational Unit that owns the process:

SALES

Attrition Modeling

Method of mitigating financial risks and risks to achieving the organization's sales quota by modeling the expected attrition by sales reps' throughout the sales year.

SALES

Partner Ecosystem Management

Overall category for Management and integration of any of third-party resellers, partner, or add-on marketplace business models and oversight.

SALES

Quota Setting

Process to allocate the expected contribution towards revenue goals across territories.

SALES

Territory Planning

Defining equitable geographical sales territories, based on market factors and customer intelligence data, that enable a salesperson to meet their assigned quota.

SALES / FINANCE

Sales Reporting

Collecting and analyzing data to inform on key sales and company performance metrics, including revenue and cost analyses, individual and team performance, employee churn, and sales to business model alignment.

OPERATIONS

Proactive Customer Notification - Operations Focus (CC Expiry, Payment Received Notification)

A proactive approach to notify customers of pertinent payment information, particularly keeping Credit Cards current to limit number and impact of reject processing.

MARKETING

Proactive Customer Notification - Marketing Focus (New Lead, Up-Sell/Cross-Sell Existing)

Similar to pro-active notification from a Customer Success perspective, this process is specifically targeted to generating additional revenue from information captured about a customer, account, or user that can be turned into a Lead.

I.T.

Cross-Training of Monetization Ecosystem Components

Process for training organizational resources

I.T.

Data Stewardship Across Monetization Ecosystem

Process of assigning ownership and sources of truth for data within the organization.

I.T.

Maintenance & Oversight of Monetization Ecosystem

Process around assuring that all touchpoints and connections in the ecosystem are optimized and working to their full potential.

I.T.

Monitoring & Testing of Vendor Functional Releases

As ecosystem components release updates and patches, each is checked and tested to confirm all systems are working together as required by the business' requirements.

I.T.

Security Oversight of Monetization Ecosystem

Process for maintaining and controlling access and permission to ecosystem components.

I.T.

Vendor Management of the Monetization Ecosystem

Management of ecosystem component vendors including proactive communication of changes and general relationship nurturing.

FINANCE - BILLING

Dunning Processing

The process a business goes through to initiate collection of a past due payment from a customer. Includes reporting on aged balances and monitoring revenue leakage associated with past due balances.

FINANCE - BILLING

SOX/Regulatory Compliance

The ability to provide proof of internal controls to prevent fraud and material misstatements.

FINANCE - BILLING

System Auditability

Provides assurance that source system data is accurate, and a paper trail exists from a transaction to financial statements.

FINANCE

Collections / Treatment Processing

For net terms customers, the ability to pro-actively manage a process to collect money from customers who have fallen behind in the periodic billing. These are processes specifically designed to keep customers, that for one reason or another have balances in 30-60, 60-90, etc., day buckets.

FINANCE

Commissions Processing, Referral Fees, and Clawbacks

The process of tracking sales commissions, referral fees paid to partners, and sales rewards programs.

FINANCE

Run Rate Reporting

Run rate reporting is critical for revenue forecasting, and can help project other key metrics.

FINANCE

Tax Processing & Filing

Methods used to streamline complicated taxation rules and regulations, including the accurate filing of corporate income and sales tax information.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Cross-Sell Processing - Ongoing

A central method for increasing Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) and is the process of selling additional product(s) or service(s) to a customer during the customers' entire lifetime with your company. This process is separate from Cross-sell Processing - Initial order.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Proactive Customer Notification - Success Focus (Recommendations, Advice of Charge, Overage Notifications)

Exceeding customer expectations by using data and triggers to notify them of an opportunity or looming risk.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Up-Sell Processing - Ongoing

A central method for increasing Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) and is the process of moving a customer to a better or higher version of a product or service throughout their lifetime with your company. This process is separate from Up-Sell Processing - Initial Order.

CUSTOMER SUCCESS

Customer Usage Monitoring

Tracking and recording customer product usage throughout a billing period and life cycle. Closely related to daily usage processing, this process can be used by Customer Success agents to find customers who are experiencing problems with their product usage, are not using key functions of the product, or are nearing billing thresholds.

CUSTOMER SUCCESS

Loyalty Program Management

The way in which a business manages incentivized programs to retain its best customers. Different from NPS/CSAT initiatives, this is a specific program to capture customer history and provide offers/discounts based on loyalty and usage.

CUSTOMER SUCCESS

New Customer Onboarding

The process of creating a customer account, properly provisioning products and/or services, and communicating welcoming messages.

CUSTOMER SUCCESS

NPS / CSAT Monitoring

Process of tracking, reporting, and following up on customer satisfaction metrics, by customer segment or product.

CUSTOMER SUCCESS

Retention / Churn Monitoring

The process of monitoring customer turnover.

CUSTOMER SUCCESS

Social Network Monitoring

A way to track social media traffic and information and gather the "Voice of the Customer."

ALL

Daily, Periodic, or Ad Hoc Reporting (ETL, Report, Dashboard)

Movement of data between domains to create a single source of truth for reporting and dashboarding. Includes key metrics such as revenue analytics and other KPIs

Technology:

The Business Intelligence domain consists for four distinct types of solutions.

  • Data Integration
  • Data Warehouse Plaform
  • Big Data Overlay
  • Report Writer / Visual Dashboard

Key Business Intelligence Vendors

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ESSENTIALS

Founded: 2003
HQ: Seattle, WA
Company Type: Public
Website: www.tableau.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Tableau (formerly Einstein Analytics) was acquired by Salesforce in 2019 and serves as the market-leading choice for modern business intelligence. Specializing in business intelligence and data visualization solutions Tableau gives customers the contextual insights and recommendations that drive everyday business.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Business intelligence
  • Data visualization
  • Data analysis
  • Dashboards

TARGET MARKET

Tableau serves a wide variety of customers ranging from small to mid-sized businesses to global enterprises in a variety of industries such as retail and distribution, pharmaceuticals, biotech, education, construction, healthcare, and much more.

CUSTOMERS

  • Verizon
  • REI Co-Op
  • Lenovo
  • US Bank
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ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1911
HQ: New York, NY
Company Type: Public
Website: www.ibm.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

IBM Watson is AI for smarter business. IBM Watson helps put AT to work anywhere at any scale. Built on language, automation and trust, Watson is foundation stems from a hybrid cloud platform that allows customers AI to work anywhere and integrate everywhere. With the use of business-ready tools, applications and solutions, Watson is designed to reduce costs and the hurdles associated with AI adoption while optimizing the best possible outcomes for customers.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Financial operations
  • Healthcare
  • Advertising

TARGET MARKET

IBM Watson aims to serve a wide variety of customers ranging from small to mid-sized businesses to global enterprises in a variety of industries such as finance, travel, healthcare, retail, security, supply chain and much more.

CUSTOMERS

  • GM Financial
  • BEHR
  • Lufthansa
  • Greenworks
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ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1996
HQ: Palo Alto, CA
Company Type: Public
Website: www.ariba.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

SAP Ariba is the world’s largest business commerce network. SAP Ariba utilized a combination of industry-leading cloud-based applications and the world's largest Internet-based trading community to help companies discover and collaborate with a global network of partners.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Supply Chain Sourcing
  • Procurement
  • Contracts
  • Working Capital Management
  • Cloud Computing
  • Invoice Management

TARGET MARKET

SAP Ariba serves a wide variety of customers ranging from large to mid-sized businesses to global enterprises in a variety of industries such as education, logistics, healthcare, gaming, marketing, and more.

CUSTOMERS

  • Air Canada
  • HH Global
  • Boston university
  • Henkel
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ESSENTIALS

Founded: 2004
HQ: Orlando, FL
Company Type: Privately Held
Website: www.pentaho.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Pentaho is a data integration and business analytics company that provides enterprise-class, open-source platforms that support big data deployments. Penatho’s unified data integration and analytics platform is comprehensive and completely embeddable and is designed to power any sort of analytics in any environment.

Pentaho’s mission is to help organizations across multiple industries capitalize on the value of their data (including big data and loT), allowing them to identify new revenue streams, improve operation efficiency and service, and minimize the organizations risk.

TARGET MARKET

Pentaho serves a wide variety of customers ranging from small to mid-sized businesses to global enterprises in a variety of industries such as education, logistics, healthcare, gaming, marketing, and more.

CUSTOMERS

  • Caterpillar Marine Asset Intelligence
  • Assetworks
  • BNSF Logistics
  • Cardiac Science
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ESSENTIALS

Founded: 2010
HQ: American Fork, UT
Company Type: Public
Website: www.domo.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Domo calls itself the Business Cloud, enabling organizations of all sizes with a modern BI platform that is designed to augment and enhance widely diversified tech infrastructures. Domo has over 1,000 of pre-built cloud connectors apps that enable the seamless integration of data. They provide an expert community that helps customers find apps and expert advice from Domo, business partners and the Domo developer community.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Business Intelligence
  • Advanced Data Visualization
  • Analytics
  • IoT
  • AI/ML
  • Data as a Service, data integration, data management, and data transformation
  • Embedded analytics

TARGET MARKET

Domo’s target market is companies ranging in size from small to enterprise in a wide range of industries.

CUSTOMERS

  • NBA
  • Unilever
  • Xactly
  • La-Z-Boy

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