How To Turn Your BI Data Into Actionable Insights

August 17, 2018Simon

There’s a lot of chatter about business intelligence (BI), and how it can be translated into actionable insights. What does this mean? Data isn’t useful on its own. Everything is data when you break it down to its purest form. But you or I won’t be able to learn much by looking at a huge printout of binary.

The same concept applies for BI. Just because your data exists, and you’ve gone through the trouble of capturing it, doesn’t make it meaningful to you—yet. You want that data to do something for you. But how? These are a few ways you can effectively turn that collected BI data into actionable information.

Determine Optimal Target Audience

Marketing is a crucial part of any business trying to cut through the noise of the current corporate landscape. Without effective marketing, you won’t be able to reach the people who are most likely to want your products and services. All marketing campaigns need to start by identifying a target audience. This will determine everything about the campaign itself—from content to placement and timing.

You might think you know the demographics of your customers. And to some extent, you probably do. But BI data will take you to a much deeper understanding of them. Identifying cohesive patterns in your customer base can allow you to build far more efficiently targeted marketing campaigns, which will in turn provide a greater ROI. Data allows business owners to see their customers in deeper ways.

Identify Weaknesses in Internal Processes

Some companies have large sets of protocol. This is especially true in industries such as manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare. Essentially, any organization that inherently has many processes with a lot of steps can be made more efficient. This is where advanced data visualization comes into play. It’s difficult to understand data when it’s just a bunch of numbers. But AI-powered data analytics software can turn that raw information into something that actually has coherent meaning.


Consider the workflow of a large warehouse. There are far too many elements for even the most competent managers to be monitoring on a consistent basis. Because of this, many inefficiencies simply fly under the radar. This isn’t the case, however, when operations are synched with real-time data collection. BI data can be transformed into highly useful dashboards that highlight precise weaknesses within a protocol. Continually optimizing these processes will lead to greater returns.

Collect Data that Matters

Part of the responsibility for converting data to action resides with the people deciding what data’s worth collecting. With very large data sets, you can squeeze a bit of relevance out of a lot of things. But that doesn’t mean that all data is created equal. And this is especially true for organizations that have smaller pools of data or collection capabilities.

So what things should be ignored as purely random correlation, or useless information? If half of your customers have repeating digits in their home phone numbers, that’s an interesting anomaly, but it almost certainly means nothing because it doesn’t say anything about their inherent nature. On the other hand, if half of your customers are getting orders shipped to the same zip code—that should ring some bells. Determining what data’s worthwhile can be difficult. This is where a data professional can come in handy. They will be able to identify the crucial areas within your given organization. Passing off the more laborious aspects of data synthesis to AI-powered analytics tools frees up more time for data scientists to do this important work. You don’t have to lose your cool about BI data. Just because you haven’t gotten any game-changing insights yet doesn’t mean they aren’t within your grasp. Consider these points for turning your BI data into actionable information.

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