Boosting ROI from BI – Turn It Inside Out!

Kevin R. Quinn's picture
 By | februari 09, 2011
in WebFOCUS, Customer-Facing Business Intelligence, ROI, Customer-Facing BI
februari 09, 2011

Google the phrase “ROI for business intelligence”.  Eight out of the first ten results discuss how difficult companies find it to place a value on their BI implementations. They mention vague benefits like “we have faster access to information” or “we can get information we never had before”. But these same companies are hard pressed to put a tangible, measureable value on those advantages.

We see this a lot with traditional back-office approaches to BI, when the reporting and analysis capabilities are accessible only to a few deskbound analysts.  On the other hand, we’ve seen some very clear ROI from implementations that take the opposite approach – giving business intelligence access to large numbers of people outside the organization.

Nowadays, companies are realizing  that the information stored in their databases, data warehouses, and transaction applications isn’t  only of interest to internal workers, but also to customers, partners, and other third-party stakeholders.  Although they may be deriving value from their back-office reporting applications, they’re beginning to see that outward-facing self-service applications deliver the greatest impact.

We know this because our software serves as the foundation of some of the largest outward-facing reporting and analysis environments available today, ranging in size from several thousand to millions of active users, and it is delivering the greatest possible value for the BI investment. 

What kind of ROI have our customers achieved?  Reduced calls into support centers, which translates to hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings in monthly phone bills; greater customer satisfaction and retention, which leads to higher profitability; significantly improved partner performance, which fosters better employee/partner collaboration and productivity.  But most importantly, some of these applications are so valuable; users are willing to pay for them.  They not only improve service and support, they serve as new revenue streams. 

So when it comes to your next business intelligence deployment, think beyond the back office, and consider turning your application “inside-out”.