Business Intelligence by Function

How best in class organisations use business intelligence

The power of business intelligence and data visualisations is a linchpin for organisations looking to maximise profit in a sustainable way. It allows them to validate and guide their decisions and best actions.

The modern day, data-driven organisation

Businesses who embed data, business intelligence and analytics into their strategy will win in the future. Start by asking questions you need answers to and ensure your day to day decision making can be positively affected to gain control, insight and action. Democratise access your data and empower your people to engage with it and build capabilities over time. There is no better time to start than now.

CEO's and Executives

Executives are embedding both leading and lagging insights into their business daily to monitor the health of the business, influence core strategic vision, identify opportunities, develop business processes and create an efficient and effective organisation.

Examples of the types of insights that the C-Suite use to manage and control the business include:

  • Company level OKR and KPI performance
  • At a glance views of each function/department
  • Top and bottom line financial insight
  • Cost and productivity
  • Shareholder metrics and communication


A finance function led by business intelligence allows leaders to rise above transactional responsibilities and gain granular access of the key financial drivers of the business, in a consolidate view. In addition, the insight gained allows for planning, risk management and compliance as well as developing stronger ties with departments outside of the core finance function.

Examples of the types of insights that can be created for finance include:

  • Budget analysis and forecasting
  • Performance against financial metrics
  • Profitability and pricing analysis
  • Revenue drivers
  • Customer lifetime value

Product Development

Successful product and service adoption relies heavily on customer centric innovation. The world's best product development teams are using customer trend data, feedback and purchasing insight throughout the development process to create more effective products.

Examples of the types of insights that can be created for product development include:

  • Process metrics such as staffing vs plan
  • % revenue of products
  • Development cycle time trends
  • Project cost performance
  • Production costs


Marketing business intelligence lays the foundation for targeting opportunities such as new markets to enter, understanding customer related patterns and trends, and ultimately personalising communications and initiatives. This allows marketers to be incredibly targeted with their efforts and leads to better customer acquisition and retention.

Examples of the types of insights that can be created for marketing include:

  • Integrated, closed loop ROI
  • Funnel conversion rates
  • Campaign performance, channel attribution and effectiveness
  • Marketing contribution to pipeline
  • Geo-based customer and prospect analysis


The future of sales will be based upon 'insight selling', which is anchored on the premise of value. Effective sales organisations will be able to understand their potential clients to a greater degree, create a more informed and engaging conversation and influence next steps with value-based offers built on deep insight.

Examples of the types of insights that can be created for sales include:

  • Sales attainment and pipeline
  • Sales performance vs plan
  • Geo-breakdown of opportunities and customers
  • Account values, key accounts and at risk customers
  • Upsell and cross sell opportunities

Human Resources

The role of HR is changing. With the ability to collect more data, the ability for HR to add more value and drive performance across the organisation increases as well. Using business intelligence, HR can now evolve beyond the traditional soft metrics and drive a data-driven HR team through understanding and evaluating the impact of people, people related matters, wellbeing and effectiveness.

Examples of the types of insights that can be created for human resources include:

  • Return on human capital
  • Staff absenteeism and turnovern
  • Staffing productivity and performance management
  • Time to hire and investment per hire
  • Capacity planning


The use of business intelligence dashboards is a key enabler for making better operational decisions across the organisation. By bringing together multiple data sources across departments, organisations can improve service delivery, plan for efficient resource allocation, improve productivity, reduce supply chain bottle necks, improve flow of operations, reduce costs and increase overall operational effectiveness.

Examples of the types of insights that can be created for operations include:

  • Supply chain efficiency and logistics productivity
  • Manufacturing cycle time
  • WIP/Inventory turns
  • % planned vs emergency maintenance
  • Downtime to operating time ratios

Customer Service & Support

The use of real-time forecasting empowers customer service teams to grow front-end revenue. By having proactive insight, they can reach out to customers with accuracy and a defined message where there is an opportunity to upsell, or get in front of and mitigate churn risk.

Examples of the types of insights that can be created for customer service include:

  • On-time delivery/perfect order %
  • Customer service interaction time
  • Ticket analysis
  • Proactive upsell/cross sell
  • Customer satisfaction
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