business intelligence system

A Beginner’s Guide to Using a Business Intelligence System for Marketing

If you’re in marketing, you’ve probably heard the words “business intelligence” come up during a few meetings and networking events.

The term may seem like a fad, but not only is it here to stay, it’s also going to change the way you work.

If you think your team is too small or not ready for business intelligence, think again. In fact, businesses with up to 100 employees are the prime growing demographic for adopters of business intelligence plans.

Business intelligence systems are taking business and marketers by storm. Whether you’re ready or not business intelligence is here to stay, so we’re going to give a primer on what you need to know.

Business Intelligence Defined

For a solid definition of what business intelligence is, look no further than Tech Target’s definition.

They define it as a technology-driven process that can be used for analyzing data in order to create actionable information. From business intelligence findings, executives and managers can make better-informed decisions.

There are a lot of things you can do, and may already do, that technically falls under the umbrella of business intelligence.

Visualizing, validating, and preparing data for presentations are a form of business intelligence. Analyzing performance metrics and creating benchmarks for improvement are a form of business intelligence as well.

In the past, true business intelligence was reserved for companies with a lot of money and manpower at their disposal. It would take a lot of specialists and sophisticated computer equipment to produce and analyze data.

Thanks to advances in technology, it’s easier than ever for organizations of all sizes to harness the power of business intelligence. Now there are simple all-in-one software programs people can use to perform business intelligence duties.

Business Intelligence Systems for Marketing

In the past, measuring the effectiveness and marketing was rather nebulous. If people started using your product or service more, you could probably safely assume that your messaging worked.

Luckily, marketing professionals have far better tools at their disposal now.

Today’s marketers should heavily rely on data to determine every aspect of their work. The right data can tell them where they should place their campaigns, inform targetting goals, and find the best ways to allocate their resources.

You’re already getting some data from website analytics and social media tools. Now imagine getting even more data, and taking all of that computing power to the next level.

This is where a solid business intelligence system comes into play. Not only can the system help you gather data, but it can also help you find a way to turn the data into actionable next steps.

Do you want to find a way to tie your marketing campaigns in with sales? Are you looking for a new demographic to target? Do you want to see what you should allocate more budget towards?

Business intelligence can help you do all of that and more.

Using Your Business Intelligence System the Right Way

A Business intelligence system can help inform a lot of decisions, but it’s not magic. You’re going to have to do a little work on your end to see the true benefits of using data-heavy systems.

If you’re new to the world of business intelligence, applying it to marketing can seem difficult. That’s why we’re going to outline what you need to do to succeed.

Start with the Right Foundation

A solid business intelligence system won’t have a problem sorting through massive amounts of data and thinking about the right ways to apply its findings.

But in order to do that, it needs to be able to ask the right questions about the data being produced.

When you have a new business intelligence system to use, you’re going to have a lot of data to work with. If you don’t have a clear understanding of end goals or business objectives, it can be easy to misinterpret or misapply what you learn.

Before you start using your new system, think about what you truly want to get out of it. Consider certain groups of people you may want to study, metrics you want to improve, and processes that need to change.

Once you have a clear idea of what you want, you can start properly using your system.

Integrate Your Current Systems

Do you already swear by your monthly Google Analytics reports? Could you not imagine spending a day without Buffer or your preferred social posting and monitoring tool?

Don’t feel like you have to give up any of your trusted analytics tools once you get a business intelligence monitoring platform. In fact, you should be doing whatever you can to get all of your systems and tools to work together.

Connecting your trusted tools and platforms to your new intelligence system can enhance the data you already love to collect. It’ll also give you a more comprehensive approach to handling marketing.

Keep Your Data Clean

The data your system collects from analytics platforms and social sites should be simple enough to understand. But data it’s getting from other human team members, or even yourself could be problematic.

We previously mentioned how the data you put into the system is important for success. A lot of companies struggle with keeping data accurate when manual entry comes into play.

Assign specific people to handle certain data entry tasks to ensure that there’s no overlap or duplicate data. Also, be sure to only give a small number of people the ability to change data once it’s in the system.

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of conducting regular and random quality checks. Schedule time at least once a month to a quality control test.

The Power of Business Intelligence

A business intelligence system can be what you need to take your marketing work to the next level. Nearly any process you can think of can be improved with the right system and data.

Do you have questions about how business intelligence could improve your work and help your company? We always love to hear from people. Feel free to contact us so we can have a conversation about what business intelligence can do for you.

In the meantime, we have a lot of helpful content on our blog. Browse our posts so you can learn more about the power of business intelligence.

David York
david@sureshot.io

David York has spent the last 15 years at the forefront of the martech revolution, and is an expert on its past, present and future.