The Evolution of Business Intelligence

on December 19th, 2016

Data driven solutions
As Business Development Manager, Juergen Klein is responsible for the expansion of the non-ERP business within the COSMO CONSULT Group. In particular, this encompasses the areas of Business Intelligence, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Collaboration Solutions.

We recently checked in with Juergen to get his insight on marketing analysis and the value of data-driven solutions for marketing and customer relationship management. Here’s what he shared:

Can you tell us about the mission behind Cosmo Consult?

The COSMO CONSULT Group specializes in the implementation and system management of business software solutions for both small and medium-sized businesses and large companies in the fields of manufacturing, services and trade.

We have an entrepreneurial mindset, act with foresight and strive for holistic, practical and useful solutions that are simple, fast and easy to implement and maintain. We create solutions that put the focus on people and therefore lead to the optimum benefit. We provide our customers with continuous and reliable support at the local, national, international and global level – especially when it matters most.

How has Business Intelligence and CRM evolved since you started your career?

Back in the late 80s, Business Intelligence as we would define it today did not really exist. It was reduced to standard informational reporting. Database companies were entering the market and offering new ways of collecting data and using more modern capabilities (4GL) to extract, modify and report data. The technical prerequisites did not allow real analysis of data, and the frontends used were made for technical users rather than business users.

In those days, CRM was mostly stripped down to basics. Mostly transaction based. IT departments were very influential at that time, so a lot of companies were steered by technology rather than by business decisions.

Today BI and CRM technology has changed dramatically. More than ever it is a business enabler, helping business users to visually analyze the past, effectively monitor the here and now, and make meaningful predictions about the future based on not only one source of data, but all kinds of available data sources. CRM today is a modern business collaboration tool for companies interacting with customers. BI and CRM workflow processes are more and more integrated for the sake of making the right decisions at the right time.

What are the biggest trends you’re observing in these areas? How will these trends shape the future of business?

The digitalization of business is moving forward quickly. New services-based approaches have changed the way we use software. Nowadays it is more and more delivered as a service. Delivery method number one is the cloud. Business actions are driven by data. You can easily combine information about your customer target groups with social media data, competitive data and transactional data and use state of the art analytical tools to either help you make the right decisions or to propose next decisions to you already using artificial intelligence.

How have data-driven solutions impacted marketing and CRM?

The data-driven approach utilizes modern predictive analytical functions to cluster your customers and prioritize activities based on historical data and predictions on their behavior in the future. So dedicated Marketing campaigns based on buying patterns or satisfaction or dissatisfaction could be automatically initiated. Success of campaigns can then again be tracked by modern analytical tools.

What needs or pain points are you observing among your clients in how they utilize data for CRM?

Companies really need to understand the transparency of the market and how the overall availability of business, social and political data will impact their business. Decision making has reached a new level. If you try to do it the traditional way your, competitors will bypass you.

What are the most common mistakes or oversights you observe businesses making in how they’re using data for CRM?

Companies for a long time only trusted their own data for their business decisions. Some then started to incorporate external data from market research companies. Modern cloud-based services today deliver maximum information value to really understand the overall impact of customer and market behavior. Especially in Europe the process of building trust in cloud-based services is the most relevant issue to solve.

What are the smartest things a company can do before implementing data driven solutions for CRM and marketing? What homework do they need to do?

Companies should analyze all relevant data sources they might need to make the right decisions. They should also move forward to modern cloud-based ERP systems where data can easily be integrated from all kind of sources and maintenance and availability lies in the hands of providers and not your own IT.

What should companies be doing today to prepare for the future when it comes to Business Intelligence, CRM and Marketing?

Don’t be afraid of modern technology. Be attractive to new employees. The younger generation knows the new devices in and out. They bring their own devices and their way of living in the modern data driven world to their employer and expect the company to execute on the same level. Self-service IT in a digitalized world supports decision makers everywhere. Invest in cloud-based CRM solutions and Self Service BI. Use modern predictive analytical technologies to build self-shaping intelligent business systems.

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