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Self-Service BI Tool: A Newer Trend to Boost CRM

By CIOReview | Wednesday, August 3, 2016

An Overview

In today’s economic milieu, organizations need to use business intelligence (BI) inorder to make smarter, quicker judgments. Yet, in too many firms, decisions are still not based on BI because of the incapability to keep up with demand for information and analytics. One way to gratify this demand is to set up a self-service BI (SSBI) environment.

SSBI offers an environment in which information workers can generate and access precise sets of BI reports, queries, and analytics themselves—without IT intervention. This approach broadens the reach and extent of BI applications to address a wider range of business needs and tribulations. At the same time, this extension assists the information workers’ need for a tailored or collaborative decision-making environment.

As businesses increasingly adopt SSBI tools, one of the uses that can be a good fit for the technology is analyzing data to help boost customer relationship management (CRM) efforts. CRM can be enhanced with SSBI by eliminating impediments in the way of providing better customer services. Enterprises are now realizing the benefits of BI in CRM and but they need to carefully choose tools suitable for their business.

BI for CRM

Customers are always in search of quality products and with the use of online information they are able to reach out for products they desire. Therefore, it is imperative for organizations to have knowledge of ‘quality management’ now-a-days. Comprehensive knowledge about enhancing quality of products helps to transform existing products and increase promotional sales to ultimately improve customer satisfaction. Advantage of using BI includes delivering right information in right format, at right hand and time. It also enables data mining which involves algorithms to derive information regarding customers and their behaviors. It helps organizations to categorize customer profiles according to their likes and dislikes, habits, and behavior. So, in turn, quality knowledge and data mining together can bring out transformational changes in the approach of CRM. They can assist in business-decision making and fabricating customer oriented BI models. BI is able to personalize relation with customers using CRM and it is useful to address customer needs. Now-a-days with the use of available smart gadgets, customers can be reached and informed through personalized messages using mediums such as e-mail, web, telephone, etc.

Types of CRM Suitable For Your BI Needs

Organizations are needed to understand the factors or the building blocks for a successful CRM process. Also, you must make the right choice which will resemble the strongest link between CRM and BI solutions as per an organization’s processes. Here are some of the factors on which CRM solutions are based on;

Operational CRM: It survives on already fed information about customers and need not to obtain or put up extra efforts to fetch data about customers. Operational CRM involves regular interaction with clients and supports ‘front office’ processes. Customers’ data is made available to employees through sales, marketing, and service unit of organizations.

Analytical CRM: The CRM assists in collecting, storing, extracting, processing, reporting, and interpreting data based on customers. Analytical CRM receives data from various sources and stored to be analyzed. The data is then manipulated using apposite procedures, depending on the needs and purposes which you are trying to achieve.

Collaborative CRM: It includes interactions of customers, suppliers, partners and other external entities with an organization. Collaborative CRM allows choosing a medium from offices, telephone contacts, e-mail, web pages, contacts, etc., to interact with an enterprise and customers are always looking for such mediums. The data is then stored which generates operational data representing analytics basis through CRM.

Why Self-Service Tool for CRM?

According to David Loshin, Author and Consultant in an interview with SearchBusinessAnalytics, “One of the main motivators for implementing self-service BI tools is the creation of this central bottleneck in the IT department that prevents the ability to deliver information to the right people at the right time. BI and IT teams often take weeks or even months to write queries and build reports for business users.” SSBI not only sidestep bottlenecks but also allows users to access legitimate and processed information.

But you need to understand that SSBI is not as easy as it sounds. It involves practice of governance or strict control over data analysis process. Loshin explains, “BI managers are walking a tightrope because they want to be able to reduce the amount of demand for their own resources. On the other hand, you don’t want to yield too much capability to the users so that they get all confused, or they’re sitting there staring at a screen trying to figure out what the next thing is they're going to do.”

Loshin further states that SSBI increases the need for user education and training. Training programs must cover not only how to use the new tools but also how to change business processes in call centers, marketing departments and other operations to adjust to the ready availability of up-to-date knowledge about customers.

Self-service business tools can bring out transformative changes in business with candid understanding of customer behavior. With such business oriented changes, SSBI tools pave the way for lucrative and less risky business practices.