How Business Intelligence can help improve the Customer Journey
Interview with Exporo’s Head of Business Intelligence Gustavo Rada
Digitisation poses a main challenge for nearly all companies. Business models change fundamentally due to these changes. This is also the case in the real estate sector, where Proptech (Property Technology) companies digitise traditional business processes with the help of ground breaking IT and communications technologies. Investment platforms for real estate such as Exporo are an example for this. These are alternative investments for small investors: With crowdfunding it’s now possible to invest in attractive real estate projects, such as existing properties or new constructions, even with small capital volume.
At the same time, the digital development is accompanied by a massive growth in data and thus the challenge to process this information. Digital companies and those who strive to be so, must face the challenge as it is the only way to guarantee for innovative minds to ensure fast decision making. This is where Business Intelligence (BI) comes into play in order to assist companies in their decision making processes.
WHAT IS BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE (BI)?
Business Intelligence includes strategies and tools for the analysis of data of business information. BI technology collects and interprets both past, current and predictive results of business endeavours. BI tools can process a lot of data crucial for the analysis and interpretation of past and current projects. Furthermore, new business opportunities can be more easily identified with the help of BI.
There are a number of different functions of BI:
- Online Analytical Processing
- Data Mining
- Process Mining
- Text Mining
- Business Performance Management
- Predictive Analytics
- Prescriptive Analytics
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE AND THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
Understanding the customers’ online behaviour is essential when launching new projects. With an online audience, there is a lot of data to be gathered, processed and analysed. From the customer’s point of view BI tools help understand customer decisions and assist in tailoring future projects to the market demand. So what does that mean exactly?
Learn to understand your customer
Ranking clients based on information pertaining to their purchase history including value, frequency and recentness can be performed with the help of BI tools. Businesses can then categorize their clients into more accurate target groups for up or cross selling opportunities and also optimize their sales and marketing campaigns in order to retain old customers and attract new customers.
Planning for the future
Business intelligence can help business planners improve forecast accuracy and the overall sales and operations planning processes. For example prediction models can play a part in this and can help to predict how much customers will invest. As an investment platform this is a crucial information. This data can then be used to predict the further demand and the right amount of investment projects on a platform.
Influence Customer Behavior
BI can also be used to assess the success of marketing efforts and promotional activities by tracking and evaluating the clients’ reaction to campaigns. For instance as an investment platform we may want track the effectiveness of a bonus code with an extra of 2 % interest over the holidays compared to the effectiveness of a € 50 bonus on top of the investment. Which bonus code was used more frequently by customers? By comparing actual to expected results by campaign companies can “market” smarter, and identify opportunities more accurately in order to increase sales and growth.
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE AT EXPORO
In order to give a better insight into Business Intelligence at Exporo as well as future trends, we had a chat with Exporo’s Head of Business Intelligence: Gustavo Rada
Exporo: How did you get into BI?
Gustavo: BI was the perfect fit for me as it combines Tech plus People. Therefore, after my master’s degree I joined an e-commerce in Barcelona to become part of their BI team within the marketing team.
The result was fantastic as I had the chance to join other interesting firms afterwards to work in the BI field, ending up becoming a BI consultant after couple of years.
Exporo: What is necessary in order to successfully implement BI in a company?
Gustavo: The concept of BI is a bit vague but modern BI has a strong orientation towards self-service (i.e., having data analysts among teams and empowering everyone to build their own analytical queries).
Therefore I consider 3 Key Success Factors for enabling a robust BI ecosystem:
- Strong data-driven organizational culture: This is essential as it fosters a continuous learning cycle around data which therefore leads to make BI essential element inside the organization
- BI people to have a clear understanding of the business: One of the key challenges I’ve noticed everywhere is finding BI staff who can clearly communicate with business stakeholders and at the same time being able to realize data challenges.
- An agile approach: Many companies have failed to implement robust BI solutions when having complex implementation projects with only long-term goals. BI implementation projects need to keep agile and look for delivering business value after day 0.
Exporo: Which criteria does BI need to fulfil in order to assist in decision making processes?
- Strong focus on business value: when we get asked questions, we have to clearly understand the impact that this can derive in the business. At the same time KPIs that get defined must enable real learning from the business performance. For example, there are standard KPIs which do not fit every business due to several reasons (e.g. maturity of the organization).
- An ecosystem tailored to the organization: Each business is unique and therefore there is not one ready-to-use solution that meets all needs. Therefore, having internal knowledge in-house that can complement state-of-the art BI technologies is a must have.
- Change management for having no data silos: BI must work towards having one unique source of truth for all type of questions. In this line it is important to have strong data link between all elements that play a major role in the business model.
Exporo: Which changes have you implemented in the company (Exporo)?
Gustavo: Our BI team with the excellent guidance of our CTO has been able to:
- Implement a state-of-the-art analytical tool which enables self-service BI and works as data platform to have a greater reach apart from simple reporting
- Build a data model that delivers value to management and core departments (Marketing, Sales / Customer Support, Real Estate and Partner Program)
- Develop customized solutions for complex data integration challenges in order to have a single source of truth
- Have a continuous learning cycle around data which ends up in many super agile internal BI projects.
Exporo: Trends - Quo vadis BI?
Gustavo: I personally see 5 core trends in Business Intelligence:
- Self-service BI will continue to be a trend
- Data-as-a-service (BI playing a stronger role in this concept)
- Data exploration in non-conventional ways (e.g., virtual reality)
- Data Science easily accessible (e.g., predictions modes as part of standard analytical tools)
- Data-driven innovation into the next level
Understanding your customers and their needs is crucial in order to optimize their experience on a highly competitive market. Without the collection and analysis of customer data, it’s impossible to gain a realistic insight into the customer journey. Implementing BI tools helps processing customer data and maximizing the customer journey for future projects.
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- shutterstock, tadamichi
- Gustavo Rada, Exporo AG