The modern business intelligence (BI) consultant knows that digital transformation includes more than updating computer systems. As experts in leveraging data for efficiency, productivity and profit, these professionals are highly skilled in applying BI to business processes to create business outcomes that benefit corporations and customers alike.
Take Michelin Solutions, for example. Company leaders identified three priorities for their digital transformation strategy:
- Creating a personalized relationship with customers and end users
- Developing new business models
- Improving their existing business processes
Michelin Solutions deployed new, business intelligence-driven solutions to reach these goals. Artificial intelligence now powers their digital supply chain and robots manage clerical tasks and produce advanced analytics. Through changes like these that both rely on and create business intelligence, Michelin Solutions has created savings for the organization, doubled per-vehicle profits and reduced fuel consumption. Their customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and EBITDA (earning before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) margins have also increased.
While the story of Michelin Solutions showcases several ways that BI can define a company’s successful digital transformation, there are countless other businesses of all sizes benefiting from these practices. Business intelligence is creating positive business outcomes throughout the marketplace, from machine learning in risk management to automated performance monitoring in project management.
The What and Why of Digital Transformation
Digital transformation refers to the integration of technology throughout a company’s processes with an emphasis on cybersecurity. While the need to stay competitive in the market may incite companies to engage in digital transformation quickly, sustainability will only be possible for business intelligence consultants and companies that prioritize securing data.
Why digital transformation? Because successful digital transformation:
- Increases organizational agility, productivity and efficiency
- Decreases operational costs, customer wait times and administrative burdens
- Facilitates company resilience, positive employee experiences and innovation
Meaningful digital transformation implements fitting technological practices into all areas of a business so that the company can thrive.
Business Intelligence in Digital Transformation
The process of business intelligence refers both to the technology and the strategy that companies deploy in order to analyze data and draw meaningful insights from that data. Through software, dashboards and data visualization tools, business intelligence turns raw data into actionable information.
As companies undergo a digital transformation, it’s imperative that the decisions they make about technology, processes and operational changes be data-driven. Business intelligence plays a crucial role in ensuring that the information company leaders are basing their choices upon is meaningful, accurate and actionable.
Business intelligence can empower successful digital transformation in many ways, including:
- Improved quality of information
- Accelerated achievement of goals
- Elevated performance monitoring
- Greater accuracy in forecasting
- Enhanced customer experiences
Consider the specific, meaningful impact of business intelligence in the digital transformation process through the examples of real-world enterprises.
1. No More Spreadsheets: Traffic Technology Leader Wavetronix Turns to a BI Solution to Increase Visibility
A company’s data is only as good as its leaders’ ability to understand it. One of the first problems such leaders often run into is this — they have massive amounts of data available to them, but it’s all stored in disparate spreadsheets that may only make sense to a few team members. Not only that, but the spreadsheets are created by individuals — so the potential for human error is high. Hours or even days each week are spent manually combing through data in an effort to clean it and ensure its accuracy, but the job is never done because more data just keeps coming into the spreadsheet.
Such was the case at Wavetronix, a global leader in traffic technology. The company lacked visibility and lacked a single trustworthy data source. The spreadsheets that various teams would provide featured conflicting data, which meant that employees had to spend valuable work hours trying to find the errors and the right information.
To improve the quality of information at the company, Wavetronix chose an integrated pair of business intelligence tools from Oracle — one focusing on supply chain management, and other on supply chain management analytics. Most importantly, though, they are integrated — in other words, Wavetronix no longer has to make siloed spreadsheets make sense or carry a high human error risk in its data. The company’s information quality has soared, and cost savings have risen due to greater efficiency. Gone are the days of losing hours to analyzing spreadsheets from various teams or trying to understand conflicting data. With a BI solution, Wavetronix can focus on becoming increasingly data-driven.
2. 100 Percent Digital: DC Water Relies on a Business Intelligence Solution to Complete Its Successful Digital Transformation
Water, electricity and utility companies like DC Water — The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority — are known for their long-standing commitments to hard-copy processes. Old technologies like carbon copies and handwritten note forms are still common in such industries. But in 2010, leaders at DC Water saw that the cloud was coming and recognized that it was time to make major changes in their business processes.
DC Water had moved one thing to the cloud every year for about a decade when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. At that point, the demands of the digital age increased tremendously and DC Water’s business transformation accelerated. To empower its newly remote employees, DC Water turned to Microsoft partner ESRI to implement Microsoft Azure as a hub for applications, operational processes and customer requests.
“The intended goal of the migration was to provide increased data security for the utility’s application portfolio, reduce lingering operational challenges, eliminate paper processes and support innovation within the agency,” Microsoft officials explained. “The primary driver in upgrading ESRI support was cost, as it helped DC Water reduce its year-over-year costs from six percent to two percent.”
DC Water now just has three percent of the company left to migrate, meaning its successful digital transformation is nearly complete thanks to a business intelligence solution.
3. Prepared to Perform: Wyndham Hotel Group Gains Key Insights through Business Monitoring BI Tool
As one of the largest hospitality enterprises in the world, Wyndham Hotel Group (WHG) recognizes that its customers don’t just experience the company during a vacation or work trip — they experience the company online as well. But WHG had a gap between that understanding and the technology at its fingertips to ensure that its online experience was a positive one. Recognizing that it was time for a further evolution into the digital age, WHG turned to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) suite of business intelligence tools.
The company had 8,400 hotels to migrate into the online system, which included business performance monitoring software from the AWS Marketplace. WHG had previously struggled with relatively low visibility into its websites’ performance metrics. But with the AWS tools, WHG was empowered to analyze key performance indicators and adjust accordingly.
As a result of its business transformation, WHG increased its mobile bookings by 75 percent. The business intelligence behind the scenes is at the core of that massive growth. The BI tools provide meaningful insights into which parts of WHG’s online presence work for it and which do not, enabling the company to make changes based on reliable performance data.
4. The Forefront of Fashion: Jewelry and Accessories Firm Beeline Group Deploys BI Solutions to Stay Ahead of Rapidly Changing Markets
When it comes to a successful digital transformation, companies not only need to enhance their abilities to reflect upon past data but to leverage that data into accurate forecasts for future trends and market opportunities. In the retail space, this takes the form of analyzing consumer trends and preferences to meet upcoming product demands. Trying to do this manually, or even with outdated technological business processes, can leave company leaders frustrated and even lead to the demise of retailers as they fail to understand and execute consumer desires.
To “get the right products to the right stores at the right time,” beeline GmbH implemented retail management business intelligence solutions from SAP. As a result, it has streamlined its forecasting processes and significantly decreased the time it takes to make its inventory plans. In fact, through its forecasting BI solution, beeline has reduced its planning cycle timeframes by more than 50 percent, and it now takes the group 90 percent less time to produce planning reports — one day instead of two weeks.
“Faster planning means we can stay on trend and be first to the shops with the latest styles,” Yvonne Franklin, Product Director at beeline, told SAP. “In the fashion business, this provides significant competitive advantage.”
5. Keeping Customers Happy: Verizon Implements a BI Solution that Optimizes Call Center Operations
As any high-performing business intelligence consultant will tell you, successful digital transformation ultimately leads to positive business outcomes not only for the company and its employees but the customers they serve. Updating business practices for the digital age doesn’t stop with implementing internal dashboards that keep company leaders apprised of performance, as important as those are. Instead, a complete business transformation will directly improve the consumer experience, such as in the case of Verizon.
With residential connectivity solutions that created data equivalent to nearly half of the Library of Congress collection, Verizon had billions of rows of data to manage. It needed a business intelligence solution to optimize its operations so that customers had a more positive experience with its products and support. Enter Tableau, a BI tool that brought together the data from Verizon’s multiple sources and transformed it into actionable insights and positive changes.
The Tableau implementation resulted in:
- Increased call center capacity
- Improved customer routing
- Cut analysis time by 50 percent
- Reduced support calls by 43 percent and tech dispatches by 62 percent for some customer cohorts
“Insights from our dashboards help us optimize call center operations to reduce the need for customers to call us multiple times,” Sid Dayama, Senior Manager of Data Analytics at Verizon, told Tableau. “Monitoring these timely dashboards shows us that as the resolution rate and satisfaction index of customers goes up, volumes for calls and dispatches — which are key cost drivers — go down.”
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