Some of the most successful companies in the world use business intelligence (BI). It helps them operate more efficiently, report higher average revenue, and make more informed strategic decisions based on accurate data analysis.

There are five companies in particular that have used BI in innovative ways recently: 

  1. Amazon
  2. Starbucks
  3. Netflix
  5. American Express

By considering what made these companies so successful and analyzing the specific BI strategies they used, you may be able to replicate their successes. Here’s how each used business intelligence to gain the upper hand in their respective industries.

Companies That Use Business Intelligence

Amazon Uses BI to Optimize the Supply Chain

Amazon is known for using some of the most advanced, innovative technologies in the world. The same is true for its use of business intelligence technology. Amazon’s own business intelligence and analytics software (Amazon Web Services) analyzes all of the data it gathers across the supply chain. 

What makes Amazon especially noteworthy is that it had to overcome a set of challenges that very few companies face. Amazon has an incredibly large supply chain that includes more than 3 billion products sold in 11 different marketplaces. The company also handles online subscription services, shipping, manufacturing and storage, among many other systems. It’s a lot of moving parts. 

To solve this complex challenge, Amazon relies on thorough data collection and analytics and visualizations to generate insights into every aspect of the supply chain. 

The company gathers demographic data about customers interested in certain products. From there, Amazon uses BI and data analytics to determine where to store these products so that they can be shipped to customers quickly. The company also creates custom shipping routes based around these predictive analytics and geo-mapping.

What You Can Learn from Amazon

Even if your supply chain isn’t as complex as Amazon’s, you can use BI in the same way to supply your customers with what they need in a timely manner. Shipping and storage optimization also saves on transportation costs and prevents you from buying and storing more inventory than you can actually sell. By hiring an experienced BI and data analytics firm to perform these calculations for you, you’ll streamline your entire supply chain from start to finish.

Starbucks Analyzes and Predicts Customer Behavior 

While Amazon uses a complex data analytics system to address a wide range of pain points all at once, other companies that use business intelligence focus on more specific services. One example of this is Starbucks. When the popular coffee chain launched its rewards program—a loyalty card that offers customers rewards for every purchase—they used BI and customer relationship management systems (CRMs) to tailor this program to every customer. 

When customers used the card to make purchases, Starbucks kept a log of these transactions. Using detailed predictive data analytics, the company was then able to offer additional rewards and recommendations to customers based on their shopping histories. 

A customer who usually only buys a tall black coffee every morning will likely appreciate being given free in-store refills, rather than a free seasonal latte. Not only do these rewards increase the likelihood that the customer will visit the store again in the near future, but the company can also use this information to introduce customers to new menu items based on their tastes. 

What You Can Learn from Starbucks 

Purchase histories are powerful, but only if you have the right BI and CRM tools to analyze this data. This is especially difficult if you’re a small or mid-sized enterprise, because you may not have the resources or staff required to perform the analysis on your own. IT staffing firms that specialize in data visualization and analysis can help you create a portal similar to the one that Starbucks uses to help you track customer behavior.

Netflix Uses Business Intelligence to Improve Recommendations

Companies that use business intelligence often identify new ways to improve their services in response to the data they gather. A great example of a company that used this method to dramatically improve its services is Netflix. 

The video streaming company gathers massive amounts of data on their customers’ behavior, including which videos they click on or hover over, how long they spend looking for something to watch, which titles they type into the search bar and whether they make use of experimental services that the company introduces for the first time. 

For example, in 2018, Netflix began placing advertisements for other titles at the end of the titles customers just watched. The company carefully tracked how many users actively clicked on these ads or watched these previews to determine whether this was a feature they would keep. Netflix bases about 80 percent of its content on customer behavior and data gathered from its recommendation algorithm. 

What You Can Learn from Netflix 

The most successful companies that use business intelligence are those who can identify the metrics that matter most and measure them accurately. For Netflix, behavioral patterns like clicks, watch histories, search queries and time spent watching each title are some of the most important data. Your business might need to gather different types of data in order to be successful. An experienced business analytics and business intelligence firm will help you identify what the most important data points are and will help you find a way to track them. 

YES BANK Improves Internal Communications

Most companies that use business intelligence do so in order to better understand their customers’ needs. However, you can also use BI to improve your company’s internal operations. One company that made great use of this method is YES BANK, India’s fourth largest private-sector bank.

Before making use of BI, YES BANK employees weren’t able to communicate effectively with one another, which hurt their workflows. Each day, management information systems specialists had to download data from dozens of spreadsheets by hand, create reports, and send these reports to the company’s decision makers. This led to delays in processing, and increased the risk of data leaks at every point of the data transfer process. 

By implementing a new BI system, YES BANK was able to store all of its data in a warehouse and automatically generate reports from a user dashboard. Only authorized users had access to certain pieces of data. The BI tools also made it easier to see which actions needed to be taken to address problems as they arose.

What You Can Learn from YES BANK 

Using a new BI system, YES BANK made their data more actionable, less vulnerable to leaks and more efficient. Even if you feel that you understand your customer well, you can still use BI to improve your own internal communications and ensure that your employees’ time is valued.

American Express Detects Fraud with BI Software

BI tools are very effective when they’re used for loss prevention and fraud detection. American Express in particular has shown the impact that BI can have on these two areas. After implementing a new BI system, they were not only able to better protect their own finances, but also those of their customers. 

Using advanced algorithms and predictive data analysis, American Express is able to identify fraudulent uses of their customers’ cards in real time and automatically prevent future charges on the card until the customer is notified. This helps protect their customers and also reduces financial risk for the company.  

What You Can Learn from American Express 

BI tools can be used to track more than just customer behavior or internal workflows. By harnessing the power of predictive analytics, you can respond to fraud quickly and in some cases may even be able to prevent it before it happens. This is especially important for the banking and insurance industries.  

What Can We Learn from Successful Companies That Use Business Intelligence?

Companies that use business intelligence do so for many different reasons. Some use data to track customer behavior and figure out new ways to make them happy. Others use BI to improve internal communications and streamline the supply chain. Modern banking and insurance companies are even using BI to prevent fraud and strengthen security. 

What all of these successful companies have in common is their use of advanced BI tools and resources. In many cases, these companies turned to experienced IT firms that understand how to use BI effectively. When you ask reliable experts for guidance, you’re better-positioned to accomplish your goals.

If you’re ready to make the transition to fixed cost IT support, contact Tek Leaders today. Our highly-skilled team of IT experts offer our clients a full range of IT consulting services, including advanced analytics and 24/7 tech support. Or, if you have more questions about the IT services we offer, you can reach us by email directly.

Author: Shashank Reddy Tummala.

Shashank is the COO of Tek Leaders inc.He helps SMB’s to achieve their goals in their journey of Digital Transformation.